Saturday, June 12, 2010

2010 - PRINCE OF PERSIA THE SANDS OF TIME, fails in almost everyway possible

A movie that so called Hollywood professionals managed to screw up in almost every possible way is worth considering for a moment.

The decision to make a movie out of this video game was probably not thought through carefully.  Movies based on video games have not succeeded with audiences, i.e.  Doom, Super Mario Brothers etc.

The lack of a coherent story really shows throughout the film with the confusing path of twists and turns the movie has to take because of it's episodic nature and need to jam in yet another sword fighting scene in a movie already overloaded with sword fighting scene.

The filmmakers must have realized they had script problems since they steal or borrow ideas from the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, both of those lame National Treasure films, Disney's Aladdin and about every Arabian Nights story they had a passing acquaintance with.  In particular the idea of the magic knife that turns back time is a direct steal from the "one ring" in the Lord of the Rings.  

The casting choices are equally perplexing, the lead character of the adventurous prince should have been played by a more interesting actor.   Jake Gyllenhall has no particular charm or sense of humor and really isn't a very good actor.  The attempt to make him sort of  foreign by having him spout a British accent was an equally bad idea.

This is two mediocre fantasy films in a role for the British actor Gemma Atherton.  She is playing a spirited princess, but she comes off more like a total bitch.  Atherton is well on her way to starring in a remake of Beastmaster hopefully for her in the Tanya Roberts and not the Rip Torn part.

Then there are the other assorted British and American actors stuck into the film.  Once you cast Ben Kingsley as the villain, you pretty much give up your chance for any subtlety.  This guy has just played to many bad guys in films.  I'm not even going to get into the thought that for a movie set in the Middle East, it seems pretty lacking in Middle Eastern characters. 

Even visually this expensive production is pretty bad.  The decision to photograph a lot of the movie with a tinted color scheme to give it that glowing old fashioned look, washes all of the color out of the exotic locations.  David Lean was able to film the Middle East with out resorting to smearing sepia lens filters all over his cameras, no such luck here.

The conventional and now over used computer generated effects add nothing to the action other than to bring attention to their phoniness.  The frenzied editing and camera angles during the fight scenes only reinforce the headache inducing visual ugliness of the film.

The Walt Disney company clearly had in mind the idea to create another Pirates of the Caribbean series with this movie.  Audiences are not responding this summer to a movie that deserves to be the flop that it is.

Total waste of 116 minutes of my life.

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