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Prince of Persia Clips Show Glossy Action and Non-Stars Gyllenhaal and Arterton

Prince of Persia Clips Show Glossy Action and Non-Stars Gyllenhaal and Arterton

Thompson on Hollywood

Mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s M.O. is to throw gazillions of dollars at multiple high-price screenwriters, superb production values, and eye-popping visual effects. That’s how an unprepossessing videogame that means nothing outside the male gamer demo winds up as a politically incorrect $200-million summer movie like Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. This movie may not deliver the summer tentpole goods (despite Disney’s saturation marketing blitz) when it opens this Friday–judging from its mild $18-million opening last weekend in 19 countries overseas. Anthony D’Alessandro will file his hard look at Memorial Weekend expectations Wednesday.

Which begs the question: has Jake Gyllenhaal ever proved that he can open a big movie? And I’m still taking a “show me” stance where Brit it-girl Gemma Arterton is concerned. She made a lovely Bond Girl, no doubt, but based on Clash of the Titans and Cannes entry Tamara Drewe (which I liked despite her shortcomings), is she a strong and likable actress?

Nonetheless I’m curious to see what Brit director Mike Newell and a classy line-up of movie craftsmen have done with the movie, which screens tonight. Here’s Variety’s underwhelming review:

“Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” is silky to the touch, but slips from the mind all too easily. Based loosely on a series of popular videogames, producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s passably enjoyable, antiquity-themed epic should satisfy its young male core demographic well enough, but won’t connect with other auds on the level of Bruckheimer’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. Mike Newell’s workmanlike helming is no embarrassment, but pic’s lack of game-changing originality, distinguishing anarchic streak or 3D wow factor may relegate this to summertime also-ran status.

Here are two film clips:

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Seen it already and it’s bad. Really bad. Dumb, confusing storyline, wooden clumsy dialogue and badly staged and edited action sequences. Aside from the fact the the two leads are woefully miscast with Gyllenhaal wearing bad hair extensions and speaking with a British accent. And who’s this Arterton chick? They say she was in Clash of the Titans and Quantum of Solace but I don’t remember her in them. Couldn’t they have gotten a real Middle Eastern actress for the fact instead of this chick with the posh accent who sounds and looks like some spoiled rich kid who just graduated from some exclusive British boarding school? In fact with all the high class Brit accents in the film it sounds more like prime minister’s questions time in the Parliment.

But the action sequences are a mess. Over edited and incoherent with no clear view of who’s doing what to whom. All to obviously hide that fact that an army of stuntmen and acrobats did all the stunts for Gyllenhall. And of of course it all ends with a climax of over the top and over done CGI effects which are more yawn inducing than exciting. So far Get Him to the Greek is the best summer film so far and Inception can’t get here fast enough.

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