Over the years I’ve seen many, many movies. Some have been incredible and downright unforgettable. Others come and go, scattering among your memories like sand in the wind. I completely forgot about Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, a film that my sister and I picked on for years after watching the movie back in 2011, but when it was announced that it would be coming to Disney+ I had to give it a look.
The movie was better and worse than I remembered.
First off, at the time, I had no idea who Jake Gyllenhaal was so he was a brand new face to me. Now, after seeing him in Spider-Man: Far from Home where he plays the really cool antagonist Quentin Beck/Mysterio/almost-fatherly-figure-to-Peter-Parker, I couldn’t help feeling weird seeing him as this supposedly hot, British-accented Persian prince who was not afraid to show he had been working out.
I mean, this is literally his first scene in the movie which features him fighting some random guy shirtless in a meaningless brawl. Hilarious!
In fact, the main reason why I revisited this movie was to laugh at the absurdity of it all.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time feels like Assassin’s Creed and Aladdin combined into a film that could’ve been straightforward and enjoyable but turned out to be ultimately bogged down by horrible editing.
The first thirty minutes feel like the moviemakers are trying to get the movie over as quickly as possible as the story shifts from scene to scene, setting to setting, day to night, in an instant, leaving you whirling as you’re trying to decipher what the heck is going on! Finally, once the story calms down and allows things to happen gradually, you begin to get into the movie and understand what’s going on.
Then in casual conversation, the main protagonists Dastan (Gyllenhaal) and Tamina (Gemma Arterton) are caught by an angry ostrich racer who happens to say that a week has passed since he last saw them and I felt like:
The movie moves at such a breakneck speed that the incident between their escape and capture by the maniacal ostrich racer felt like a day. It was just….
All in all, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time has a 37% Rotten Tomatoes score for a reason. Unlike the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise which continuously, at the time, doled out fun adventures with characters that were legitimately enjoyable, this movie suffers from a lack of clear direction.
Gyllenhaal, as good an actor as he is, cannot save this movie in the same way that Tom Cruise couldn’t save The Mummy. His character, Dastan, is supposed to be that reckless, charming sort that looks for trouble but ends up being a chivalrous hero by the conclusion of the film, a concept we’ve seen plenty of times in movies (just think of Han Solo but unfortunately, he’s not as likable as Han Solo.)
And Princess Tamina, (Dastan’s Princess Leia of sorts), is just…there. You can’t exactly say she’s a damsel in distress because she takes care of herself throughout most of the movie but still, she doesn’t add a whole lot of value to the story other than to be that romantic factor the movie called for.
Last time I watched Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time in 2011 I didn’t finish it. I did finish it this time around but…yeah, I won’t be watching this again for at least another nine years.
I’m giving this movie a solid 78 out of 100 and 3 out of 5 stars. It’s a very average film but it could’ve been worse. I still believe that Warcraft is the worst movie adaptation of a video game of all time.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have an amazing day.