Film Review: "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time"

(Walt Disney Pictures. 1 hour, 56 minutes. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action. Directed by Mike Newell.) Jake Gyllenhaal (Dastan), Gemma Arterton (Tamina), Ben Kingsley (Nizam), Alfred Molina (Sheik Amar), Richard Coyle (Tus). Music by Harry Gregson-Williams.
After invading a rival city, adopted Persian prince Dastan (Gyllenhaal) finds a mysterious dagger that can control time. When he is framed for his father's death, he and the now-displaced Princess Tamina set out on a perilous quest to clear his name and find his father's killer. Finally, a videogame-turned-movie that's actually good.

I'll get this out of the way first: no, Jake Gyllenhaal is not Persian, or Middle Eastern of any sort. By the same token, neither is most of the main cast. It does feel like a missed opportunity to introduce some new faces into a mainstream movie, but the cast on-hand performs well enough (although, why everyone in ancient Persia sounds vaguely British I'll never know). The script, penned by Jordan Mechner, the creator of the Prince of Persia videogame series, is competent, making good use of the series' time-shifting mechanics and even providing some repartee for Gyllenhaal and the lovely Arterton. It also had a similar feel to the Pirates of the Caribbean series, which is not surprising given Jerry Bruckheimer's involvement and a very Hans Zimmer-esque score from Gregson-Williams. It's big, it's entertaining and well worth the watch.
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Jared Counts

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Jared Counts moved to Houston in 1995, survived high school and college, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a degree in Communications (Media Production) and a minor in Film Studies...