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Richard Laurent Takes On PRINCE OF PERSIA!!

Merrick here...
Richard Laurent sent in this detaled look at the Bruckheimer produced, Mike Newell directed PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME, which hits theaters at the end of this month. This is a pretty nice/thorough write-up, which we really appreciate Richard taking the time to share with our readers. I'll get out of his way now and let his review do the rest.
Here's Richard Laurent...
I'm going to break this review down into a few segments. Avoid the Story section if you want to avoid spoilers. The rest of it should be relatively spoiler free. So, it's based on a video game series, and apparently one specific entry of that. I haven't played Prince of Persia since my Amiga 500 days, so my knowledge of the source material is minimal. I've seen the Pirates of the Caribbean films (the most obvious reference point for Prince of Persia), and while I didn't like the first one as much as I wanted too (it was too long, and I loved the concept far more than the execution), I genuinely disliked the sequels. Keep in mind that's the POV that the following is coming from. Story (spoilers) The titular Prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) is the black sheep of his family. Plucked by the King from obscurity in the slums, he has been taken into the royal family and is the youngest of three sons. While his brothers have their distinct roles (Prince Tus - Richard Coyle is preparing for his future role as the King, Prince Garsiv - Tony Kebbell heads up the army), Darstan is in control of a band of rag-tags who are unorthodox in their methods, but seemingly successful. The Princes believe that weapons are being hidden within the nearby city of Alamut, and after conferring with their uncle Nazim (Sir Ben Kingsley), they disobey the King's orders and perform an invasion on the city. Yes, it's a really loosely veiled metaphor for the Iraq invasion. Shrug it off because the rest of the plot offers little else of depth, just plenty of crowd-pleasing antics. Dastan's group enters through the rear, ignoring the military plan, but succeeding in breaching Alamut's walls. The others follow suit and the first battle begins. The Princess of Alamut is Tamina (Gemma Arterton) who insists that the city has nothing to hide and deserves none of this invasion. Long story short, Dastan ends up with a nifty looking dagger for his efforts, and provides his father, the King, with a gift of a robe that his brother Tus has passed onto him. However, the robe is poisoned, and Dastan must flee, believed to have murdered the king. Princess Tamina helps him escape and the two head on a journey to avoid trouble and clear Dastan's name. Tamina knows the secret of the dagger Dastan has procured, and has her own motivations for the journey. Darstan immediately suspects Tus of framing him, and attempts to locate his uncle Nazim during the funeral for his father. However, he realises that Nazim has been behind the King's murder. Dastan learns of the power that the mystical dagger holds, much to Tamina's chagrin, as he turns back time to avoid an attack from Tamina in order to steal the dagger back, using all the sand within the dagger in the process, as it can only turn back time for one minute before it's empty - unless you have the source of the Sands of Time running through it, constantly refilling it as sand runs out. Now both having some idea of what power they currently hold, as well as knowing that they need to refill the dagger and stop Nazim from procuring it, they continue on their journey so that Tamina can place the Dagger of Time in some safe temple. He and Tamina end up in the Valley of the Slaves, a den of gambling, entertainment, and run by Sheik Amar (Alfred Molina). Amar keeps them captive in the Valley, serving drinks and working at the ostrich races (no joke), until Tamina and Dastan make an escape. They spend the remainder of the second act trying to trust each other while avoiding Sheik Amar, until they team up with Amar and earn his respect and proceed to lose the dagger to Nazim. The third act basically consists of the motley crew (Dastan, Tamina, Amar, Amar's knife throwing guy) making a raid on Nazim's stronghold to steal the dagger back and stop him from turning back time far enough to when he saved the his brother, the King's life as they were children, thus ensuring that Nazim would rule as King and stopping the existence of the Princes. Everything goes as expected, and time is turned back to before the invasion of Alamut, leaving Dastan to make good on his earlier mistake of heading the invasion and destruction of the city, proving his worth to the royal family. He stops his uncle's plan before it starts, and proves that the threat to the King's life came from his brother. Tamina shares a knowing look with Dastan as, while only whoever is holding the Dagger of Time remembers how things were, she understands about the dagger, and thus knows what to expect. Oh, and there's a voiceover at the start, along with text at the opening and closing. It's about destiny. The film. It's a tale of destiny. If Batman Begins was about fear, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is about destiny. Let's move on. Performances So the big question here is obvious. How does Jake stand up to an action-adventure hero role? Pretty damn well actually. He's got the physical presence, the