2 October 2010

The Fresh Prince of Persia

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – Mike Newell

Video game adaptation’s in the medium of film always seem to lack the edge and story from the original source, with films such as Resident Evil, Doom, Bloodrayne, Max Payne, Far Cry, Hitman, DOA: Dead or Alive, Alone in the Dark and Lara Croft all failing miserably to use the great games to their strengths. Only a handful of films have actually worked with Silent Hill being one of the strongest so far, using the eerie and terrifying plot and setting and twisting it further to create a chilling film. And now with the latest offering, with help from Jerry Bruckheimer in the production and Disney offering the money, Mike Newell had the chance to take a well loved game franchise and put into the film context creating a series of films that might have some longevity. The reaction from the film may not suggest the film has another couple films waiting to be made, but it does show the growth of gap between the shit adaptations of the past and the over-the-top action adventure films like Pirates of the Caribbean that might make it a success. You’ll see the massive similarities of this film to Pirates with the production value, the camera work and the editing but that’s because it’s done by the same team with Bruckheimer and Disney. I’m not saying anything is wrong with it, but it feels familiar and you know what’s going to happen and what the story will be about in first ten minutes. And having Ben Kingsley as an actor in the film instantly makes him a villain, and even though it’s meant to be a twist so you don’t realise he’s the villain, it’s obvious because of his background and his typecast.

A story about a young orphan who becomes a Prince after being adopted by the king and along with his two brothers Tus and Garsiv, form an alliance, and off they go to war to capture rival lands and restore peace to many areas. The Persian army is unstoppable with the three brothers leading the attacks and at a celebration, Dastan, the adopted Prince is seen to have killed his father by way of a magical coat which burns him. A conspiracy then unfolds as Dastan is set up to take the fall whilst a city is invaded under false pretence. Now on the run, Dastan must save his name, find out who really killed his father and make a dagger, which he found, is returned to the rightful place by Nizam, played by Gemma Arterton, who plays the love interest/annoyance of Dastan. Throw in a comedic back up performance by Alfred Molina, and the plot is simple to follow with constant moving and action sequences, some which are imaginative and new but done in a classical sense. The action is something new to lead Jake Gyllenhaal and i think he pulls it off, it’s just a shame about the accent.

Good action, fast paced, funny dialogue and a shirtless Gyllenhaal, it will ensnare the ladies and keep the men relatively happy, even if they love the game and find that the film doesn’t follow the same rules.


Simon Childs

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