Review: Prince of Persia (2010) (Lost In The Sands Of Time…)

You don’t understand what’s at stake. This is a matter for the gods.

Disney, what have you done? I am eight years late to the party, but last night I watched Prince of Persia…If I could call this a 12A version of 300, it would nearly be accurate. But it wouldn’t do justice to the awfulness of this film. Of course, film adaptions of video games are almost never worthwhile. Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Super Mario Bros…the list goes on of video games massacred by the medium of film (and Uwe Boll). Prince of Persia is another beloved video game to be butchered by film studios. There is little positive to say about the film, apart from it being ALMOST enjoyable trash. The terrible chemistry between the Prince and the Princess, Dr. Octopus’ terrible attempts at comedy, Ben Kingsley hamming it up as a dastardly villain, average action scenes, insensible plot…

First of all, for a film set in Persia, the lead cast looks very American. Kingsley is once again tanned, this time not for Gandhi, but for an evil mastermind. And all the cast have a ridiculous OTT British accent that is quite repulsive. Although it’s set a very long time ago, they all have a peculiar sense of 21st century morals. Funny how often that happens in films that take place in ancient times! Sliding down some sand, Jake Gyllenhaal (the Prince of Persia!) shouts ‘WOAH!’ I nearly vomited. We know how it’s going to end in the first fifteen minutes: he’ll get the girl and save the day. There is even a Titanic scene (“I’ll never let go!”) to persuade the audience that the Princess might die, but the scripting is so awful that I actually wanted her to die. For good.

All the pain in the world will not help you find something that does not exist.

Don’t watch this film. Just play the game!

And, was it just me, or was this film a really obvious allusion to the Iraq War? The Persians find that people of Alamut are selling expertly forged swords (WMDs!!!) to Persia’s enemies, so invade Alamut and occupy it. However, we later find out that there are no sword forgeries in Alamut! Then who put those weapons there? Hold on, the King of Persia’s brother, who wants the throne to himself! To do this, he must find the Dagger of Time and the Sandglass of Time, to go back in time and ensure his brother, the king, dies. Thus he will hold the throne.

And where does this Sandglass reside? Alamut! Surely the Sands of Time are equated with oil? There are even hints at private troops, such as Blackwater, who do Persia’s dirty work. These are the ‘Hassansins.’ Dr. Octopus’ character, Sheik Amar refers to these as “a government secret killing society. That’s why I don’t pay taxes!’ So, a mass empire invading a sovereign country under false pretences; sound familiar? And releasing the sands of time can cause the end of the world…climate change? A world torn apart my mistrust?

Princess Tamina, says “Everything changes with time. We should know best of all.” After seeing this film, I’m not so sure! This is the kind of ‘foreign epic’ Hollywood/Disney has been doing for years. Get popular American/British actors to play foreign people. Give them a silly accent (usually British). Give the actors a tan, depending on the location of the film. Write a thoroughly Western script, ignoring the culture of said location. And Bob’s Your Uncle! Of course, the best thing to do is base the film on a real historical character/event. Oscars usually come that way, if not lots of money. But, if you’re really struggling, loosely base the film on a computer game. Then you have Prince of Persia!

VERDICT: 3/10. There have been worse video game adaptations, and there will be worse ones in the future. Prince of Persia is a great example of an awful video game adaptation!

What did you think of  Prince of Persia (2010)? Leave your thoughts/comments below!

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