charm, the energy required for something like this. You know that kind of broad comedy that's wedged into every single mainstream blockbuster? He nails it. His interplay with Arterton's Tamina works well, at least on his side. Jake's going to come out of this smelling like roses and getting a fair few new job opportunities coming his way. A great pick by Bruckheimer. Oh, and his first action scene is climbing up the wall as the arrows are shot into it, as seen in one of the trailers. It's effortlessly fun. Arterton does less so. Remember the interplay between Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood in Raiders of the Lost Ark? Yeah… it ain't that good. It's more along the lines of their interplay in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It's not stilted, and it works to an extent, but it's certainly not a swing out of the park. She does the job, but the costumes don't allow her to be "sexy" enough compared to Quantum of Solace, and she comes out of the film okay, but really cannot hold up to Jake's Dastan. That's not her fault, but more in the scripting of the thing. Dastan's funny. engaging, and Gyllenhaal pulls this off perfectly. Arterton tries to match him but doesn't quite get there. Doesn't mean she's not decent in it, but she comes off second best. Sir Ben as Nazim chews the scenery, particularly in the third act. He's doing this for fun and it shows. He does the job, but he's underwhelming compared to what you know he can deliver. The other performance highlight (besides Jake) is Alfred Molina. We're talking about a character that hates taxes, governments, loves gambling and debauchery, and more importantly, the money that comes from it. Molina is really funny and definitely brings something to the table. He's having a blast making this film, and it shows every moment that he's on screen. Direction It's at this point I'd like to trademark the term "Prince of Parkour". Yes, I know it's in the game, but anyone who hasn't played the games will immediately notice the amount of free-running that is in every chase or action scene in this flick. It's not a bad thing, but there's a fair bit of it. Newell does a pretty decent job of the battles, especially during the first battle where there's a few shops that pull out from one side of the city, pan, push in on another part of the city, and keeps moving in to a specific target (an internal gate, for instance). A little bit showy without being utterly shameless, it also does something Michael Bay fails to do in Transformers (or Revenge of the Fallen): it situates the audience. It leaves the audience knowing the geography of the location, and knowing what is relative to each other as far as the intercut scenes. Is it a genius move? Nope. But it does the job. Newell manages to keep the pacing moving along, and that's the key thing here. You're not going to be looking at your watch 40 minutes into this film's 110 minutes and think to yourself "When's it going to end? Another friggin' hour?". There's some awful "modern" (read: quick cuts, slow motion, etc) in some of the fight scenes, but it's not outstandingly bad. Newell works alright as a cog in a production bigger than him, and this isn't going to be a revelatory film for him, but he does a satisfactory job. VFX With a budget this big (rumoured to be about $200M+) you don't want shonky visual effects and for the most part, Prince of Persia's effects are very successful. As with all modern blockbusters, you look at it and know it's CG because it's ridiculous and/or impossible to film it otherwise, but rarely do the effects stand out as being bad. There's a couple of dodgy shots here and there, but hey, it's like that in Iron Man 2 as well. The only issue I did have with the visuals was in the scenes where the Dagger of Time is used. As you can see in the trailer, whoever is holding it has this weird immolation-looking effect rip through them. What you don't see in the trailer is time going backwards, and when that's happening, the shots look rather… odd. Think the Marla and Jack sex scene in Fight Club. It's got a distanced, false look to it, and I believe that's an intentional stylistic choice. Did it work for me? Not hugely, but your mileage may vary. It's not distracting for the most part, and it never lasts long on screen. Overall, the effects hold up fine for what the film is without being truly exceptional. Final Thoughts The film works. It achieves what it sets out to do. Is it the next Pirates? I'm probably not the guy to ask. Jake is great fun, the story bounces along, Arterton isn't useless, and everyone is having a good time, especially Molina. The plot works fine, and if you're a fan of the game, I'm sure you'll find more to nitpick and possibly a few nods to the fanboys. As far as a videogame adaptation, it's easily the best out of the ones I've seen, and I've seen a fair few. It doesn't feel like a videogame adaptation at any point in the film, and that is, I feel, the key to this film's success. Bruckheimer has produced a film based off a videogame, just as he produced a film based off a theme park ride. He hasn't attempted to produce some kind of live action videogame that the audience merely watches as their best friend from across the street (or Bruckheimer) plays. while the audience is really just wanting to pick up the controller themselves. Will it be massive? Probably not. Will it be a big crowd pleaser coming the end of May? Definitely.

