Prince of Persia cover

As a movie based on a popular game, I would have to say that taken strictly at face value, Prince of Persia – Sands of Time is not half-bad as a movie. It’s not Lord of the Rings – but neither is it Battlefield Earth; just an agreeable middle of the road fantasy spectacular. This may be the key thing about movies based on games: gripping situation, fairly interesting characters, a very, very well-visualized world . . . and a paint-by-the-numbers plot. Not to say that Prince of Persia is badly or incompetently plotted, just that any plot which would have rung changes on the same set of characters within the world of ancient Persia created for it would have done just as well – and will probably serve equally well in a sequel. Or two, or three, since the whole thing with the glass-handled dagger brings the story around again to the beginning, with nothing changed, just like starting another round of the game. Otherwise, it’s lovely eye-candy, on several levels. As a bonus, it offers some agreeably amusing supporting characters, most especially Alfred Molina who now owns the franchise on comic villainy. There is also a rather nice rapport between the hero and the feisty princess-priestess, Jake Gyllanhaal and Gemma Arterton, and supporting acting talent more than equal to the materiel – although seeing Ben Kingsley in what at first appeared to be a minor role was a dead giveaway in the first five minutes that his character was up to something villainous. Location shooting took place in Morocco – which apart from some of the desert vistas, appears to very good effect. Of the extras, the most outstanding is a fairly detailed ‘making of’ featurette. This version came in a three-disc combination package: a DVD and Blu-ray version, plus a digital copy. This may be the most sensible and flexible way to retail feature movies for the near future.

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is available through Amazon and other retail outlets.

Sgt. Mom is a free-lance writer and member of the Independent Authors Guild who lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her Adelsverein Trilogy is also available through More about her books, including Daughter of Texas, due for release in April 2011 is at her website

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