By definition, video game movies are a contradiction. One requires hours and hours of game play with a million different levels of action, and intricacies that have nothing to do with relatable human behavior or interesting character interaction. Movies are an entirely different beast. They must satisfy on a story and character level before any of the elaborate plot mechanics and visual razzle dazzle can make a satisfying impact.
All of this is to say that Prince of Persia is far from – pun intended – game changing. I’ll be nice and describe it as an expensive-looking, semi-successful attempt. It’s not as bad as Doom, where filmmakers actually resort to a first person, game player perspective – complete with kill count. But after watching the great balancing acts in the sand that are Raiders of the Lost Ark and Lawrence of Arabia (both excellent blends of epic action and character moments), I definitely vote for Bruckheimer and company to head back to the drawing board.
Unlike, say, Pirates of the Caribbean, whose bloat could be tolerated due to Johnny Depp’s ever-amusing Jack Sparrow creation, Prince’s desert sword-and-sorcery – a tale of feuding brothers wrestling for power in ancient Persia – has only the star of Donnie Darko at its center. Kudos to buffed-up Jake Gyllenhaal for not completey embarrassing himself, but his beefcake version of Jon Bon Jovi run amok in a video arcade offers nothing but dramatics and jokey asides. The same holds for Gemma Arterton as his exotic love interest. She looks great, but the chemistry of the duo is forced and shoehorned into a too-elaborate plot. As for Sir Ben Kingsley as the devious brother to the King…what’s the actor from Ghandi even doing in this project?
Thankfully, due to this weekend’s grosses (who thought Jake Gyllenhaal was a good idea to be the next Tom Cruise?), we’re probably saved Prince of Persia 2. Maybe I’m just being grouchy, but it was hard to take this guy in the desert after Indiana and Lawrence of Arabia. I know I’m not supposed to get too serious about it, but still, if summer movie rules are in effect, then I’m arguing for a 90 minute limit for all would-be epics that fall short. On a more positive note, we’re a quarter of the way to the 100 day mark, and my appreciation for movies that pass the quality test couldn’t be more sky high.
Prince of Persia, Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley
Cheap attempt to make more money on the video game. The movie is 90 percent cgi, and the actors are superfluous to the film, something which tends to be typical of what is called a movie nowdays. The more cgi, the better the movie to the new movie goers. Acting is not a quality needed in most new movies, with the actors doing most of their acting in front of a blue or green screen, never seeing even what the background is, until it is filled in by the computer. Video games should remain video games, and not by some feeble attempt be made into movies.
I came into the 100 days thing late,so I am reading all these reviews late. And I am having a blast!!! I liked the story here,and appreciated JG's efforts,he always works hard. But thats not really what i wanted to say here....so..without further ado....I AM TIRED OF CGI!!!!!! Actors simply don't work as hard when technology is the star...it even affected Depp's Hatter....any thoughts???
sorry, but i disagree that actors don't have 2 wk as hard- i think they have 2 wk harder 2 look convincing acting in a blank studio w/a pile of mattresses and crates as a backdrop & an acting partner made out of a stick w/a ball at the end, or some such thing. i think what will actually happen is that a new kind of acting/actor will start to emerge. not better certainly, but different skill set. they'll have 2 b really good @ acting in a vaccuum without any visual/emotional stimulation for the performance.
that said, i don't always love CGI-dependent films, nor do i think that every freakin' movie should indiscriminately b in 3D! haven't seen Prince of Persia & didn't expect much of it, despite JG, so my "not bloody likely" rating remains
If you turn your brain off, this is one of the better movies based on a video game. The action's fun and at least Jake Gyllenhaal's tolerable. You could do worse for a summer movie. It's not as bad as The Mummy sequels.
It's definitely better than the Mummy sequels, but you also have to remember how desperate they were to make this movie after so many flops. It's Disney's last chance.
The movie was ok. i just wish i would have waited till it came on cable.
I thouroughly enjoyed this movie since I accepted it for what it was: an action movie based on a video game! The entire purpose was to invoke the romance, magic, and treachery you experience while playing the game. I brought along my 10 year-old son, who has beaten a few of the Prince of Persia games, and we thought it was great fun. The "sand" special effects were gorgeous and the fighting was fast-paced and never dull. Although Jake was hot, hot, hot I would have appreciated a more racially accurate lead character. I agree that the sexual tension was forced and flat at times. The evil villians were creative, wish we'd seen more of them!! I agree that Ben Kingsley seemed out of place because he needed more film time.
I'm Persian, actually, and Jake was the most convincingly Persian-looking character to me. He could have passed as a half Persian. Since his background is unknown in the film, that's what I assumed he was. Now, Gemma as the Princess Tamina, that's a TOTALLY different story! She wasn't convincing at all based on ethnicity.
Well the attempt of an exotic warm temperature action epic fell a bit short but left an embryonic stage image to mind of Aladdin meets Indiana swishing around like a weak cocktail. Jake Gyllenhaal did a fine job as a believable action star and is beginning to hone his craft with a natural charm and tongue and cheek humor. The set, costumes, sweeping scenary, and story where all there. Even the semi-forced chemistry love story was tolerable. The question I asked though was what was it that kept this movie from living up to trailer preview expectations and nostalgia for summer epic fantasy? After thinking about it for a few moments immediate post-view of film I realized that the script never evoked emotion from me, albeit a few laughs.
My thoughts, too. The sets, scenery, story and Jake's Aladdin meets Indiana Jones are tolerable, but there's nothing to connect to. If you want to just go for a ride, it gets the job done, but it's nothing new or memorable.
The movie falls short because it is a video game made into a movie. Video games lack all sense of reality and are pure fantasy. Movie goers need to believe what they see on screen could be possible in order for them to be drawn into the story and empathize with the characters, or hate them, etc. CGI makes good video games, but takes the reality out of film. Who can feel for a CGI Godzilla? Yes, the old one was a rubber costume, but in a sense it was real, could be felt, touched, three dimensional, and was able to make you forget about the person inside, or the strings holding up Rodan.
I believe it was Chris Rock in Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back and not Chris Tucker.
Come on guys, you were expecting Raiders of the Lost Ark? If you check your brain in at the door, and just go along for the ride, the movie has lots of action and at least Gyllenhaal attempts to be a credible action star. The movie's fun and cheeky and not meant to be serious.
I agree, this isn't as bad as Mummy 2 or Van Helsing, but it won't be remembered three months from now, let alone three decades from now.
This wasn't a horrible movie, but I wouldn't say it was good either (well maybe good at filling time, if you have time to waste). Everything in this film had a really "paint-by-numbers" feel to it. Less then 10 minutes in, I started wondering if Mike Newell was ever onset and started hearing the voice of Chris Tucker's Chaka Luther King in the back of my head. "I film this ****, I yell cut and then I get the ^^^^ outta here..." (Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back). Something tells me that this film will not be playing at the Areo theater 30 years from now to a sold out crowd like Raiders of the Lost Ark & the Temple of Doom.
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