It needs to be said before we enter into any discussion around the film Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time that I am indeed a gamer, and whilst I’m no expert at the modern day Prince of Persia titles (my wife holds that position in our house) I do have an appreciation for the style and form that makes up the games. So when approaching a film like this I do so with certain expectations.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a 2010 Disney film starring Jake Gyllenhaal, directed by Mike Newell and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. It’s based on the popular video game of the same name as well as drawing on concepts from others in the franchise.
The film follows Prince Dastan (Gyllenhaal) who has been betrayed and framed for the murder of his adopted father the king of Persia. Dastan has discovered the Dagger of Time, a knife that grants its user the ability to move back in time one minute and change what happens in that minute. It’s this dagger and the power that it grants that is the key to who has killed the king and being able to clear Dastan’s name.
The story, though, takes a back seat to the sets and action, that at times feels ripped directly from the games in their construction and execution. In fact I took great delight as the film replicated the style and sequences from the games as our hero leapt from roof tops, went swinging from poles and dodged arrows.
Some might be turned off by the constant references back to video game stylings but to me it was more about the film noting its origins and hearing the same sound effects from the game in the film was a nice nod without distracting non-gamers.