3 stars out of 5.

Readers Talkback
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  • May 5, 2010, 10:49 a.m. CST


    by QuizKidDonnieSmith

  • May 5, 2010, 10:50 a.m. CST


    by CodeName

    Well, I'll give it a chance maybe?

  • May 5, 2010, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Would it have killed them to cast a Middle Eastern guy?

    by skycrapper

    I mean c'mon Jake doesn't look Middle Eastern.

  • May 5, 2010, 10:57 a.m. CST


    by themanwithaname

    I assume they want Americans to see the film so to answer your question, yes, it would have killed them to cast a Middle Eastern guy.

  • May 5, 2010, 10:58 a.m. CST


    by blackwood

    All for a decent adventure flick.

  • May 5, 2010, 10:59 a.m. CST

    White actors with British accents as Persians.

    by Judge Briggs

    For a Persian movie. PASS. So stupid.

  • May 5, 2010, 11 a.m. CST

    Arterton Kinda bugs me but I don't know why

    by Uncle_Bryn

    That was a decent review though, good job.

  • May 5, 2010, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Saw the trailer on the big screen with Iron Man 2 last week

    by Lone Fox

    Looks like another generic beige hued cg fest. Jesus, I must be getting old, 'cause I would rather eat my own fuck.

  • May 5, 2010, 11:05 a.m. CST

    So when does the "Assasin's Creed" movie come out?

    by br1947

    you know it's coming after this as long as it does not totally bomb

  • May 5, 2010, 11:05 a.m. CST


    by Jardinier

  • May 5, 2010, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Can't be better than Mortal Kombat

    by Box_Bruceleitner

    Still the best video game adaptation. Yes, I'm aware I just used the term "best" referring to a Paul W.S. Anderson movie, 'tis what it is.

  • May 5, 2010, 11:06 a.m. CST

    About as expected.

    by HorrorFan81

    I'll check it out.

  • May 5, 2010, 11:07 a.m. CST


    by SonOfChiba

    Yes, it would. Don't forget, after 9/11, Arabs = EVIL.

  • May 5, 2010, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Shonky - For the Uninitiated

    by Stan Arthur

    shonky [ˈʃɒŋkɪ] adj -kier Austral and NZ informal 1. of dubious integrity or legality 2. unreliable; unsound

  • May 5, 2010, 11:08 a.m. CST

    I'm gonna be the first to say PLANT

    by Jardinier

    Because someone has to. <br><br> Oh, and a white dude playing a Persian in that time period isn't any less correct than an Indian or Arab dude would have been. Not that historical accuracy should be a criterion to judge this movie by; just saying. Gyllenhaal as a Persian is more accurate than the ridiculous Terrorpersians from 300 were.

  • May 5, 2010, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Tamina rhymes with vagina

    by umbral_shadow_

    Coincidence? I think not. Methinks the writers are subconsciously trying to give us impure thoughts about Gemma Arterton.

  • May 5, 2010, 11:18 a.m. CST

    dick laurent is dead.

    by Six Demon Bag

  • May 5, 2010, 11:18 a.m. CST


    by skycrapper

    I thought people loved Slum Dog Millionair and Bend it Like Beckham?

  • May 5, 2010, 11:22 a.m. CST


    by rasALclart

    jesus. who cares?

