Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time Review
[Copied from my external BLOG, which I advise you read for the super-duper pictures!]
Director: Mike Newell Rating: 5/10
My initial response to the advertisements of Prince Of Persia was decidedly ‘meh’, and the film itself didn’t do much to change my mind.
As a fan/groupie of the doe-eyed-dreamboat Jake Gyllenhaal, and an admirer of the fantastic Ben Kingsley (Sexybeast), I was first and foremost interested on seeing the two work together. On the whole, their acting was pretty sound; Gyllenhaal upped his masculinity sufficiently and had me believing he was a Persian hunk, and Kingsley truly pivoted from his role as Don in the cockney-masterpiece Sexybeast, as well as his more recent role of the professor in Shutter Island.
However, something struck me about the whole movie that I really cannot get to grips with. These were Persian men, right? I wouldn’t have expected them to speak the native language, but why on earth did they have standard English accents?! They could’ve had an exotic twang to their voices at the very least; I wasn’t expecting them to start doing a Banderas, but is it too much to ask that they make it a little more realistic? It would’ve taken Mr.Gyllenhaal the exact same effort as it’d taken him to put on the English accent, so I just didn’t grasp the logic there. Surely it wasn’t all for the sake of making Ben Kingsley’s job a little easier? Though judging by the climax of the film, this wouldn’t surprise me at all. I’ll get to that later.
The plot was awfully predictable, to the point of nausea. We knew there was going to be a romance story from the moment that bloody princess comes into view, and frankly such things bore me to death. I was hoping they’d save me the faux-arguments and stereotypical arrogance on both parts, but they didn’t. The whole ‘I wouldn’t go out with you if you were the last hot guy in Iran!’ bollocks followed by the dreamy-eye-locking moments was just cliché, and whilst I don’t mind clichés if they have a little twist them, this one unfortunately lacked.
Not only that, but I had a real problem with the whole ‘smarter than I look’ rubbish in regards to the leading female, particularly when every ‘cunning’ act she demonstrated involved using nothing but her looks and sexuality to get whatever the job is done! I’m sorry, are we supposed to pretend those were examples of intelligent, feminine prowess of the highest form? Give me a break; Heather Trott from Eastenders could’ve pulled that one out the hat.
Whilst we’re on the subject, I truly cannot stand these tactless actresses draping themselves all over the visuals, particularly when their skills consist of nothing but haughty expressions, pouting, and incredibly poor tantrums. Time and time again movie-makers use sex appeal as a way of making our gender seem a little witty, and end up rowing down stereotype-creek. I mean, really? Fainting episodes, come-ons and sex-slavery? Oh dears!
The visual effects, setting and action scenes were sufficiently impressive, but nothing tantalising. It seems a real shame to me that these directors, with all the tools at their disposal, consistently fail to distinguish themselves in the film industry, choosing to bring just a few lame crumbs to the table. To me it just feels like I keep getting invites to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, only to be greeted by a few caramel wafers and a mandarin flan. Not good enough.
Finally, the ending. This was down-right laziness if you ask me, and I knew from the very second that daft cow fell into the abyss that dear ol’ princey would just turn back time and make it all betters. And to my disappointment, he did. Not only that, but it was painfully obvious that the only reason the film ended this way was because A) The bitch can’t die, they’re destined to be together, and B) The film is called Prince Of Persia. The events that occur would result in Dastan becoming king, and it was obvious to me that the entire finale was all for the sake of saving the title. Pretty lame, eh?
So Alladin, Oops! I mean Dastan, goes back in time with all he’s learned and stops his uncle before the **** hits the fan, then swans off with the princess anyway! Who, incidentally, no longer gives a crap about all the beloved villagers they slaughtered when invading her kingdom, as she had done before. Fickle cow. Subsiquently, did anyone remember the Hassansin dudes with all the snakes? You know, the freaky guys with the black robes that were sent to kill them…? Oh, they irrelevant now. Alrighty then…
All in all, the film’s only worth a go purely for the sake of the adorable ostriches, Gyllenhaal’s gorgeousness, and Kingsley’s famously disgruntled face. I’ll give it a 5/10
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