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Friday, May 28, 2010

Review: PRINCE OF PERSIA


I want to find the people that wrote this movie and throw up in their mouths.

Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro, and Carlo Bernard ought to be ashamed of themselves. Prince of Persia has the year's most dreadful dialogue, flat and uninteresting characters, and worst character development. This movie, though I'm sure it wasn't, seems like it was written in one draft. Why Jerry Bruckheimer didn't hire Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio to write this movie is beyond me. This project demands their names. They are the number one leaders of the action/fantasy/comedy genre, and because of the failure of a script this movie has, it is absolutely awful. It's one step better than Clash of the Titans, and that's only because the story in this is somewhat logical. If you are going into Prince of Persia expecting to see a movie with the level of fun and laughs found in the first Pirates of the Caribbean, you better start saving up for On Stranger Tides, because at least Ted and Terry are writing that.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time



In some cases, great direction and great acting are able to overtake an uninspired script. And in this case, this is not the case. Jake Gyllenhaal, a fantastic actor, seems to play Jake Gyllenhaal. The only reason I liked him is because I like him. His quirky smile is enough. However, as a character, Prince Dastan fails. The real performance of this movie lies with Alfred Molina, a severely underwritten ostrich racer, with some ahead of his time political ideals. The rest of the cast is boring and flat. Gemma Arterton, while usually a good actress, serves as nothing more than eye candy. She also serves as classic case of falling for a dude she's only known for about three days. Those love stories sure are believable. And what's worse than the acting from the cast is the acting of the extras. That's right, the extras are noticeably bad! When's the last time you heard anyone say that? One extra, who I saw CHEWING GUM, made me laugh out loud.

The story, and I am being generous by referring to it as a story, is about Dastan, an adopted prince who gets his hands on a dagger that has the ability to turn back time. With it, he can stop terrible events from happening, like deaths. That's right, he can go back in time and stop people from dying. Yeah that brings the risk factor to about, oh I don't know, a zero. Ignoring the fact that I don't care about most of these characters already, the fact that they can be saved after they die removes all traces of tension from the movie. And, the worst part about the fact that the dagger can turn back time is...

SPOILERS FOLLOW. I AM GOING TO REVEAL THE ENDING OF THE MOVIE HERE, SO IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW, SKIP AHEAD A BIT.

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At the end of the movie, in the most convoluted and hard to understand finale ever, Dastan manages to turn back time to the point of being about 20 minutes into the film. That's right, everything you sit through in this near 2 hour disaster doesn't really happen. If that's not the biggest waste of life and money, I don't know what is.
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The level of investment I had in the story and characters is probably a negative number. Add to that the fact that this is one of the only movies I've ever seen that makes almost no attempt at character development. It's not even like the development is weak, it's just not there. Dastan explains that he's changed at the end of the movie, but I'm still not quite sure how.

Furthermore, the effects are awful. These days, it's simply not acceptable to have bad special effects. And not only are the effects poor, they are confusing. I don't really know what happens in the climax. There's lots of noise and special effects, but things just happen without any real explanation or reason.

Among the more positive notes, the cinematography is interesting. Not good, but interesting. You buy the fact that this takes place in Persia (though every single actor in the movie has a British accent, strangely enough. I understand that there was British rule in the East, but the fact that not one person is Middle Eastern in the whole movie is absolutely ridiculous). The cityscapes are the best of the effects, and they are actually kind of pretty. Harry Gregson-Williams, a good composer, provides a nice score, though I can't help but think it was lifted a little too much from Alan Silvestri's The Mummy Returns.

If you are under the age of 10, you may enjoy Prince of Persia.

I personally have a testimony of an 11 year-old who thought it was "just ok".


1 star

5 comments:

Ezra Edmond said...

I could not agree more.

MyLinh said...

Ouch. I haven't seen it yet but now I don't plan on watching... not even if it's for free.

JC Elizondo said...

I havn't seen it. But i've heard equally bad comments from everyone who has. So I plan on saving my money and maybe watching the losers instead, seems more fun.

BTW I think bad special effects are still excusable but not bad CGI. For the sake of comedy classic real explosions and puppetry (technically still effects) is ok.

Ezra Edmond said...

real explosions and puppetry doesn't look bad......


also no, bad effects are never okay. Effects should not look like effects. If it looks bad unless it is for the joke of it looking bad, then it is always a fail.

JC Elizondo said...

Ok true my thing was badly worded. But they already took out the losers out of theaters here!!! There is litteraly nothing in theaters here right now.

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