  • May 5, 2010, 11:22 a.m. CST

    clearly i do

    by rasALclart

  • May 5, 2010, 11:24 a.m. CST


    by rasALclart

    nobody moaned that James Caviezel didnt look arabic enough to play jesus. yes, that's right, arabic. And i'd buy jake as J.C

  • May 5, 2010, 11:31 a.m. CST

    I mean, they couldn't cast ONE real Persian?

    by JayLenoTookMyJob

    ...Not even that heavy-set guy from The Mummy (or was it Mummy 2, I dunno)? Or comedian Maz Jobrani in a comic-relief bit part? Shoreh Aghdashloo as the queen? Not even one?

  • May 5, 2010, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Jake Gyllenhal

    by skycrapper

    If it's bad enough to take you out of the story then it's a bad decision. I know it's clearly my hang up but I'm one that will be skipping this movie. (Plus it just looks really lame, like Mummy2 lame)

  • May 5, 2010, 11:38 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    There are professional reviews out on PRINCE OF PERSIA now... Empire gives it three stars out of 5.<p> I'll probably give it a rental myself...

  • May 5, 2010, 11:40 a.m. CST

    Sam Worthington

    by cowbellfever

  • May 5, 2010, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Sam Worthington

    by cowbellfever

    Could play any race and creed... as long as you want said race and creed to sound Australian.

  • May 5, 2010, 11:45 a.m. CST

    I'm not hung up on the Persian/white thing...

    by Orbots Commander

    ...but this kind of flick needs to capture the kind POTC 1 or Raiders-type breezy fun. To me, it doesn't sound like they pulled it off. <p> Prediction: decent opening weekend, then it drops like a NY mobster with cement boots in the East River, i.e. it's Clash of the Titans minus the awful 3-D.

  • May 5, 2010, 11:50 a.m. CST



    And I'll probably watch it whilst stoned.

  • May 5, 2010, 11:51 a.m. CST

    what Orbots said

    by ominus

  • May 5, 2010, 12:10 p.m. CST

    In the East...

    by robertdee

    ...the Far East, when a person is sentenced to death, they're sent to a place where they can't escape, never knowing when an executioner may step up behind them, and fire a bullet into the back of their head.

  • May 5, 2010, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Owen Wilson looks more Persian and Jake..

    by Ganymede3001

    What a fucking joke.

  • May 5, 2010, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Yeah, they cast a white guy . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . now get your popcorn, sit the fuck down, shut the fuck up and watch the fucking movie.

  • May 5, 2010, 12:41 p.m. CST

    No problem with the casting choices

    by CartoonFanboy

    But like others have said the movie just looks like another generic action-adventure film. Even this review confirms that by mostly saying the people involved were competent (except Gyllenhaal apparently). Noway I'm forking over money to watch that. Hard to believe that this summers movie lineup looks worse than last years.

  • May 5, 2010, 12:42 p.m. CST

    what marmot said

    by greyspecter

  • May 5, 2010, 12:44 p.m. CST

    The parkour was always a must for this movie

    by terry1978

    The entire fucking franchise's trademark is the ability to run up walls and shit, so I am glad they did keep that in.

  • May 5, 2010, 12:45 p.m. CST

    that said, I'll skip it

    by greyspecter

    I can quit Jake, it seems

  • May 5, 2010, 12:54 p.m. CST

    please tell me Kingsley's acting is like in BloodRayne

    by Gungan Slayer

    because then I for sure will check this out.

  • May 5, 2010, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Nice writeup

    by veritasses

  • May 5, 2010, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Jake Habib Gylenhaal

    by PvtTOUCH

    If you pump 200 million into making a movie you obviously arent goin to cast the lead with an actor of persian/arab descent. Average moviegoers arent open minded enough to follow a: persian, asian, latino, indian etc as the hero of a summer blockbuster (ahem Last Airbender). Sad, but true. I went to school with lots of persian kids in LA, Jake looks persian enough for a whiteboy.

  • May 5, 2010, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Why the fuck do so many reader-reviews...

    by Grimcicle

    ...Fell the need to give you an entire Treatment's worth of the plot? Explaining the story from start to finish isn't a review, assholes.

