I’m not a big fan of Jake Gyllenhaal, but he won some cred for this one.

Prince of Persia started out as a series of video games, the earliest of which was released in 1989! The series has come a long way from there. More recently a trilogy of games was released 2003-2005 that added a rich back story and interesting plot twists to a wonderful puzzle game. The basic mechanics were easy, but the cool flips and kicks and stabs that the Prince pulled off would regularly make the player go, “OH, that frickin’ must have hurt!” I played the games each a few times. What I liked about them was that if you had enough ‘sand of time’ saved up, you could typically rewind the game when you accidentally got stabbed or fell off a rooftop. And with all the acrobatic mastery the character displayed, that could happen quite regularly.

So Disney decided to take the game series, which had grown quite popular, and make a movie out of it. OH NO!, some might say, considering how abysmal movies based on games tend to be.  But they did a REALLY good job of this. Sure, now that I think about it, it reminds me a bit of the Scorpion King. Maybe they used some of the same sets, just in a completely different way. The story was solid, the action was cool, the love story was subtle. It wasn’t Princess Bride, but it definitely wasn’t as purposefully bad as Street Fighter.

Some of the cast members looked suspiciously like actors from the Lord of the Rings movies, but after checking up on them it turns out they were not. Facial hair can make people look really different. Or maybe it makes everyone look the same. Whatever. Sir Ben Kingsley appears as the King’s brother for the film. You can just tell by looking at him that you’re supposed to be suspicious of everything he does. Black goatees are like cats: they are clear signs that you have nefarious plots lined up for the protagonist.

Yes, I know this review is about a month old. I haven’t been getting to the theater too often. The more I go, the more I see previews for movies I look forward to seeing when they come out. Thus begins a horrible cycle. Nonetheless, Prince of Persia was a cool movie I’d recommend to everyone, even if you haven’t played the video games.

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