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Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Hello MoFo, this is my first movie review. Hoping I didn't do too bad a job.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

My Rating: 5/10

I am not a fan of movies based on video games. Such movies (read Lara Croft, Max Payne etc etc) invariably lack a story and screenplay, and compensate this by having a lot of senseless and mindless action with a heavy cover of special effects. I went to see Prince of Persia without any expectations and found that this movie is no different. There isn't a shred of storyline in the entire 116 minutes of the movie (any sensible storyline anyways).

The Acting: It is very disappointing to see Jake Gyllenhaal in such a role. I have immensely liked him in October Sky, Donnie Darko, Zodiac and Brokeback mountain but in this movie he looked very very ordinary. He tried hard to come off as an action hero but for me he was just average, something I do not associate with him.
The support cast is just about alright. The only one who stood out was Alfred Molina. He was rather good with his comic timing in an otherwise ordinary performance from the rest of the cast.
The biggest disappointment for me was Ben Kingsley as Nizam, the main antagonist in the movie. This is largely due to the weak writing. His character is never developed properly. What should have been a strong performance by a great actor is reduced to being bland and unconvincing. To add insult to injury, he looks absolutely stupid in the movie with all the mascara he is wearing.

Director Mike Newell simply goofed this one up. A weak script to start with, poor casting choices (His entire cast save Jake Gyllenhaal is basically British and the movie is set in Persia) and a general lack of character development has hurt his film. I guess he went the commercial way instead of focusing on making a good movie. I'd have rather preferred if he had followed Mel Gibson's suit (as in Apocalypto) and done something to make the characters of his film more authentic.

The saving grace for Prince of Persia is its cinematography and art direction. The Persian landscape is beautiful to say the least. The action is good and the movie has a lively pace. The CGI is pretty good I thought, and it even gives that video game-ish look to the action sequences.

All in all, its an average movie. Watch it with no expectations and you might just like it. But I suggest, play the video game instead.