I have a lot to say about this movie. First off, I didn’t hate it. Second, it’s not my favorite either.
Prince of Persia follows the story of adopted Prince Dastan. It begins on the eve of a great battle, where his brother, Prince Tus, is convinced into attacking a holy city (the home of Princess Tamina whom we meet later) by their uncle, Nazim. Dastan and his gang of street pals break into the city and lead the Persian armies, which eventually leads to the conquering of the holy city. During the course of the battle, Dastan finds the magical Dagger of Time; whoever holds the dagger, controls time. As you can imagine, this precious artifact can do a lot of bad in the wrong hands. And as you can imagine, the wrong hands are after it. And so, Dastan’s adventure begins.
So. My thoughts. Let’s start with the bad.
I didn’t really love the directing. I felt like the way the film was put together was awkward at times, but mostly, over-explanative. Everytime Dastan came to a conclusion about the plot, he had to explain all of it to his pal Tamina. Whenever Tamina knew something, she had to explain all of it to Dastan. Wouldn’t it have been nice if they had let us put two and two together, through perhaps a pleasant conversation, or even better, shown things in a way that didn’t require Dastan’s patient explanations?
Better foreshadowing would have been nice, too. For example, the dagger has a lot of quirks and a whole history which we are told on a need to know basis. Which isn’t bad, except it seems that whenever Princess Tamina, guardian of the dagger, tells us these things, she seems like she’s pulling them out of nowhere. It would have been a lot nicer to have the legend of the dagger told as a sort of prelude to the tale at the beginning of the movie. Things would have seemed less random.
I guess this complaining all boils down to the way the story was put together. Like I said, better foreshadowing or flashbacks instead of explanations would have flowed better. Also, during the battle the scenes, the epic scenes were lost between the frequent speeding up of the film: Dastan is majestically leaping off a building; instead of slowing it down for our enjoyment, the moment is speed up, and before you know it he has landed and the magic is lost.
I remember watching a movie, Prince Caspian I believe it was, where they had this nifty technique of speeding the battle up, then slowing it down during epic moments to create drama. I’ve seen that in a lot of other movies too, and they did use it here as well, but missed a few key spots. Oh well.
Alright. Enough moaning and groaning. This movie has good points, enough to keep me engrossed too.
First, I absolutely loved the setting. It was gorgeous. The costumes were as well. I just wanted to melt into the screen and start exploring. I don’t know how much of the set was CG, but regardless, it was beautiful.
Second, it kept me interested. The plot, due to trailers giving certain things away, was a little predictable, but the end really did take me by surprise. There was lots of battle and action and I really like the choreography; Dastan was very acrobatic, and there was lots of knife-throwing and sword-clashing.
And of course, the acting, which though not Oscar-worthy, was good enough. There was humor and adventure and there will probably be sequels as well. Which, I actually think might turn out to be better than the first. The reason? They didn’t build up, as they do in many fantasy movies, an enemy that once defeated sucks away the all evil so that any subsequent villain seem hashed up for the sake of making money. What does that long sentence mean? Well, if they don’t try and link the evil in following movies to this one’s bad guy, the plot and drama will stay fresh and exciting.
So would I see a sequel? Yeah. I would. Visually, this movie was amazing. It was over two hours, but I wasn’t yawning. The area and the setting has tons of room for new stories, and I think, due the ending, there is a lot of adventure yet to be had, for Dastan, and us as well.