Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (Blu-Ray)
It might be important for all you gamer purists to know that having never played the video game PRINCE OF PERSIA, I have zero previous knowledge for what the film is based on. So my review will be strictly based by how enjoyable the film is. Unfortunately, PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME was at best mediocre. And what I mean by “at best” is I would have to be napping during a lazy afternoon while the Blu-ray was playing providing me with fantastical drams of sword fighting, time travel and Gemma Arterton.
Here’s the set up, King Sharaman rules with his brother NIzam (Ben Kingsley) by his side. The King has two sons but also adopts a courageous orphan from the slums of Persia named Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal). Fast-forward some years later and the King is assassinated supposedly from the young adopted Prince. Dastan escapes with the Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) from the Holy City of Alamut who is trying to keep a valuable secret safe. The two fugitives have peculiarly similar names to Destiny and Time. The search for a dagger that is able to reverse time may just be the real cause of all the mayhem. Dastan must use the power to discover his father’s true murderer and prove his own innocence.
Obviously with Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer at the helm the production value of PRINCE OF PERSIA is top notch. But that can only get a film so far. The team behind PIRATES OF THE CARRIBBEAN is best at giving visual pizzazz but this time they don’t have Johnny Depp to create an iconic character. I think it would be unfair to criticize Jake Gyllenhaal for not being as great as Johnny Depp. In contrary, I’m complimenting Depp because I think Pirate’s suffers from the same lackluster writing and overstimulation that POP suffers from. I think Gyllenhaal is great. I have for sometime. He is charming, charismatic and a talent to watch, giving the best performance of the cast. In fact he probably owes me some credit for pointing out his greatness in OCTOBER SKY. The supporting actors were a little stale with no substance, specifically Ben Kingsley, who I expected more from. Alfred Molina had a spirited performance but with a pointless character, providing not enough comic relief.
The film began with just the right amount of entertainment and cheese to make me believe I might really enjoy it. However, it took a turn for the worse with nonsensical action, one-dimensional characters and ridiculous editing. I love how the Prince can run and jump like the Parkour martial arts or “Free Running” style with the quickest way to get from point A to point B. The problem was during the really cool incredible fast-paced action jumps; they would interject unnecessary slow motion during silly basic jumps. It was out loud laughable when the scene slowed down on Gyllenhaal doing a basic hopscotch jump. The CGI serpents were terribly fake looking and the love scenes didn’t fair much better.
Director Mike Newell has done some decent films (DONNIE BRASCO and LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA along with HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE) and definitely has a basic fundamental talent that he utilizes here for a bigger paycheck. In the end PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME teetered on the line of entertainment but fell just short.
Video: (1080p HD 2.40:1) As I said before the picture looks amazing and I expect nothing less from a Bruckheimer and Disney production.
Audio: (English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio) The sound is also terrific.
Deleted Scenes (1.26): Two very short unnecessary scenes. One is a bit gruesome for Disney.
CineExplore: The Sands of Time (1:48.): This Bonusview feature is both nice and slightly annoying. If you enable it while watching the movie, you will be able to access about 40 featurettes that cover every aspect of filmmaking, some of which are very good an others are boring. The frustrating thing is that there’s no “play all” option. It would have been nice to see these wrapped into a larger featurette.
DVD and Digital Copy