Saturday, May 29, 2010

Time-twisting ‘Prince’

Flashy and frenzied, “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” stars a buffed-up Jake Gyllenhaal as Dastan, the titular character and formerly a street urchin adopted by a kindly king. Noble and combat-ready, the grown-up Dastan invades the peaceful city of Alamut and discovers a plot to unseat his father.

“Prince of Persia” is a clean, familiar sojourn, the potential grit and edge of its desert-dune encounters dulled and Disney-fied for younger viewers. Gemma Arterton plays someone who knows more than everyone else, a la her character in “Clash of the Titans,” but prettifies just the same. She knows the secrets of the reality-changing sands of time, which of course proves useful in undoing catastrophic events. So, yes, the movie can be summed up as “Groundhog Day in Alamut,” especially when things become tragic. Ultimately, the dreamlike, even video game-like quality of the story perplexes because of the reversible nature of the adventure.

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