Following on from video games made into movies like Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy, Resident Evil and, erm, Super Mario Bros, the platform game Prince Of Persia gets its own big screen adventure.
Young street urchin Dastan (Gyllenhaal) is adopted by the king and raised with two royal brothers to be a warrior for the Persian army. After attacking the sacred city of Alamut, Dastan finds the mythical sand-filled Dagger Of Time, while his brother Tus sets his sights towards Alamut princess Tamina (Arterton). However, someone frames Dastan for his father’s death and he and Tamina – who wants her dagger back – go on the run together. Dastan wants to prove his innocence, and when he discovers that the dagger can rewind time for one minute, he guesses that Tus may have wanted it as part of his bid to become the most powerful ruler in Persia, and decides he must return home to confront him.
Packed with swords-and-sandals action and humour as Dastan and Tamina bicker, cross paths with con artist (and ostrich racer) Sheik Amar (Alfred Molina), and find themselves in the middle of a royal conspiracy, this works best when Gyllenhaal (better known for indie dramas like Donnie Darko) is allowed to show off his shiny new muscles and free-running skills, bouncing around the streets and rooftops. When it slows down, it’s less appealing, as the plot is pretty predictable and you can guess the true bad guy just by looking at the cast list. All in all, it’s not as bad as some of the video game movies that have gone before, but it’s also not as good as the game on which it is based, either.
Is Prince Of Persia suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Younger kids (under 8s) will be scared by the poisonous snakes in the desert.
There are a few violent (but not frightening) deaths, including a character whose throat is slashed.