'Prince of Persia' Trailer Preview

Jake Gyllenhaal in Prince of Persia: The Sands of TimeIt's too early to say this about a film adaptation from a video game, but I'm gonna: Based on an advance trailer screening for Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, the film is showing telltale signs of a 2010 blockbuster: big stars and a fun, fantasy-action storyline. Disney invited us and a slew of other media outlets to producer Jerry Bruckheimer's offices and private fortress where we watched the trailer twice. You'll soon see the trailer popping up online in a mass marketing effort to create more buzz, but 'til then, here's what you can expect:

1. A beefed up Jake Gyllenhaal – He's the Taylor Lautner of the movie, if you will. It was like watching a live-action Aladdin (who, I'm aware, is not Persian) leaping from rooftops and performing amazing parkour (physically overcoming obstacles) stunts, except this street rat isn't scrawny or cowardly.
2. Former Bond girl Gemma Arterton playing a stunning, dark-haired princess. From what we see, she's sort of the damsel in distress, but she can conk someone over the head with a precious-metal vase if she has to. She's also not afraid to quip snide remarks at her prince charming.
3. A lot of action and fantastical elements that expand on Jordan Mechner's 2003 video game, The Sands of Time, from the successful Prince of Persia game franchise. For those who've never heard of the video game, it centers on the titular prince using the Dagger of Time—which contains the Sands of Time—to turn back time to alter events, such as death, and save a captured princess.
 
Now, to expand on No. 1 and 2, to be honest, it's completely risible that Gyllenhaal and Arterton are both playing Middle Easterners, but if you can suspend your disbelief to be entertained by the concept of a magical dagger that turns back time, then you shouldn't have too much of a problem with the casting. The trailer starts off with Gyllenhaal standing atop a precipice, overlooking what seems to be ancient Persia. Quick cuts and zooms show him in full garb as Dartan, the adopted street urchin turned Persian prince.
 
Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
 
Arterton's voiceover narrates most of the trailer, setting up the plot surrounding the Dagger of Time: "There are those who would use this power to destroy the world. The only way to stop this Armageddon is for us to take the dagger to the secret Guardian Temple." The trailer pretty much shows Jake and Gemma on a LOTR-esque quest to reach the temple, encountering all kinds of antagonists who want to get their hands on the dagger: black-bandit swordsmen, an evil dude whose face is badly scarred, and some sort of demonic snake. There are no sand monsters, even though the game is full of them, but we'll let you know why when our Q&A with Bruckheimer and Mechner goes live.
 
Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton in Prince of Persia: The Sands of TimeThe scenes where Jake uses the dagger to release the Sands of Time look well-polished, although Bruckheimer says they're still working to perfect it. The first time Jake uses the dagger, the sand and an electric-like current course through him, and he sees himself being brought back in time to a moment where he and Gemma are lip locked. He's floating above himself and suddenly morphs back into his own body. "Only the holder of the dagger is aware of what's happening," says a man's ominous voice. I'm guessing that's Alfred Molina, the prince's mentor.
 
One clip has Jake showing off his physical strength by scaling up a wall, while arrows whiz by all around him. Jake and Gemma have a few comical, flirtatious moments, trying to one-up each other in zippy comebacks, and in the trailer's last few cuts, we see a scene of the two of them in a temple that's falling apart. The sand around them starts to sink in, more arrows whiz by and a destructive whirlwind finishes it off. While most movies adapted from video games don't translate to the screen too well, so far, Prince of Persia looks like a fun PG adventure. Check back soon for the trailer and the Q&A.
 
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