There is something for everyone, a little action, a little romance, a little comedy, and of course being a Disney film, a good moral. Prince of Persia may not be the best action film ever made, it does not have the most intricate special effects, but it does have a story line that will keep you interested and leads you can't take your eyes off of!
Prince of Persia is based on the Ubisoft game (developed in Montreal) of the same title that came out in 1989. The film follows the story of the unlikely Prince Dastan, played by the very fit Jake Gyllenhaal, who was adopted by the King of the Persian Empire after young Dastan put his own life on the line to save another young boy's. Dastan was raised the same as the king's two blood-sons, and became an excellent warrior.
On the Persian quest to expand their empire, Dastan and his two brothers (Richard Coyle and Toby Kebbell) decide, against their father's orders, to invade the holy city of Alumut. The brothers are guided to invade by their Uncle Nazim (Sir Ben Kingsley) who says that the Alumutians were forging weapons and selling them to enemies of the empire.
The Persians storm the city, and take claim. The princes also take their prizes, the eldest taking the beautiful, and feisty Princess of Alumut, Tamina (Gemma Arterton) as one of his wives, while Prince Dastan takes a beautiful dagger. What the princes do not know is that dagger is the actual reason for invading Alumut. It is a one of a kind artefact that can turn back the sands of time.
Even though he does not know it yet, with the dagger in his possession Dastan is extremely powerful, but also must run for his life. He was set up by his Uncle Nazim to make it seem as though he murdered his father. Nazim did this so that Dastan could be tried, or killed and Nazim could take the dagger to turn back time and change the coarse of history to give him the life he wanted.
Dastan skilfully escapes Alumut with the help of Princess Tamina, who is the guardian of the dagger. The path to secure the dagger, and the safety of themselves and the world, is full of action and adventure.
Prince of Persia may not become the franchise Jerry Bruckheimer hopes for, like Pirates of the Caribbean, but like any other summer blockbuster it is entertaining and fun. The gamers in the audience will like the film because it reflects the game, even giving the audience a look at all the different options of where to go at one point. There are also exciting chase and fight scenes that the actors trained in parkour to be able to accomplish and impress the audience with. There is also comic relief that cleverly reflects current political situations with the character of Sheik Amar played by Alfred Molina. The classic love/hate romance is also thrown in for the girls who went with their boyfriends (or to see Gyllenhaal's buff bod!), and the dynamic between the leads is very fun to watch.
The acting was strong, Gyllenhaal conveys the drama extremely well, and Kingsley brings a sly evil uncle to life with all the nuanced acting you would expect from such a seasoned pro. Mike Newell (also directed Harry Potter) truly brings to life ancient Persia and all the action, as well as mystique that goes along with it. It most probably won't be the best blockbuster of the summer, but it has substance, and it's fun!