  • May 5, 2010, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Jones, Bonham, Page and _____!

    by DarthBakpao

  • May 5, 2010, 1:33 p.m. CST

    This review pretty much falls in line

    by barnaby jones

    with the others i've seen. Considering the crappy line up we have this summer (with the exception of Nolan and Stallone's efforts) hopefully this'll be fun.

  • May 5, 2010, 1:34 p.m. CST


    by barnaby jones

    Probably because they don't want to be accused of being a PLANT.

  • May 5, 2010, 1:36 p.m. CST

    I'm Persian

    by Superturd

    I say if you're a goofy looking white boy, it's ok to primarily play gay cowboys and boys in bubbles. This movie needed a badass of some sort, and the fact that Hollywood's idea of a persian badass is either a freak (300) or a puny white boy (Jake) seems outdated and, yes, racist as hell. At least Bee in Ninja Assassin was ASIAN (Korean not Jap, still terrible but somewhat justifiable). My faith in the Brucks is on hold until Bad Boys 3, or something of the ilk.

  • May 5, 2010, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Good review!

    by D.Vader

    I skipped over the spoilerific and dense plot summary, but everything else was well written. I liked it! Harry could learn something from this guy.

  • May 5, 2010, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wanted this part so bad

    by GornPirate

    That when he found out he didn't get it he ordered the Iranian Republican Guard to steal an election so he could keep his old gig.

  • May 5, 2010, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Jake Busey looks more Persian than Jake G.!

    by Ganymede3001

  • May 5, 2010, 2 p.m. CST

    It's hilarious how some of you people are complaining about

    by Marksman91

    Jake Gyllenhal not being that persian-looking, and the characters speaking in british accents when the game itself was exactly like that, and people didn't seem to care about that now, did they? Idiots...

  • May 5, 2010, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Good one GornPirate

    by skycrapper

    Wow a joke on talkbacks that actually made me laugh.

  • May 5, 2010, 2:30 p.m. CST

    The ignorance displayed in these talkbacks...

    by m_reporter

    ... is a sight to behold.<p> Old Persians where white. Aryans lived in Persia as well, and that's where the name Iran comes from. They didn't look much like modern middle eastern people do. What boggles the mid even more is that people accept their portrayal in 300 without a single beep. Seriously, read a book sometimes, and I mean a real book, not the ones with dialogue bubbles.<p> Oh, and I'm kinda looking forward to this after reading this. Great review.

  • May 5, 2010, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Even if this film only gets about a 60% on average

    by Aitrus233

    It'll still be a massive improvement over just about every video game film to date.

  • May 5, 2010, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Ben Kingsley is doing this for a paycheck

    by Diagnostic


  • May 5, 2010, 2:48 p.m. CST

    We need more Dick!

    by JimmyandtheTermites

    That was an incredible review. I read everything but the story section and was impressed that Richard stayed true to his spoiler-free word. I've got a great sense of the quality, fun, and style of the film without having every major plot point ruined for me. Thank you, Richard, for a great review. Thank you, Merrick, for posting it.

  • May 5, 2010, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Will it kill people that they DID cast a white guy?

    by Drath

    Seriously, shut the fuck up about the casting, he looks Persian enough and people are going overboard with the "middle east" look that is frankly not so uniformly dark as they think. It's obvious that Gyllenhaal's charm and moviestar charisma is what this is all about anyway, so it's just trolling to keep bring this up by now.

  • May 5, 2010, 3:39 p.m. CST


    by AzulTool

    This is my third time writing that title on a P.O.P talkback. And, I will continue to do so. Just do me a favor, don't post another story on the bullshit movie for the next 2 weeks. I'm going on vacation. Thanks a bunch.

  • May 5, 2010, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Assassin's Creed will come out if this makes bank

    by alienindisguise

    because hollywood and the gaming world are nothing but sheep following each other with ther heads up each others asses.

  • May 5, 2010, 3:58 p.m. CST

    That's a quality review.

    by palimpsest

    More like this, Knowles, dammit!

