Prince Of Persia: The Sands of Time
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton
Direction: Mike Newell
He fashioned the smash-hit Pirates of the Caribbean franchise out of a Disneyland theme park ride. Now, producer Jerry Bruckheimer turns to a popular video-game series for inspiration.
The outcome is a predictably gung-ho adventure full of sound and fury signifying nothing.
Boasting a budget of $200 million-plus, Prince of Persia… is saturated with swashbuckling set pieces and parkour stunt interludes.
Needless to carp, it’s pretty shallow in narrative content.
Set in a fictional city in ancient Persia, the screenplay zooms in on a former urchin-turned-titular prince (Gyllenhaal).
Brought up in the royal household, the dashing youngster is subsequently framed for the murder of his adoptive father.
Joining hands and more with him is a spirited princess (Arterton).
In true Hollywood heroic style, the fugitive pair must foil the plans of an ineffectual villain (Ben Kingsley, disappointingly vapid).
In order to prevent Armageddon, they must also return a dagger that has mystical powers to its rightful place in a secret temple.
Director Newell, whose previous credits include Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, handles the blow-’em-up action sequences competently. The dialogue, often resorting to hoary clichés, is unintentionally funny, though.
The muscular Jake Gyllenhaal is efficient enough. By contrast, Gemma Arterton is mere eye marzipan.
Old-timer Alfred Molina is sterling in the supporting role of an ‘entrepreneur’ with a fondness for ostrich races.
If all you crave is mindless malarkey, then Prince of Persia… fits the bill perfectly.