Yes, it's true, Jerry Bruckheimer finally adapted a Cher song. Ok, ok, so that's not the full truth. The full truth is that he adapted a video game, or so I'm told. I'm not big into video games so I couldn't really tell you whether or not it's a faithful adaptation, but what I can tell you is...well I'll get to that. Before I do so, I have a little something to take care of.
Dear Jake Gyllenhaal-
I know that this statement makes me pretty much the same as almost every other single woman, and some single men, in this world, but you're the most attractive person, perhaps on this planet right now. Jerry Bruckheimer and Mike Newell knew exactly what they were doing when they went after you for this role because, let's face it, Prince of Persia doesn't really stand on story alone, does it? But your scruff and buff are enough to make up for it, almost. If you're ever looking for someone to take to dinner or walk down a red carpet, I'm an honest, adorable, well-spoken college graduate who prefers the champagne of beer (Miller High Life for the uninformed) to pina coladas and if I'm getting caught in the rain they're better be a really good reason for it. I attempt to be humorous and sometimes succeed. In short, yes Jake Gyllenhaal, I'll marry you.
Good, now that that's done, on with the review.
Prince of Persia is the story of Dastan, adopted Prince of, well, Persia (didn't you read the title?). After an opening sequence that almost had me believing Abu the monkey or that Robin Williams might make a voiceover appearance (good thing both Aladdin and Prince are Disney production otherwise someone might have some 'splaining to do) we watch as Dastan goes from ragamuffin rescue to rebellious royal. He's gruff and short on manners, but what he lacks in class he makes up for in....sparring. That's what I was going for, sparring. He and his two brothers are getting ready to sack yet another city to bring into the fold of the Persian empire and although not quite convinced it's the right move, Dastan's a warrior and so, consider Alamut sacked. What resides in Alamut is not only a beautiful princess played by Gemma Arterton(for the menfolk to ogle), but a mysterious dagger which, curiously enough, contains the sands of time.
What follows is a Disnodyssey which leads to the Persian capitol and back to Alamut. Along the way, there's a shady businessman (played to almost perfection by Alfred Molina), some underhanded family dealings and lots and lots of leaping from building to building in slow motion. All leading to a final confrontation in which we find out what happens when the Sands of Time get released.
Here's the deal: Prince of Persia is nothing more than a popcorn movie. It's not good, critically, but it is enjoyable and at least LOOKS really good, and I'm talking about besides Mr. Gyllenhaal. The sets, the costumes, the CGI, the stunts, all are fairly impressive. It's certainly style over substance, but I was prepared for that. I still got my 115 minutes of swooning like a schoolgirl. There were tons of nods to Indiana Jones and Lord of the Rings, and at one point, I was almost certain that the set used was the same as the set from National Treasure, but still, this movie didn't offend me to the point of illiciting a strong emotional response from me.
If you're a casual Gyllenhaal fan, or not a fan at all, you'll want to wait for rental release. Still, it's an enjoyable, turn your brain off family movie that, if for some reason, you're forced to go see, you'll probably enjoy. In my opinion, National Treasure still ranks at the top for Bruckheimer/Disney collaborations, without any real challenge from this spectacle, but it did pique my interest in at least one more thing besides the inexplicably handsome Gyllenhaal...ostrich racing!
Overall, as much as it pains me, 2 out 5 mystical daggers
but still, Jake, call me!