It has been a while since the movie has been in theaters, but what doesn’t help are the mixed reviews the film has been receiving. Is it possible that there are critics that don’t understand or appreciate what the film offers, or do those who were pleased simply find themselves easily entertained?
It’s important to note that this film is based on the video game of the same title, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. From a personal standpoint, I’ve found myself reading and listening to critics and reviewers alike who forget this fact and believe the film is supposed to be, in some way, historically relevant and accurate. You shouldn’t expect anything deeply soaked in historical events, especially when talking of a film who’s plot features time traveling which renders previous events untold.
However, I can’t defend this movie entirely either. It does have it’s problems, which is a shame because there is more potential to be found in the Prince of Persia universe. Still, I can’t say there’s anything that would cause this film to be a terrible experience.
For the film our Prince is given a name: Dastan. He once was a street orphan, one who is able to masterfully climb and leap about buildings and other surroundings. After standing up for a friend of his, the king is so impressed by his actions that he adopts him to be his third son. Time passes and we see him as a grown man who, along with his brothers, is about to make a terrible mistake.
There are many plot points in this film, yet they mainly consist of Dastan having revelations of supposed plots. They all focus on the Dagger of Time, a mystical weapon that is able to rewind time. Yet, the revelations Dastan receive tend to come off as theories since there’s never much evidence to prove him correct. Another factor is Dastan’s relationship with Princess Tamina, the princess of a holy city that was conquered by Persia. Oh, and Dastan was the one who successfully infiltrated the city, thereby ensuring a quick victory. So yeah, they don’t get along for a long time.
That relationship becomes a problem for the film. Princess Tamina was technically the guardian of the Dagger of Time, so when Dastan has a hold of the thing, Tamina doesn’t like it. There’s constant backstabbing to the point that when someone asks for the dagger, you can ensure that they’ll runaway with it after the current problem is resolved. Eventually the backstabbing stops, and wouldn’t you know it, love steps in. Their loving relationship is fine, but it seems like a sudden shift to happen after all the trickery between the two.
It must sound like an awful film after discussing those negatives, but there’s just as much positive aspects to counter and improve the experience. The effects are great, a favorite being when someone rewinds time with the Dagger of Time. The actors involved do their job well, though if I may say the British accents (in recent films) are strange. There are some editing issues such as odd transitions, but once you’re in a scene, it’s believable and creates the proper environment.
There’s action, and since Disney is behind this, there’s no intense violence and blood. People do die in the film, just not horrifically. Well, maybe one death is a bit unsettling, but it’s also a bizarre one that you might just be more confused at than shocked.
Overall, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is certainly worth viewing. It’s probably for the best if you see a matinee showing. It’s good, but it won’t leave a lasting impression where spending eight dollars might seem worth it. You can take family or friends along, though I would reconsider a date night for this film.