Young critics rave about ‘Prince of Persia’
critics rave:This week’s monthly offering from the 826 Valencia student program is the “Prince of Persia: Sands of Time,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Dastan, the video game hero who, with Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton), fights evil forces. The movie is playing in Bay Area theaters.
Marco Ponce, 11
Pirate Name: Scurvy
Favorite thing about pirates: Their swords – sharp and able to cut something
“Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” shows the struggle for power and for the control of a magical dagger that lets you travel through time and determine the ruler of the Persian empire. The actual place called Persia, judging by the world map provided in the movie and from my world history book, was a huge empire that at one point included Egypt, spreading through what is now Israel and Turkey. Modern-day Persia is called Iran. Just thought you should know that bit before you see the movie.
“Prince of Persia” is an awesome, entertaining movie with lots of action. There are many exciting parts in the film. The first exciting scene is when Dastan uses his sword to start an oil spill and creates a wall of fire to shield the city from the people trying to defend it. What was so cool about this scene was watching how Dastan jumped from one level of a building to another. One other exciting part of the movie features Hassasin and his dangerous gadget, that cool wristband filled with knives that he would use on his targets.
Dastan was my favorite character because he was successful in reaching his destiny: to defend the kingdom from bad rulers, particularly his uncle.
I enjoyed Jake Gyllenhaal in this film and also in “The Day After Tomorrow,” as his character was also a rescuer.
However, I disliked all the interruptions during almost-kissing scenes; I thought Dastan and Tamina were in love, therefore, they should have uninterrupted love scenes. If I had made this movie, I would let them kiss and then they could get back to fighting people right away once they were done.
Terry Osco, 14
Pirate Name: Black Mustache
Favorite thing about pirates: The treasure, of course
I liked everything about “Prince of Persia.” Dastan was the best character because he was fearless. Everyone in the movie wanted to be the King of Persia, which made for a lot of cool fight scenes. I liked Dastan’s athletic abilities because they looked so difficult. I bet he had to practice for many hours to make his jumps look so easy.
I really enjoyed watching the characters travel back in time, making an opportunity for characters to change the past. I enjoy action movies with fierce battles, so this film was very satisfying. It has everything: action, drama, science fiction, comedy and mystery.
I would have made the movie longer, and even made a sequel with added action and drama. It was an exciting film; if you like action movies combined with a little time travel, go see this movie.
Alina Hubbard-Riley, 13
Pirate name: Amelia Read
Favorite thing about pirates: They don’t have to follow rules!
Beauty is only skin deep, they say. “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” is definitely beautiful, but does it have the character and quality screenwriting that a great film needs? It may have its shortcomings, but for the most part, yes.
“Prince of Persia” is definitely action-packed. It seems a viewer cannot go more than a minute without being immersed in a battle or a chase. “Prince” makes it work, which is rare in Hollywood. It really puts the audience in the shoes of Prince Dastan, the title character, as he runs from his family and from the murder he was purported to have committed against his father.
critics rave:It’s a funny movie, too. The comic relief comes in the form of an “entrepreneur” criminal, who often makes remarks about paying taxes. But it’s also funny when it shouldn’t be, for example, when the Prince and his love interest Tamina kiss during the climax of the film (when they should be rushing to save the world).
critics rave:But, if for no other reason, you should at least see it for the breathtaking visuals, from the desert panoramas to the gorgeous fountain in the Holy City of Alamut. I was amazed at how much time Disney & Co. spent making every detail beautiful.
This is a truly great action film, much better than the average summer blockbuster.
Alec Dufurrena, 18
Pirate name: Captain Suntan
Favorite thing about pirates: The plank
critics rave:Plenty of blood and guts splatter the screen in “The Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.” That said, Mike Newell’s “Prince of Persia” leaves much to be desired. The script seems to have been cut and pasted from countless other action-adventure flicks. Lines like, “Stop him!” and “That’s impossible” pepper the dialogue.
critics rave:The weak writing coupled with the monosyllabic, expressionless acting style of Gemma Arterton makes some speech-heavy scenes painful to watch. Jake Gyllenhaal employs a trademark grin and hair flip at every chance, but, compared to some other actors in the film, he is not bad.
As I watch, I can’t help but be reminded of scandals which took place in Persia a few millennia after the movie’s setting. The movie opens with the revelation of an insidious plot by an ally to sell weapons to Persia’s enemies. The plot thickens when someone in the court is revealed to have lied about there being any weapons, after the holy city has been invaded and occupied by imperial forces.
critics rave:The film does not deviate much from the street-child-turned-prince-framed-for-murder-and-forced-to-save-the-very-empire-that-wants-him-dead formula with a star-crossed romance and an evil uncle thrown into the mix. This is an action video game with actors instead of computerized characters, although it can be hard to differentiate. There is also no way for a gamer to kill the annoying characters before they utter another cliched line, which I found distressing.
critics rave:The fight choreography saved me from boredom and kept me entertained for an hour and a half. The bottom line: Those looking for a gem in the hilt of filmmaking’s gilded dagger will leave disappointed, but gamers and action-film escapists will find all the wonders of Ali Baba’s treasure trove in the “Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.”