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USA. 2010. Directed by Mike Newell. Screenplay by Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard. Story by Jordan Mechner. Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley

Rating: ★★★½

To bring out yet another film based on a video game (and with the quality of past video game films like Tomb Raider, Doom, etc) immediately heightened my critical scepticism. But as soon as the first scene leapt on screen, I was pleasantly entertained from start to end. Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney already accomplished a similar feat when they brought Pirates of the Caribbean to the big screen, a movie based on a theme park ride and reigniting the spark in a overly common dwindling genre.

There was really nothing I could criticise too harshly about the film. Some of the scenic choices seen in Prince of Persia were nothing short of breathtaking. The storyline and character development were just enough of an explanation to move the plot along without taking away from the action. No useless characters or WTF dialogue. The theme explores the idea of strong family values, which is a unique take on Hollywood’s usual action packed box office films. It took all the best parts of the original game bringing back the childhood nostalgia but finely tuned the good old Prince of Persia experience. The protagonist prince Dastan (Gyllenhaal) was introduced to the audience as loveable character, immediately intriguing us to follow this underdog’s story. Gyllenhaal who really bulked up for the roll showed off his impressive athleticism and fancy footwork which gave the action scenes a distinct look and feel; and frankly less boring to watch.

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**Spoiler Alert**
Of course there were annoying little flaws here and there throughout the film that could have been addressed better. Like the occasional awkward romantic moments between Dastan & Princess Tamina (Atertan) or the underuse of the Dagger in critical moments. And worse of all the typical Disney airy fairy happy ending which is as bad as ‘I woke up and it was all a dream’ (an amazing dream at that). But overall entertaining and amusing for what it was, great cinematography, likable characters portrayed by decent actors and an original plot and theme delivered through substantial script and storytelling.

There was no distinctly stupid or funny scene that I can recall, but I did love the 360degree rotation of Dastan standing on the roof’s edge during battle. Which reminded me a lot of the Assassin’s Creed video game and for an instant I thought he’d jump off and land in a shallow hay barrel (often used in the game). But instead he tied a rope to his ankle and managed to jump into the level below in one swift impossible manoeuvre, that gave me a little chuckle.

Looking forward to the next Jerry Bruckheimer & Disney collaboration - The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
 


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