Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina, Toby Kebbell, Richard Coyle
(Walt Disney Pictures; US theatrical: 28 May 2010; UK theatrical: 28 May 2010; 2010)
At a crucial moment in Jerry Bruckheimer’s new wannabe summer mega-blockbuster, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, an expert knife wielder working with the shady Sheik Amar (a spirited Alfred Molina) turns to the cheery chatterbox and says “Has anyone ever told you that you talk too much?” In one important way, the character could be addressing everyone in the cast. From its expositional overdoses to its desire to spell everything out - emotion, conspiracy, threat - in reams of repetitive dialogue, this is one of the talkiest popcorn films ever, so conversationally driven in fact that it almost derails and disintegrates under the weight of its words.
Luckily director Mike Newell found a cast capable of making up for the endless blather, building a strong bond between themselves and the audience. Then, he added some expert action to seal the deal. Sure, the constant careening off walls and pillars and rooftops is more District B13 than Disney, but when you’ve got the man who made Pirates of the Caribbean into an entertainment zombie (read: almost impossible to kill), and a video game basis to guide your spectacle, we should expect a little unrealistic bravura. Luckily, Prince of Persia has action o’plenty, and excellent actors to see the occasional silliness.