Having read reviews from places like pluggedinonline and screenit (two very valuable resources if you have no interest in being surprised by anything offensive in your movies) I knew that there would be zero foul language and no offensive scenes. They told me that the movie was based off of a video game (which never bodes well), and they told me that there would be a lot of violence. What both sites failed to tell me, however, was that this was going to be a movie that I would absolutely love.
The movie opens with an Aladdin-esque chase through the streets of Persia (they may have given a town name, but I don’t remember it). As the child who becomes the hero of the movie races through the streets eluding the king’s guards, you may feel a strange compulsion to press ‘A’ ‘circle’ ‘square’ ‘square’ ‘X’ on your game controller… only to realize that you don’t have one. However, this does not mean that the movie is not well done, it simply means that some of the action and stunts are the sort of things you would see in a video game. The further into the movie you get, the more you begin to forget that this was based on a video game, because the story draws you in and sets you on the edge of your seat hoping that everything will work out in the end.
As the story unfolds, you grow to love the main characters. Dastan: an orphan who was adopted by a king, is utterly heroic and full of life, humor, and nobility. Tamina: a princess with a sacred duty, is completely dedicated to her responsibility, capable, and still perfectly feminine without having any need to prove herself (as so many modern female characters are unfortunately written). In a fight, she’s not really much help, which makes her believable, but neither is she brainless, helpless, hopeless, or unemployed in Greenland… (to paraphrase slightly and take a bit of a tangent).
The movie is obviously the work of the same people who created Pirates of the Caribbean, and there were several places where I felt that one of the lines said about Jack Sparrow would have been appropriate for Dastan as well, “Do you think he plans it all out, or just makes it up as he goes along?” Although there is no rigging to swing from nor masts to run across while being sucked into a whirlpool – the streets and walls of Persia are every bit as precarious and the main characters traverse them with thrillingly light-footed ease. And while Dastan is not as charismatic as Capt. Sparrow, he is every bit as likeable, every bit as compelling, and every bit as fun.
What I’m trying to say, is that if you want to see a movie that contains characters who are compelling and heroic, is good swashbuckling fun that hearkens back to past movies like Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean, and contains a well-written, fun, witty script – then I would highly recommend you go see Prince of Persia. You will not be disappointed. Also, although I believed that Jake Gyllenhall (no idea how to spell his last name) had played his “perfect” role already (October Sky), I realized watching this movie that he has been missing his calling these past 10-15 years. He was born to play this part
However… if you’re deathly afraid of snakes… well, there are some parts that you might want to close your eyes for.