  • May 5, 2010, 4:20 p.m. CST

    m_reporter, um no dude…

    by blakindigo

    — the idea of Ayrans as "white" people is a distortion of the nomadic tribes that are believed to come from Central Asia.

  • May 5, 2010, 4:47 p.m. CST

    "the film works" 3 outta 5 stars


    lol thats the best we can hope for nowadays from a summer release? 3 stars? maybe a 4 or 5 star once every few years? This makes me angry and I wanna break stuff.

  • May 5, 2010, 4:50 p.m. CST

    dick blood is 2 words


    like this STEVEN_SPIELBERGS_DICK_BLOOD try again

  • May 5, 2010, 6:01 p.m. CST

    President of Iran

    by NippleEffect

    A job so easy that a caveman is doing it

  • May 5, 2010, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Do you take a review seriously from someone...

    by planetran_fan

    ...who incorrectly uses "to" with "too" in just the sixth sentence? I just couldn't move beyond. It tainted the rest of the review for me.

  • May 5, 2010, 6:20 p.m. CST

    blackindigo - aryans where light skinned

    by m_reporter

    And they did live on the territory of the Persian empire, which you know, spanned across almost half the Asian continent at one point.<p> I'm not even mentioning on what the meaning of "Aryan" was transformed in to at the start of the 20th century.

  • May 5, 2010, 6:26 p.m. CST

    and speaking of dick_blood

    by m_reporter

    Where's good old DGDB? All we get is these cheap and uninspired knock-offs... We need the original back.

  • May 5, 2010, 6:27 p.m. CST

    This is what I like to see in an interview

    by Brody77

    My hat is tipped, very nice work. Film sounds ok too.

  • May 5, 2010, 6:28 p.m. CST

    Why the fuck did I type INTERVIEW?

    by Brody77

    I meant review. <insert "where's the edit button" line here>

  • May 5, 2010, 6:30 p.m. CST

    No one is going to go see this.

    by fiester

    No one. Who cares? Another piece of shite video game movie.

  • May 5, 2010, 6:46 p.m. CST

    Oded Fehr

    by Caerdwyn

    They should have gotten Oded Fehr for the Prince. He was awesome in The Mummy and looks Persian enough.

  • May 5, 2010, 6:57 p.m. CST

    2nd Oded Fehr

    by NippleEffect

    When he has good material to work with the guys good<br> And he looks the part moreso than Jakey

  • That's just the vibe I get.

  • May 5, 2010, 7:04 p.m. CST

    Title should have said . . .

    by Moa Kaka

    . . . "he realized the movie sucked, but doesn't want to admit that it sucked."

  • May 5, 2010, 7:31 p.m. CST

    White people made this movie, so it is sensible...

    by CodeName

    to have a white lead actor. Imagine Hindi actors making a movie about the Colonial Era and casting Amitabh Bachchan as George Washington speaking the Hindi language. That would be a trip.

  • May 5, 2010, 7:39 p.m. CST

    I just hope that if Assassins Creed is ever released...

    by drompter

    They don't require as requisite to watch the movie a permanent internet connection....

  • May 5, 2010, 7:48 p.m. CST


    by JoeD

    is who they should have cast. God that season of 24 sucked.

  • May 5, 2010, 8:19 p.m. CST


    by skycrapper

    The Patriot had a bunch of Australians, does that count?

  • May 5, 2010, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Hollywood need to embrace globalization

    by Loveinformant

    I dont think they need to Americanize or westernize everything, Ie. Persians with english accents or Having Jake as a Persian. Think the modern audience are much more discerning and are cool with middle eastern actors and languages.... look at the response to movies like "passion of the Christ" and "Zohan"

  • May 5, 2010, 10:37 p.m. CST

    Arterton/Tamina's the week link

    by Wookie_Weed

    No charisma, it's like watching a cardboard box sitting in the rain. Stilted and just plain annoying. No warmth or playful humour in her performance at all, which is what was desperately needed to make the character relationship work. Especially because Jake nails the role. May be the director's fault, Arterton never rises to Gyllenhal's level. Remember Turner and Douglas in Romancing The Stone? That's what Prince Of Persia needed, but fails.

