When I realized that there was going to be a Prince of Persia movie, I swallowed hard until I realized that it was a Jerry Bruckheimer. When I found that out, I realized that the worst thing you could say about Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is that it was maybe going to be a little unpleasant. Maybe. Bruckheimer movies are a lot like pizza in that, even when they’re bad, they’re still pretty good.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time follows the young orphaned street boy who would one day become Prince, Dastan (which vaguely relates to pompous pronouncements in the beginning and end of the film about “destiny”, a theme they will briefly beat into our skulls before proceeding on to almost completely ignore it) who catches the king’s attention with “a display of courage”. Jump ahead about ten, fifteen years or so to where the now three royal brothers (who are actually getting along pretty well despite the fact that their dad tacked on another kid by virtue of his awesome parkour skills) poised to attack a holy city on the strength of totally incorrect intelligence (sound familiar?). And while one of the brothers is hunting for weapons of mass destruction, or the medieval equivalent (sound even more familiar?) a plot has come up on the king that will leave Dastan running for his life and trying desperately to save his life, the life of the beautiful princess that’s suddenly in tow, and his very empire.
When I bought a ticket for this, I told them I wanted a ticket for Pirates of the Desert, and the guy at the counter couldn’t help but laugh. Because that’s pretty much what it is–it’s Pirates of the Caribbean in the desert, except this time we get Jake Gyllenhaal instead of Orlando Bloom and Gemma Arterton instead of Keira Knightley. Sadly, there is no replacement for Witty Jack, who was the best part of the whole thing, and thus we get something of a lesser experience.
I say something, of course, because it’s not like this is a bad movie. It drags in parts, and runs a bit long, and the last minute or so didn’t even need to be there. But we get lots of fighting and lots of action and sliding and jumping and, once again, those awesome parkour skills, so it’s decent enough summer fare, and will likely clean house for Memorial Day Weekend.
The Screenhead Ten Scale is a bit nonplussed by the whole thing, but has little reason to complain as Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time definitely did its job. It’s thin but entertaining, so you’ll likely enjoy it if only briefly, and thus it gets a six out of ten.