Thursday, 27 May 2010

REVIEW: Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time

Because critics won't hit a movie with glasses in the face.

Jerry Bruckheimer has a great method for pre-empting a franchise. It's called the cunning use of the colon in titles, or the paradigm of the Black Pearl if you will. See Prince of Persia is the brand name, and Sands Of Time is what this particular movie is concerned with. With the colon suggesting that this is one of many adventures to be had with everyone's favorite turn of the AD Arabian time-traveler. Coming out of Prince of Persia, you're not angered, disappointed, surprised, satisfied, irritated, pleased, upset or anything really. Its just two hours of pure ambivalence, something you can see, maybe mildly enjoy and then cleanse from your memory. Its so light and superficial with everything that it does that's its a hard movie to hate. I can't get angry about this the same way I got angry with Iron Man 2, because what would be the point. It knows it already.

Yet with hindsight, maybe I should work real hard and force myself to be angry, because Prince Of Persia is so afraid of any alienating anybody that it literally does nothing. Coasting on a timid familiarity that feasts on the the mindset of the casual viewer, whilst cowering in the corner from critics, making the argument that because it didn't even try to be a good movie, it shouldn't be criticized for being a bad one. And for lots of us, this reasoning plays. Particularly for the sniffier critics, who usually appreciate mainstream movies pleading innocence by stupidity. It keeps everything so wonderfully in its place, doesn't it? I mean leave the good stuff to fucking Tarkovsky, and let the riff-riff eat cake, so to speak. But its an argument I tire of hearing, because in any genre, I want to see movies do gutsy things, do ambitious things and for the love of god at least try to be as good as they can be. So fuck Prince Of Persia and its inoffensiveness, because I know I'd rather see a movie that pissed me off then one not worth talking about at all, which this movie really is. To its core.

I guess I should talk about some stuff that happened in the movie, because after all that is what we do here. I was thoroughly disappointed by how adequate Jake Gyllenhaal's accent was. The trailer promised something notorious and this was part of the reason I was going. This is some Bullshit. He didn't sound like Don Cheadle at all. Far more painful, I think, was his and Gemma Arterton's attempts at banter, which was clearly after some kind of Han Solo/Princess Leia fireworks, but to say that it fell short would be to make a gross understatement. People keep telling me how great Arterton is, but I'm still firmly in the believe it when I see it camp, because right now she's being bad in a lot of bad movies. Ben Kingsley plays a villain slightly more memorable then the Hood in Thunderbirds ( Boy was that a travesty) and Alfred Molina kindly channels Del Boy as an Arabian outlaw. Which is a lot less awesome then it sounds.

Incidentally, I think every single Arabian character, big or small, was played by a white guy, so there's that. Which some might deem to be uncool. Anyway I have better things to do then continue about this penny sweet of a movie, so fuck Jerry Bruckheimer, and fuck the continual curse against video game to movie adaptations. Someone try Metal Gear Solid for fuck's sake.

Rating: 4/10

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