Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

115 min. minutes | Rated PG-13

Videogames make another predictably awkward transition to the big screen in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time—a movie whose primary selling points are Jake Gyllenhaal's admittedly compelling abs. Gyllenhaal plays one of the three princes of Persia, an orphan plucked as a boy from the streets by the king and raised as a brother to the king's two sons. When the king is gruesomely killed by a poisoned cloak (oh, the sentences get sillier), Gyllenhaal is blamed—even though the real bad guy is obviously the bald uncle (Ben Kingsley). Never trust a bald uncle, guys. Gyllenhaal flees the scene of the king's death with quite a to-do list: He has approximately 80 minutes to clear his name, win over a grumpy princess, and prevent his uncle from unleashing a killer sandstorm by stabbing a giant underground hourglass with a magical dagger. The magical dagger also has the power to turn back time—goodbye narrative tension, hello awkward CG time-travel sequences! There's some degree of camp here—tipped into utter absurdity at one point by the inclusion of a running ostrich gag—but Persia is neither bad enough to laugh at nor clever enough to laugh with. But really, what'd you expect? It's based on a videogame, after all.


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Film Credits
Mike Newell
Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton, Alfred Molina