Rating: 3 of 5
Prince of Persia is a nice way to start the big, loud, hot summer movie season. It’s a fun movie, light on substance but full of cool parkour action, big special effects a few laughs and a hot guy. Anyone expecting anything else doesn’t realize they’re going to see a Jerry Bruckheimer film.
As mentioned above, light on story; slightly convoluted not really in that the plot continues to evolve, but in that it feints several times and then gradually reveals itself like all good political intrigues. The characters are good throughout; especially for a Jerry Burckheimer film which also tend to be character light. Everyone is praising Alfred Molina because he’s funny and a well written character built for amusement. I felt the secondary characters were solid enough. And though some people don’t like Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance I thought he was good. He’s a charming, roguish hero, perhaps a bit out of place with the story but completely in keeping with the character.
I didn’t think he and Gemma Arterton had much chemistry, though. They weren’t as bad as Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds in The Proposal. And they had a good witty banter going on throughout the film. But every time the “I really actually want to be kissing you” moment came it felt forced. or staged. like it didn’t actually just happen, but happened because it’s supposed to happen right then.
I didn’t like the editing. There’s very cool parkour action happening but it often cut too soon to actually see the fight or the leap. It detracts from how exciting the action could be. I also think Len Wiseman would have been a better directing choice than Mike Newell. But that’s mostly because Len did such an interesting and fun job with Live Free or Die Hard.
I also didn’t like the music. Harry Gregson-Williams is usually good, but there were moments when the score was completely cheesy and overwrought.
Those things aside, it’s fun to watch Jake Gyllenhaal run around, leaping and sword fighting and bantering his way through the movie.