  • May 5, 2010, 11:20 p.m. CST

    Can't fucking stand Jake Gyllenhaal.

    by thedarklinglord

    And I think that, more than anything, will prevent me from enjoying this movie. I don't care that they cast a white dude - did anyone really expect something else? - but I wish they'd picked someone with a little more (which is to say ANY) charisma, a bit of swagger and roguishness. Jake, like Shia, is just a total douche on screen. They might be great guys in person, but they both serious lack any presence or charm or appeal when on screen. I really wish they'd gone out of their way to cast an unknown (since I can't think of anyone of an appropriate age I would have liked in the role) and just surrounded him with bigger names (since we all known the soulless cunts in charge of Hollywood don't care about an actor's talent or appropriateness in a role so long as they have a recognizable name with some sort of fanbase).

  • May 5, 2010, 11:23 p.m. CST

    "Dastan's group enters through the rear"

    by frankenfickle


  • May 6, 2010, 1:25 a.m. CST


    by richard_laurent

    SE7EN is 5/5. Iron Man and The Dark Knight are 4/5. There's a couple of examples so you know where a 3/5 lies with my ratings.

  • May 6, 2010, 1:59 a.m. CST


    by locater16

    Perfect movie to take my 10 year old sister to! Ok if she was 12+ she might enjoy shirtless Jake more, but I'm sure she'll have plenty of fun anyway. Heck so will I, a decent video game based movie is heads and shoulders above any previous effort. Or at least I would have. I mean seriously this is a documentary for chrissakes, a historical artifact as important as "The Dagger of Time" demands it's proper and accurate historical context!

  • May 6, 2010, 3:01 a.m. CST

    richard_laurent —

    by blakindigo

    I'd say 'TDK' is a 5/5. "Iron Man"is a 3/5

  • May 6, 2010, 3:22 a.m. CST


    by richard_laurent

    See, I had issues with TDK. Most of it: fucking amazing. The weak climax between Batman and Joker? Would have preferred it without the sonar crap. Two-Face being wasted as a villain. Iron Man I found to be exceptionally fun, although I found the third act lacking there too. I just felt they were both excellent films that fell short of what they could have achieved. Also it's relevant to what they were trying to achieve. Prince of Perisa: The Sands of Time, while no means bad, is certainly below those two.

  • May 6, 2010, 3:32 a.m. CST

    Black actors with British accents as Norse gods

    by Knugen

    No protests? Huh?<br><br>Well neither from me actually, because I think Idris Elba could knock it out of the park. But regardless we of Norse heritage are expected to take that on the chin - and we do, so relax.

  • May 6, 2010, 4:08 a.m. CST

    I agree Seven is pretty flawless.


    I'd give TDK an extra .5 stars on Ledger's performance.

  • May 6, 2010, 5:07 a.m. CST

    Who cares

    by MandrakeRoot

    The prince in the videogame sounds exactly like a Brit anyway. And perhaps most of you forgot, but there's a certain aspect of cinema that's mildly's called ACTING. The idea behind this obscure concept is that actors pretend to be something there not. No one seems to mind a British cast for the new Batman movies, a character who's an American icon. Get a fucking grip.

  • May 6, 2010, 5:36 a.m. CST

    I'm Persian and I say..

    by malificus

    ..that this pussy white actor doesn't even run on walls the way we REAL Persian's do. He goes on the balls of his feet while every gravity-defying son of the desert knows it's a heel-toe type maneuver. My faith in the director, the actors, in Hollywood itself as a venerable institution is shaken like a tent pole during a sandstorm. Douchebag.

  • May 6, 2010, 7:04 a.m. CST

    Another blockbuster whose theme is destiny?

    by AsimovLives

    Are every blockbusters movies made today always about destiny now? there's no other theme available? Destiny, destiny, destiny... INTESTINE more like it! Suck's sake, change the tune already. Fuck destiny.<br><br>"Hero, it's your destiny to do this, that, blabla bla bla bla..." SHUT UP! for once, i'd like to watch an epic heroic blockbuster movie where the hero has no destiny to tell him what fuck he should do with his life.<br><br>And really, Gemma Anterton is this close to become Miss Exposition. "We need exposition in this movie, let's cast Gemma!" Give the girl a break, will you?

