Ah, summer. That magical time when videogames become movies starring serious actors vying shamelessly for that cold hard cash that indies just can’t pony up. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, especially when the actor is Jake Gyllenhaal, looking hot in a bod especially buffed up for The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.
The movie is everything you expect a big-budget ($150 million), Jerry Bruckheimer-produced Memorial Day Weekend flick to be: fun, loud, mindless, not too long, with a likeable protagonist, a cadre of mostly harmless misfits, a perky faux-contentious love story and of course, high-flying special effects galore. Bring on the popcorn.
The plot goes like this: Prince Dastan, Persian army hero, is framed for trying to poison the king of a holy city that his brother’s army just invaded. Bro (a spectacularly hammy Ben Kingsley, making that money) is bad, and you know this because he’s got a devilish-looking moustache. It just so happens in this city is a cute chick, Princess Tamina, who guards a magical dagger that can turn back time (Gemma Arterton, who also played the mythical babe in the smash hit Clash of the Titans). When Dastan goes on the run, she reluctantly goes with him, bickering all along, and inevitably falling madly in love.
The action is pretty good—lots of swashbuckling, acrobatic stuff— and Gyllenhaal makes for a likeable, goofy hero and Alfred Molina, as a dude who loves to race ostriches, is provides some additional fun. Yeah, it’s all nonsense that won’t stay in your brain longer than that popcorn will last in your mouth, but at least it’s fun nonsense. —Damarys Ocaña