"Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time"

When Prince Dustan (Jake Gyllenhaal) and his men ransack a rebelling territory, he comes into possession of a beautiful dagger. After a series of events force him to go on the run, he discovers the dagger has the power to turn back time. With the aid of Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) and the dagger, he sets about on a quest to redeem his name and get revenge on those who have wronged him.

"Prince of Persia" is one of the biggest domestic flops of the last decade. A $200+ million budget yielded a very poor opening weekend ($35 million) and a total of $90 million here in the States. It gained some real legs overseas and (as almost all movies do these days) still made a healthy profit. Which is quite disappointing. Not because it's a terrible movie; it isn't. As far as video game movies go, it's not so bad. The action sequences are pretty good, it moves at a quick pace, and the story is decent enough to keep from inducing groans. What's disappointing about the total haul of "Persia" is that it only propagates the sort of moviemaking and more importantly, movie marketing, that this movie represents. This entire movie and the corresponding advertising campaign are built around style over substance, flash over content. In true Jerry Bruckhiemer fashion, very little attention was paid to development or even to some elements of the casting while more and more was spent on adding a pointless special effect here or another "that'll look great in the trailer" shot there. You can almost hear Bruckheimer planning out the Disney World roller coaster that would be based on his movie instead of working on the movie itself. I'm not saying "Prince of Persia" could have been an award caliber film but it could have definitely hit a stronger note if a little more attention was paid to the actual movie and a little less to the marketing drive.

Grade: B-