  • May 6, 2010, 7:12 a.m. CST

    Oded Fehr is israeli

    by AsimovLives

    Can you guys imagine the whole hoolahoop that would cause if they had cast an isreali as a persian? Can you imagine the shitstorm that would cause in Iran alone?

  • May 6, 2010, 7:56 a.m. CST

    Good Review

    by BeyondStatic


  • May 6, 2010, 8:03 a.m. CST


    by malificus

    Her endless stream of blather in the trailers made them nearly unwatchable despite all the cool action. I wanted to scream "STFU you stupid bitch!" halfway through. Destiny-shmestiny,why can't a "hero" do what he does simply because to do otherwise is the worse of two fates? Enough elections have been won by the same "lesser of two evils" choice, maybe some guy does something because he simply has nothing better to do, or maybe just to make a buck to live one more day, a full belly is a great motivator.

  • May 6, 2010, 8:41 a.m. CST

    I was one of the "Jake Fucking Gyllenhaal?" posters...

    by ScaryWaitress

    before this review. This actually looks decent. What the hell... 3 out of 5 stars ia about all one can expect out of an action flick these days. I mean, look at what they did to Indy. <P> The endtimes are upon us.

  • May 6, 2010, 8:43 a.m. CST

    malificus... AMEN, brother.

    by ScaryWaitress

    Writers spend so much time wringing their hands about a Greater Purpose for their characters, they forget the silly small things that motivate us all. The Prince could be running along walls simply because that's the quickest way to the john and he's REALLY gotta go, you know?

  • May 6, 2010, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Richard Coyle is in this?!

    by jimmythesaint

    As Jake Gyllenhal's brother?! And Toby Kebbell as the third one? Genius casting! Between this and Jack Davenport in the Pirates films, Jerry Bruckheimer is obviously a Coupling fan.

  • May 6, 2010, 9:19 a.m. CST

    Assassin's Creed Lineage

    by MorganLeafy

    They already made an Assassin's Creed movie. It was eurotrash direct to DVD but it was based on Assassin's Creed nonetheless.

  • May 6, 2010, 10:47 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    And the Iranians have no problem with that. You gotta give them props for that.

  • May 6, 2010, 12:41 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    The hero could be just dojg what he does because it's the right thing to do. But the writers of today's blockbuster,s they give egotistical reasons for the heros to bother doing anything. "It's your destiny!". That's egocentrical! But a hero to risk limb and life to do the right thing because that's the right thing to do, that's, for me, far mere heroic. He does it without a promise of reward of personal fullfilment. That's heroic for me. Aparently, in Hollywood, everybody forgot what the word heroic and hero means. Somebody should give them a dictionary.

  • May 6, 2010, 2:07 p.m. CST

    AsimovLives & ScaryWaitress

    by malificus

    I tell you what comes to mind for me is the Jose Wales character Clint Eastwood played in Outlaw Jose Wales. He ended up hooking up with that group of pilgrims and Chief Dan George and to them he was a hero figure but he was motivated by what was right in a whole world of people doing wrongs and ended up a leader figure simply because so many around him weren't strong enough to stand at the front and so NO. And yes Scary, I had a moment last week at work where I had to get to a restroom without delay and had a group of people blocked my path I have no doubt in my mind I could have scooted right up a wall, over the top and around without breaking stride, defying gravity the whole way.

  • May 6, 2010, 2:30 p.m. CST


    by JonChambers

  • May 6, 2010, 6:33 p.m. CST

    The middle-east is all mixed up

    by striker663

    That place has so much blood mixing you have Jordanians with blond hair and blue eyes and Yemenis with dark skin and curly hair. Persians are as diverse in looks as anywhere else on earth. The same is true for the whole Indian sub-continent. There is no such thing as a Persian or Middle_eastern look which is why racial profiling in the war on terror does not work. Stop hating on Jake. He looks as Persian as the next guy.