REVIEW: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Directed by: Mike Newell
Written by: Boaz Yakin & Doug Miro (screenplay)
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton, and Alfred Molina

I must say, after seeing the abysmal trailer for this film, I’m somewhat pleasantly surprised with the end result.  What initially looked like another bad video game adaptation with worse graphics than the actual game, Jerry Bruckheimer has done the unthinkable: taken the (resident) evil act of adapting a movie to screen and having it actually be entertaining.  Alas, no Jack Sparrow to make this tale interesting or worth embarking on.

Bruckheimer makes a living off of these ridiculous ideas.  He grossed more than a billion dollars off of a trilogy based on a Disney ride.Though he has production credits only, you can see his swash-buckling touch all over this desert tale.  The Sex and the City girls decorate their Middle Eastern adventure with desperation mixed with luxury and a hint of American arrogance.  You’ll find no such things metastasize on the surface of this film, though they are all there behind the scenes; a dwindling economy prevails but Bruckheimer still finds $200 million for his vision.  It’s not so much arrogance as studio caution that a white male has been cast in the lead role as the Prince of Persia.

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TRAILER: Salt

Salt
Directed by: Phillip Noice
Written by: Kurt Wimmer & Brian Helgeland (screenplay)
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Zoe Lister Jones

Angelina Jolie typically has two types of roles.  The bad-ass action chick, a la Wanted, or the heavy dramatic roles, a la Changeling.  This summer, she will be playing more of the former, with a little of the heavy stuff mixed in.

Salt, from director Phillip Noice, seems from the trailer to be a summer action flick filled with acting talent and perhaps a plot that doesn’t suck.  The thrills in the trailer seem to be grounded in some kind of distorted realism.  Jolie appears to be playing kind of a girl Superman, hiding in broad daylight and not wearing a mask when she becomes the ass-kicker.

Liev Schreiber also stars in the movie, so it’s nice to see that Mr. Noice appears to be favoring talent over names that will just sell, though Jolie will do just that.  The trailer hits all of the normal bells and whistles when it comes to this kind of intrigue-based action/thriller.

It sets up the kidnapped boyfriend premise while interspersing some well choreographed action sequences featuring Angelina tasing some meddling policemen.  In all, it appears to be a typical summer flick, though it may end up being more or less than either of those by its July 23rd release date.

Highs: The casting, especially that of Angelina Jolie.  It’s always nice to see her throttling cronies.

Lows: No real complaints with the trailer other than it’s mundane, over-used structure.  Would it kill people to have a trailer like the one for A Serious Man?

Trailer Grade: B+