I wasn’t expecting much going into The Prince of Persia and as soon as I spied Papyrus typeface onscreen, a major peeve for font nerds and civilised society, I thought my expectations were going to be met. The incredibly rushed opening sequences didn’t help either, rather leaving me a bit confused and impatient. As someone who has never played the game on which the film was based I needed a slightly gentler introduction into the world.
I suppose they were simply trying to get the back-story out of the way so that the story itself could begin and to be fair they succeeded at that. Once my haze of confusion lifted, and I got over Jake Gyllenhaal’s accent, I found myself actually enjoying the film. What saved the movie for me was the humour present throughout. It wasn’t exactly clever humour but the general back and forth between Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton made the long desert journeys and bizarre plot all the more bearable, and Alfred Molina was a real highlight as the charismatic Sheik.
Sadly the plot really is bizarre, though surely all the more plausible in a video game, as Gyllenhaal and Arterton fight over a knife that can turn back time while his family troubles rage on in the background. The Prince of Persia isn’t going to be watched for it’s plot, it is going to be watched for its attractive cast and the promise of some action. On these points the film does deliver and while it’s not the most fun I’ve had inside a cinema this year there are worse ways to while away two hours.
The film does have a lot to thank its actors for as had the cast not been so damned attractive this review would look a lot different. I’m shallow like that.