Director: Mike Newell
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben
Kingsley, Alfred Molina, Toby Kebbell, Selva Rasalingam, Daud
Shah, Ambika Jois, Gísli Örn Garðarsson, Richard
RunTime: 1 hr 56 mins
Released By: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Official Website: http://adisney.go.com/disneypictures/princeofpersia/
Opening Day: 27 May 2010
the team that brought the "Pirates of the Caribbean"
trilogy to the big screen, Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry
Bruckheimer Films present PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME,
an epic action-adventure set in the mystical lands of Persia.
A rogue prince (JAKE GYLLENHAAL) reluctantly joins forces
with a mysterious princess (GEMMA ARTERTON) and together,
they race against dark forces to safeguard an ancient dagger
capable of releasing the Sands of Time—a gift from the
gods that can reverse time and allow its possessor to rule
Admit it, Jake Gyllenhaal and his rippling muscles are the real stars of this summer blockbuster. And when we say rippling, we mean lean and mean bulging solid chunks of muscles. Great job, Mr. Gyllenhaal, for transforming from everyone’s favourite gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain (2005) to everyone’s favourite muscle machine. The rugged Oscar nominated star has apparently “over prepared” for this role, putting on five or six pounds of muscles so that he can play the protagonist of the movie. The efforts have paid off, considering how his fans would have lots to ogle at.
Sure, this latest Jerry Bruckheimer Films production distributed by Walt Disney Pictures has action, adventure and fantasy. It even has a gorgeous female character dressed in elegantly dazzling outfits in the form of Gemma Arterton (just when you thought her character spouted a tad too much self important dialogue in Louis Leterrier’s Clash of the Titans, she is back with even more serious sounding lines in this movie). But who can deny the fact that Gyllenhaal’s physique is the real attraction here?
And before you misunderstand this male reviewer, let him set the record straight that he is not, err, the type who would go gaga over well built hunks with rippling chests. He is, well, just stating the reason why this swashbuckling flick will make a handsome profit at the box office.
Loosely based on the 2003 video game of the same name, this movie tells the story of a street urchin in Persia. His bravery is acknowledged by the king who adopts him, and before long, he grows up to be the titular Prince of Persia. He teams up with a rival princess to prevent evil forces from unleashing a sandstorm that can destroy the world. Will the bickering duo succeed in racing against time to save the world from perishing?
But of course.
This is a summer blockbuster, and a happy ending is one important formula. That, and an almost silly storyline which does not make much sense. You see, people do not pay to watch a summer blockbuster to get satisfaction from feeling intelligent after wrecking their brains for a good two hours. They want mindless action – lots of them. Yes, and eye candy helps too. And that is why producer Jerry Bruckheimer, after success stories in the forms of popcorn movies like the National Treasure and Pirates of the Caribbean series, has these ingredients ready for his viewers.
There is plenty of computer generated effects to please the mass audience in the movie’s 116 minutes, and they are pretty impressive too. Look out for the sweeping landscape shots of the grand and majestic Persia, the wowing scenes where characters (mainly Gyllenhaal) travel back in time using, get this – specks of sand. There must be a reason why this movie has a budget of US$150 million. The production values are high: Remarkable cinematography by John Seale (Cold Mountain), intricate production design by Wolf Kroeger (Eragon) and an engaging ethnic sounding score by Harry Gregson-Williams (The Taking of Pelham 123).
Director Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) directs the beefy Gyllenhaal and the somewhat absurd Arterton as the squabbling pair who goes on this sandstorm adventure. They are complemented by the always reliable Sir Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina who deliver great performances as the movie’s antagonist and comic relief respectively. As for Gyllenhaal’s rippling muscles, they also give their best to earn their place in the entertaining movie.
(This summer blockbuster does its job of providing popcorn entertainment, so let’s not be too harsh with it)
Review by John Li