Prince Of Persia:
Sands Of Time (2010/Disney Blu-ray
w/DVD & Digital Copy)
B+/B- Sound: A-/B Extras: C/C+ Film: C
Another video game film? Judging from the
troubled past of videogame based films, Prince
of Persia had to make leaps and bounds (off of walls nonetheless) to get
audiences past the past atrocities that we have all been subjected to.
stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Dastan, an orphan who was adopted by the king after a
feat of heroism. Dastan was raised as a
prince, eventually rising to the point of leading an army of his own. In a tragic set of events the king is killed
and Dastan is blamed for his murder, his brothers putting a price on his head. So at this point the film seems good
enough. Then (suddenly) a dagger that
turns back time for a brief moment is introduced, along with a beautiful
information barer (in all things dagger) named Tamina. Annoying amounts of information are given
about the dagger, leading me to say OK I GET IT. What happened to things just being cool
artifacts; ala Indiana Jones with
his arc and holy grails? Anyhow, we
watch as Dastan runs around Persia
(where are the Persians?) seeking his freedom, along with justice. In what could have been a ‘yawn-fest’ in fact
turns out to be an action packed, violence-fest with slashing, chopping and all
in between. Disney was quite liberal
with the violence in this film and it worked to a certain degree, but the
script failed in so many more.
problem with the film is that it did what it was suppose to do. What I am trying to say is that the Prince of Persia attempted to be a true
film with substance and depth, taking itself all too seriously. Yes it is a videogame film, so it already has
a strike against it, but the worst thing it could have done is make the film
campy or go word for word with source material (i.e., the games). Many movies in the past (Super Mario Bros, Mortal
Kombat and Street Fighter) have
made crucial and crushing missteps in film making, but Prince of Persia just simply didn’t work as it did not reach the
balance between game and cinema that it desperately needed. Yes the money was there. Yes the acting was there. Yes the atmosphere was there. In the end, however, the script was weak and
played more like a bad Mummy sequel
(which isn’t saying much) than a true action film with substance and depth.
technical features on this 3-Disc set are not sandy at all as they clearly
spell quality as Disney always does. The
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition picture presentation is bright, detailed
and full of color. The film takes on an
intended yellowy/sand swept hue that can diminish both detail and color, but
overall (though not perfect) is well balanced to give the intended effect
without stripping away the quality. The
bigger issue arises in the darker sequences of the film as detail suffers and
faces are lost in the darkness. It seems
that the ‘yellow effect’ combined with the dark atmosphere causes issues that
result in temporary visual field loss. Other than the darker sequences though
the detail is very nice, nice grains of sand and Gyllenhaal’s perfectly placed
hair appearing with ease.
can deliver one thing it is a quality sound presentation and this 5.1 DTS-HD
Master Audio lossless surely delivers. Even
if the film did not turn out as epic as expected, the sound presentation does
as it blasts from your speakers with full action. The viewers’ room will rumble as hooves thud
and gallop across the soundscape, knives slice through the screen and every scream,
whisper and war cry are delivered with the utmost
precision. The sound is simply amazing
and if it was for a single instance where mouths and dialogue did not quite
lineup, it may even be perfect. I
thoroughly enjoyed the sound presentation as it fully utilized all speakers and
with a wonderful soundtrack to back up the fast paced action the experience
heightened a film that was weak otherwise.
is essentially a downgraded Blu-ray that has all the same thrills, but at the
same time the weakness are more pronounced.
extras (most likely due to the film itself) are not all too impressive. Bonus features include CineExplore: The Sands
of Time, Deleted Scenes and Sneak Peeks.
On the DVD ONLY (odd I know) is a featurette entitles “An Unseen World: The
Making of Prince of Persia.” The CineExplore feature is nice (though
slightly annoying) as it prompts you during the film (when a dagger appears) to
view special ‘how they did it’ type scenes along with interviews. The ‘Making Of’ featurette was ok at best and
a very strange choice to only include it on the DVD. The deleted scenes add
nothing to an already floundering film.
included for your computer, iPod or iPad is a digital copy to ‘treasure.’
videogames and I love films, but it seems there is only the rare occasion that
they work well together and Prince of
Persia is not one of them. I like
Jake Gyllenhaal and he has a strong catalog of films to backup his acting
credibility, but Prince of Persia is
an action film with little substance. I
would say the film is worth seeing once with a big bowl of popcorn, but not
good enough to own until the end of time.
through an hourglass, these are the wastes of our times.
- Michael P. Dougherty II