When it comes to movies based on video games, they generally are not very good. I haven’t played Prince of Persia the video game, so I knew nothing about this storyline. So, when I heard about this movie, I knew that it was a movie based on a video game but that was it. I saw the trailer and I thought it looked pretty appealing. Heavy action and stunt work, fantasy-themes and some fine actors usually make for something worthwhile in my opinion. Then I saw a behind-the-scenes segment on the film (although I can’t remember exactly where I saw this). In that segment, many of the actors involved were talking about how this movie was finally going to “deliver the goods” as a quality film based on a video game. I got a little more excited when I heard that.
As it turns out, “Prince of Persia” does indeed deliver on that promise! I found the movie to be a perfect summertime action-packed film that was pretty engaging. The storyline gives you a brief brush-over to cover the background of the tale. It was short and sweet and gave you the right amount of detail. It quickly rolls right into the core of the story and I found myself quickly engaged with the characters. I was wondering right away “who is behind the conspiracy?” THAT, Ladies and Gentlemen, is exactly what you want from an audience. You want them to be engaged. The film moves from action sequence right into major storyline development. The first action in the movie is a very typical Universal movie set, or at least it had that feel to it. After that though, I didn’t see too much of that movie-set feel in the rest of the film.
The story is a classic tale. Heroic Prince is accused of crime. Heroic Prince is innocent and must find a way to clear his name. Heroic Prince takes on desperate plan to clear his name and has to rely on others help to complete said task. Along the way, Heroic Prince falls for beautiful but troublesome and feisty princess. Hell breaks loose, and major excitement grips you. That’s my summary without giving away too much.
This film just has that perfect summertime movie appeal! I love these kinds of movies. You buy a ticket to another world when you pick a movie like this to see. As a matinee, it is perfect. You enter into a air-conditioned dark theatre after being in the blazing heat of the day and this film offers you up a sweeping panorama of the desert of the Persian Empire. Immediately, you begin to forget what you were doing just before entering the theatre. That’s the part I like the most. Let’s face it, movies help you let go of reality for a little while and be truly entertained. “Prince of Persia” can truly give you that experience!
Jake Gyllenhaal is very good at his role as Prince Dastan and I am sure that this will be the 1st of several “Prince” films that he will do. He’s not giving an Oscar-worthy performance here, but he gives an appropriate depth to the character he plays. Okay, so half the people in the film neither look or sound Persian, but I didn’t dwell on that aspect of the film. The special effects were not so overblown that they took away from the story. That was a nice touch. I mean, I went in there thinking that the special effects could be most of the film, and instead I saw enough to say that they were in just the right quantity. Jake might have been my 1st choice for the role, but I liked him in it.
Gemma Arterton plays Princess Tamina, the protagonist in the movie. I have to say, she’s going to have one heck of a career! She has a very identifiable voice, which makes her all the more appealing for these fantasy films. She has a sort of ethereal quality to her that makes her seem otherworldly. That’s the best definition I can give to her, I suppose. Regardless, she was a bright spot in the recent “Clash of the Titans” as Io the Muse. Here, she’s a sassy priestess/princess/guardian which I think she did very well. She’s no Princess Leia as far as comparisons go on the sassiness, but she gave her character a real-world sense. She grounds the character instead of making her just a pretty thing that plays the damsel in distress. I get the sense that she will be in many more similar films because of these roles.
I definitely recommend “Prince of Persia” as a great need-a-break-from-the-summer-heat kind of entertainment!
…and that’s it for this edition of THE REEL VOICE.