Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

Release date: May 28, 2010
Director: Mike Newell
Video game by: Jordan Mechner
Screenplay by: Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina, Richard Coyle

Sands of Time introduces Dastan as a kid living in the streets saving another street kid from being punished by the King’s (Sharaman) men… so, of course, the King sees something special in him and takes him home. Flash forward years, and Dastan — now a hot-looking Prince — and his brothers are about to take on a city that is supposed to be dealing weapons to the Persian’s enemies [hint: weapons of mass destruction].

In their looting, Dastan gets a dagger… THE Dagger (with a capital D), which the princess of the city, Tamina (Arterton), was trying to protect. After the murder of his father the King, Dastan is accused of being the perpetrator and flees the city with Tamina as sort of a hostage and help… but of course, Dastan didn’t do it! So he must clear his name with the help of the Dagger, which uses some magical sand to turn back time.

Unlike the poster (and set of posters), Sands of Time looks very orange. It actually starts with a full shot of a sunrise — or was it a sunset set backwards? — anyway, it was all very reminiscent of Aladdin, so I began singing Arabian Nights in my head… or maybe I did a bit out loud. The caption, set in Papyrus, said something like two people linked together in time — I thought they might have been talking about KidDastan and the other street kid, but seeing as the other kid was left behind when Dastan was adopted… alas, it’s probably Dastan and the Princess whose city he’s about to ransack.

All the title screens with the names of the cities were set in that Papyrus style (at least they weren’t subtitles), with orange and yellow — to be honest, it was very distracting… as I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the city they were supposed to be looting. And I even tried looking up the name, but it’s late… so I don’t want to bother.

When Dastan and the Persians get to where the princess is praying, they take her and uncover her face… and because everyone is so impressed with her beauty, they all WOAH in unison. And Tamina is sassy, she speaks back and is a pain for Dastan, who’s trying to clear his name.

Insert Sheik Amar (Molina), who lives in a place known for being full of murderers and bandits, but he essentially tells us is all PR because he just doesn’t want the Persians snooping around and asking him for tax money. All he cares about is Anita, and the ostriches he has for setting up ostrich races… Molina gets a lot of the funny lines, but he eventually just works as an enabler of men power with Seso (Toussaint), who happens to be pretty big and good with knife throwing. And, oh Sir Ben Kingsley! Why are you always the bad guy in movies now? Is it because Gandhi was too much of a pacifist?

Acting wasn’t necessarily bad, but the dialogue was just too much to take it seriously. The effects didn’t help either. They were average, and sometimes bordering on cartoon-y. Moreover, all this grander than thou action sequences are just so blown out of proportion, it’s just tiring.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 


YAM Magazine editor, photographer, blogger, translator and part-time web designer. Film junkie, music junkie… and lately series (a.k.a. TV) junkie.

8 Responses

  1. Camiele White says:

    As a fan of the original Prince of Persia game on SNES (oh yeah, I took it there), I was already disappoitned when I learned that Disney was taking on this endeavour and that they added insult to injury by casting a very White Jake Gyllenhall (love him, but let’s be real) as the Persian Prince. Last time I checked, Persians were a little on the brown side. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. I think so goes the game, so goes the franchise –it completely lost ground after its transition to GameCube, thus kind of ruining any further attempts at making it a reputable gaming conglomerate. No matter who much I love Nintendo, they’ve done a shite job making sure the franchise stands the “Sands of Time”…HaHa (I had to do it).

    Thanks for giving me even more incentive to stay away from the film!

    • Julili says:

      @Camiele White, Yeah, when I heard Jakey was cast for this, I just shook my head and went all “aw Hollywood”….. he was just wrong for the role

    • Rodrigo says:

      @Camiele White, I avoided this because for the most part, movies based on video games really suck. I was pleased to hear that Konami didn’t go for it with a movie adaptation of Metal Gear Solid.

      • Camiele White says:

        @Rodrigo, RIGHT ON!!! Video game fans definitely dodged a bullet with that one. Video game movies fall into two categories: those who don’t take themselves seriously and those who are trying hard to win awards. Mario Bros. would fall into that former category –so bad, knowing that it’s bad, that it’s got cult status. Silent Hill, for instance, falls into the second category –going so far as to hire the original writer for the game to attempt to translate it so it works for American audiences. Joke. Anyway…precisely why Prince of Persia had to be missed.

  2. amy says:

    non-gaming amy is at a loss.

    Go, Konami? xD (I do know what Konami is, it’s just all the games mumbo-jumbo xD)

    • Rodrigo says:

      @amy, Konami, the video game company that created games like Castlevania, Metal Gear Solid, Pro Evolution Soccer, Dance Dance Revolution, Silent Hill, etc.

      Your beloved Juno film has featured a song with the Konami Code.

  1. September 6, 2013

    […] summer blockbuster films, except of course… the ones opening this weekend. But we do talk about Prince of Persia, Robin Hood, Iron Man 2, Kick-Ass, and the likes. We also talk a LOT about music, including Julz […]

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