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MouthShut Score

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4.21 

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Very good entertainment
Aug 10, 2016 09:39 AM 1354 Views (via Android App)

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A surprisingly accurate English accent, JakeGyllenhaalmakes a play for the family blockbuster market, as the lead actor in an expensive-looking film based, inevitably, ona video game. He plays a prince called Dastan in some nebulous region of medieval-era Middle East, who via a series of painfully complicated events, finds himself in possession of a mean-looking dagger that, via the sand grains in its hilt, can stop time and enable its operator to change things to his or her satisfaction.


( Presumably, it's equally useful as a function on a gamer's control pad.) GemmaArterton – glowing like a premier-league film star, but yapping like a Britcom third-rater – is the princess of the holy city where Dastan seizes it, while Ben Kingsley puts his supercilious sneer to good use as Dastan's treacherous uncle. ( Kingsley's badness is supposed to be a surprise, but so satanic are his little goatee and kohl-caked eyes that it's telegraphed from the very first frame.)


Director Mike Newell, having displayed his FX chops on Harry Potter, makes everything look very nice andfeel fleetingly exciting, but even he can't do anything about the fundamental silliness of the plot, which is so convoluted that its protagonists have to regularly stop and shout out what must be done to ensure allthe 10-year-olds in the audience don't get hopelessly confused. It goes without saying, too, that any contemporary geo-political resonances are stuffed well out of sight: despite the odd mention of religion here and there, there's no concession to the fact that this is notionally set in the US's bete noire, Iran. That title, incidentally, indicates there'll be more.


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