Prince of Persia: Sands of Time Review

By: Bryan Montgomery (
Rating: 6 out of 10

It’s no secret to anyone who has seen a video game adaptation over the last ten years; they usually aren’t very good.

Prince of Persia is a small step towards the redemption of the genre, but it still falls well short of expectations.

The Jerry Bruckheimer-produced action thriller stars Jake Gyllenhall as Dastan, an orphan adopted by the king of Persia who is framed for his father’s murder and must escape.   He must use a dagger equipped with time-travel and the assistance of the princess Alamut, who is deemed as the protector of the dagger, in order to prove his own innocence.

The plot of the film is a gateway to nearly two hours of non-stop action with little plot to support hat could have been a solid story. New characters are thrown into the fray with little introduction or true exploration as to why they do what they do.  The assassins that come to kill Dastan are all cardboard-cut, and despite some of the cool things they can do; they are not used often with the exception of a very quick-cutting battle seem in the late second act of the film. The action in the film is great; and is easily the best part of the movie.  The special effects are used to a degree where the viewers can tell the filmmakers knew what they were doing, but then again; this is a Jerry Bruckheimer production.  Issues arrive from the application of the weapon that the movie focuses on; the dagger of time.  The scenes where the dagger is being used is very impressive, but leaves you wanting more, since the time-traveling abilities are used very scarcely during the film.

Jake Gyllenhall was a strong choice as a lead character, but the idea of putting the actor in this role worked better in theory than in actual application.  He never truly makes you believe that he is Dastan, rather that he is simply an actor playing a part.  And that is the major pitfall of the film, there is not an actor or actress who truly stands out, but are rather portraying actors in an intro-to-acting class; bare-bones script reading with false emotions thrown in to make it seem like they care.  Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina are both in the film, and one would think that two acclaimed actors would help the film, but they truly don’t; Kingsley just plays an angry man with a lot of eye makeup and Molina doesn’t act anything like himself, it was hard to even realize that Doc Ock was in this movie.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time could have been a great deal more, but instead resorted itself to acclaim to stereotypes; a summer popcorn flick with a high degree of Braun but no brain.  If you enjoyed the video game series or the Pirates of the Caribbean movies (especially if you loved the disappointing parts 2 & 3), then Prince of Persia is worth a rent.


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