Movie Review: Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

Word Count: 812  |  Estimated time to read entry: 10 min

“There are only 2 kinds of people in this world, those who have played Prince of Persia and those who haven’t”.

Image source: IMDb

It won’t come as a surprise to people following my FB updates that I am a die-hard fan of the Prince, having played all 4 games and eagerly awaiting the next. While this could mean I’d be unfairly biased in my review, it also puts me in a position to assess the movie better wrt the game.

And since I have been watching as many good movies as I have been playing good games over the last 2 years, I have decided to split this review into 2 perspectives to avoid any last traces of bias and to keep the review relevant, depending on the kind of person you are – refer my quote above 😉

GAMER’S PERSPECTIVE:

If you are as ardent an admirer of the Prince as I am, you wouldn’t even be reading this review in the first place because you already know the movie is superb. It brings the legend alive! The setting is good, Jake Gyllenhaal looks astoundingly similar to the character we so admire. Many of the moves – the wall run, the ledge swing, the masterly wielding of the sword, avoiding the death traps are all neatly and realistically portrayed. The movie is exciting and fast-paced and the action sequences are fantastic. And with the Rewind of Time by pressing the gem on the Dagger of Time, the spirit of the game is kept alive.

But is the movie as good as the game? No! Despite the settings, there is a lot of Americanism in the movie which was hardly noticeable in the game. Other characters like Farah and Vizier are changed to Tamina and Nizam respectively and they are nothing great in the movie. Some of the fatal moves of the Prince like the Vault attack, Asha’s Fury, Breath of fate, Wall rebound and other environment based attacks are totally missing, which is a big let down. The puzzles and turnstile based sequences have also been excluded and the sand beasts, the concubines, Dahaka, Shadee, Golem and all other bosses are completely missing. A new breed of enemies, The Hassansins, has been created and they are good!

What is most unpardonable is that the soundtrack is a complete let down and it is no where close to Stuart Chatwood’s fantastic track ‘Time only knows’ for the game.

The Prince is not as gentle as he was in ‘Sands of Time’ neither is he the merciless, blood thirsty guy we knew in ‘Warrior Within’ – he is somewhere in between. The red sash seen in the poster is not seen in the movie at all.

All said, the movie is not as good as the game but it is thoroughly entertaining and as close to the game you can get. For a gamer who has played even 30 min into any PoP game, this is a must watch.

Rating: 8.5/10

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MOVIE BUFF’S PERSPECTIVE:

If you have never heard of Prince of Persia let alone played a min into the game, you will want to watch this movie for some really great action sequences. It is a thoroughly entertaining watch and really exciting. The story line is tight and gripping and requires no prior knowledge about the Prince or anything related to the game at all. For once, I found most of the accent understandable and Alfred Molina is hilarious in the movie.

Jake Gyllenhaal looks terrific and the gals might want to see the movie for him alone. Gemma Arterton has managed to keep most of her clothes on most of the times and still looks good, if that is any motivation for the guys 😉

But with a reputation like the all-time great ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ behind them, Walt Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer have failed to create as much an appeal in this movie. Though a mindless and inappropriate comparison, Captain Jack Sparrow seems a far greater hero than the Prince of Persia. It is not that Jake Gyllenhaal fell short, it is just that Johnny Depp is simply par excellence! I see no other reason why, with (most) other things being equal, there is such an enormous difference in the two movies. My honest opinion is that this movie would have been far more successful had it been an animation movie.

Therefore, don’t expect to be as entertained by this movie if you (like me) have seen and liked all three parts of POTC.

Overall, this is a movie you can watch once and forget. This, unlike POTC, isn’t the kind of movie you will store in your DVD collection and want to watch again and again on lazy Sunday afternoons.

Rating: 7.0/10

PS: IMDb rates this 6.8 and IMO this wont exceed 7 after 10,000 votes. Would be surprised if this crosses 7.2 but then there are always gamer fans like me!


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