Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

prince of persia the sands of time poster 2010 movie
5.5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Some decent stuff surrounding the time reversal

Extremely average and lifeless action movie

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Prince of Persia:  The Sands of Time

Studio: Walt Disney Pictures/Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Genre(s): Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Romance

Release Date(s):  May 9, 2010 (Germany)/May 21, 2010 (UK)/May 28, 2010 (US)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

prince of persia the sands of time dastan dagger jake gyllenhaal

Woah…I’m straight up tripping…

Showing bravery as a child Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) is adopted as one of the princes of Persia by King Sharaman (Ronald Pickup).  With his two brothers Tus (Richard Coyle) and Garsiv (Toby Kebbell), Dastan continues to help expand the Empire to bring peace and justice to the conquered lands.  When Nizam (Ben Kingsley) comes with evidence that Alamut is hording weapons to rise against the Empire, Dastan shows his allegiance by leading the assault…which leads to tragedy.  Now Dastan is on the run with Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) of Alamut and a sacred dagger which could prove to be the most powerful weapon ever…if the Sands of Time are unleashed!

Directed by Mike Newell, Prince of Persia:  The Sands of Time is a Disney action adventure fantasy film.  The movie is a video game adaptation of 2003 acclaimed video game from Ubisoft which was part of the Prince of Persia franchise which began in 1989.  The movie was met with average reviews but faired decently at the box office.

prince of persia the sands of time jake gyllenhaal gemma arterton

We only have a few seconds to save reality before wizardy-genie people attack us…seems like the best time to kiss!

I loved Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.  It was one of those video games I completely ate up when it was released.  I played it on the GameCube and still recall the click of the buttons and joy of sending time backwards.  Video game adaptations are always temperamental and tricky, and Prince of Persia:  The Sands of Time falls into that trap.

Much of the game is the prince just going through the palace and trying to unlock the puzzles of each room.  Here, a plot must be developed and the characters have to have something to do…but they also must keep enough aspects of the video game to keep fans.  This means a lot of so-so storytelling with chases that involve parkour.  It is unbalanced and also makes you question the intelligence of Dastan (and Princess Tamina for that matter) who are slow to catch on).  This of course leads to an ending with the Sands of Time which negates almost everything that happens unlike the sweet ending of the game which resonates more.

Like most of these type movies, the Arabic world gets really white.  Jake Gyllenhaal is fine in the role, but he doesn’t make much sense like most of the cast.  Ben Kingsley is really slumming it here and the obvious villain due to his acting stature.  Alfred Molina as the tax hating ostrich loving Sheik Amar also feels wasted.

prince of persia the sands of time ending ben kingsley jake gyllenhaal

Hey, Faux Uncle…I’m starting not to like you very much

The movie has some decent special effects surrounding the time aspect of the dagger, but much of the rest of the film is over CGI and also lacks energy.  The game is all about how kinetic and fluid the Prince moves through the levels without effort.  They try to do that here, but editing and reality make it challenging.  The movie also suffers from unnecessary slow-motion surround events like swordfights and jumps (it makes sense in the dagger scenes which is intentionally about time)…it is supposed to increase the drama but takes out all the energy.

Prince of Persia:  The Sand of Time is a non-movie.  It is an action that lacks action, an adventure that is dull, and a romance that isn’t as playful as the movie thinks it is (aka the characters “click” despite animosity, but here there isn’t much of a click).  Instead you get average on every level.  If you want fun, play Prince of Persia:  The Sands of Time…and skip the movie (unlike Dastan you can’t get your time back).

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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