Monday, 31 May 2010
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Dir: Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Mona Lisa Smile, Pushing Tin)
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Richard Coyle, Toby Kebbell, Alfred Molina, Steve Toussaint, Ronald Pickup
Seen: May 28, 2010 at the Rainbow
Reason to see: I'm still on the whole Sword & Sandals kick from the marathon earlier this year. Plus, always interested to see Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton and Ben Kingsley in anything they are involved in.
I've been looking forward to Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time from before I even saw previews for it, but back when it was announced that Jake Gyllenhaal was cast in it. I didn't even realize it was based on a video game, and once I saw a trailer the the whole 'based on a video game' became mute - the film obviously had it's own story with a backdrop of a beautiful and fantastical world.
After seeing trailer many times over, I thought I had a good sense of what the film was about, but turns out - totally not the case. The trailer shows us the world but leaves lots of the story and characters to be discovered as you actually watch the film. What a though! I loved that. This also meant that watching it I didn't necessarily know what was going to happen next. I think I even gasped in surprize at one point, which was.. slightly embarrassing I'll admit, but still was a nice to have the story unfold before my eyes without knowing exactly what was going to happen. Kudos to the film for that.
The film has a great adventurous spirit to it, and Jake Gyllenhaal as Dustan does a great job embodying that spirit with a surprizing physical combination of stealth and agility (aka parkour), making him a bit of a bruiser as well as being someone who can sneak around. It's also a character that is easy to love, being someone true of heart and also a bit of a troublemaker.
The film is primarily an adventure film, but it still packs in a lot of action. It's refreshing that it's not overly bloody but rather carefully and creatively crafted giving us brains & brawn to pack a lot of bang for the buck. True sword & sandals here with deserts, swords, lots of fighting, an epic tale and interesting characters.
Speaking of characters, one of the things I'm always wary in adventure films of this kind is whether or not there will be any gender crap. I'll give this film that it's a lot better than most as Gemma Arterton's character Tamina is not only feisty, but also brave, cunning and (gasp!) her character is not particularly interested in a romance or relationship. That being said - it isn't perfect and I did end up feeling like it was so close to being great but was ever so slighted. It's no where near as overt as something like The Princess and the Frog (which the gender crap in there drove me bonkers) but, it is Disney so don't actually expect it to be progressive. I hope they get there one day. This was more of a side step than one back of forward, and I'll be happy if they decide to move forward. That being said, I thought Gemma Arterton does a great job, and look forward to seeing her in more films.
Overall, it's a lot of fun. I'm hoping there will be more adventure films like this to enjoy with interesting stories and characters with creative action in a beautiful, rich world. Fun times.
Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'll buy it
I recommend it to adventure film fans
8 minutes of preshow including 3 commercials and 3 previews: The Last Airbender, Tron: Legacy and The Sorcerer's Apprentice
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© Shannon Ridler, 2010
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