Sunday, December 12, 2010

Movie Review: Prince of Persia, Sands of TIme

In the films I've seen her in, I can't say I was a huge Gemma Arterton fan.  She was cute and a decent actress in Quantum of Solace, but wasn't overly attractive.  Not next to the well-bronzed Olga Kurylenko (who I just talked about in Centurion). And I barely remember her in Rock n Rolla.  But she is absurd in Prince of Persia.  When she tells Prince Destin 'because you haven't been able to take your eyes off of me' she wasn't lying.  They do a pretty amazing job of making her look like a bronzed goddess, and every second she's on screen you're drawn to her.  And from what I remember, she was pale and pasty in Quantum of Solace. I immediately put Quantum of Solace on my Netflix to make sure I didn't miss something the first time around (and it is a pretty dope movie).  And I moved Clash of the Titans to the top, to be fair it was coming up soon anyway. She may have been the best looking human being I've seen on screen since Megan Fox in Transformers.  Thankfully, this movie was a lot more entertaining.

A lot was made about Jake Gyllenhaal being cast as Dastan, and it is rather jarring having a caucasian play a Persian.  Especially one so cornbread as him.  To his credit, he is good. A bit smug, but it plays well. They disguise his casting by surrounding him by pretty much all caucasians, and I don't know if that soothed the blow or made it worse.  I still have yet to decide.  It did allow them to cast Arterton, so I guess I'm leaning to the former.

Director Mike Newell holds the film together well, as one would expect - but he tries to do too much. His use of bullet-time (during moments when the dagger wasn't in use) seemed suited for a lesser director. And we all know from his past work (Donnie Brasco, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) that he's got some serious talent and shouldn't rely on such outdated and lame tricks. It's a shame Newell isn't more involved in trying to get Elfstones of Shannara off the ground.  I  know this film got knocked a bit, but he's capable of some great work and I do believe that with the right script he would do a good job of turning that into a powerhouse franchise.  I'm a bit biased as I'm attached as a producer to that one... Prince of Persia underperformed stateside, but was a monster overseas and there is talk of doing a sequel. I am just glad they did not kill the princess off.

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