A Prince Among Orphans:
Replace the word Prince with ‘brooding male model’ and Persia with ‘the well-tanned white folk’, and you’ll have the real title for this movie.
Jake Gyllenhall, of October Sky and Jarhead, takes on the mantel of the adopted prince with a heart of gold bullion, armed with a time-defying dagger, navigating through a plot based roughly on the PS2, Xbox, and gamecube game bearing the same title.
Aside from every major actor being very un-Persian with accents that run the gamut between lightly British, flat-tongued American, and an almost comical middle-eastern that’s reminiscent of SNL’s ‘cheeburger’ skit, the two-dimensional characters are carried well enough to not bump the viewer from the freight train of action sequences and large-scale fights that inevitably blur together. The graphics are fantastic, as are most of the cities and ruins that serve as sandy playsets for the battles. The camera seems especially enthralled by Gyllenhall’s overworked biceps as he rope-swings, ledge-swings, rope-climbs, leaps, wall-sprints, and wireworks his way from one confrontation to the next.
Watching your bald head...
The relationship between the quietly cynical Prince of Persia and the rambunctious over-the-top independent Princess/Empress/Guardian/Priestess is so saccharin sweet it could give you a toothache. It would be a match worthy of the Disney channel if she didn’t meet his tragically misunderstood attempts at courtship by stabbing him, bludgeoning him in the head with a bone, insulting his intelligence, and finally falling for his boyish charm.
How It Tastes Going Down?
By the end of the movie I couldn’t help but feel that old familiar sense of let-down when a story sums itself up with a bit of time travel using a mystical plot-moving device. The character goes back, saves the day, and somehow robs me of exactly the same amount of time that it took him to find his balls and jump into the past. And anyone who didn’t see that coming from the very beginning of the movie probably couldn’t guess how See Spot Run would resolve.