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The Sands Moved Slow in ‘The Prince of Persia’

posted by Douglas Howe

While I waited to get home from a business trip to see “Sex and the City 2″ with my girls, I went in to see “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.” I figured “hey, it’s a Jerry Bruckheimer film,” so for sure it will be good at the least and I may even be surprised. And knowing some of the people who did the soundtrack, I knew that would be good.
Wow, what a dissapointment! Not the music, it was great. Not the special effects, they were really good. But when you make a big movie, why does the story have to be so lame? And how can the hero be inspiring when he doesn’t even get too banged up?
I had previously thought “Robin Hood” would be my disappointment of the summer (and wow, was that a disappointment!) but I was wrong. I’m glad I only paid 11 bucks to see it myself and not $66 to take my whole family!
Jake Gyllenhaal is obviously trying to break out of some previous type casting in this movie, and maybe I was too skewed by some of his prior (and wonderful) roles. But I saw him as more heroic in “October Sky” than I did here the hero Dastan. Just too plain. Just not deep enough. To recreate this period without a more serious reflection on the spirituality of the time and the role of faith in the heroes was even more discouraging. And if you’re not deep, you can’t be inspirational.
“Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” is based on a video game, and admittedly I’m not a video game guy so perhaps some of the nuances were lost on me. And maybe I was still jaded after just having seen The Gladiator flop in Robin Hood. The title makes it seem like there’s a “Prince of Persia” sequel coming. If so, I hope they go deeper, investing more in the script and perhaps a bit less in thousands upon thousands of special effects deaths which neither inspire nor entertain.



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