Review: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Thanks for checking out our Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time review

Genre: Fantasy/Adventure
Directed by: Mike Newell
Staring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina
Released: May 28th, 2010


Adopted from the streets of Nasaf by King Sharaman of Persia, young Dastan grows up amongst royalty and quickly earns his place as a mighty warrior and prince. As his brothers Garsiv and Tus plan battle strategies, a spy sends word that the Holy City of Alamut has been supplying weapons to enemies of Persia. Taking matters into his own hands, Tus orders an attack on the sacred city and upon its fall Dastan encounters the beautiful Princess Tamina. When King Sharaman dies under mysterious circumstances shortly after, and Dastan is accused of his murder, he flees with the princess on a harrowing mission to clear his name.


The action was pretty good for the most part except for some of the close combat. I would have liked to see more of the Parkour they show in the trailer, but what was there was pretty good. And the visuals of the vast cities and landscapes look very good.

There is far more story in this film than even the trailer suggests. And I like how it works. I can’t get to indepth without revealing much of the “badguy” twist but everyone acts within character and acts appropriately given their circumstances. At no point did I question anyone’s judgement or their actions. This is a far rare detail in what I expected to be a light fluffy action film. The story had some hiccups, but the Characters were all spot on. Even the pointless Sheik Amar – Alfred Molina (but more on him later)

Also, the statement carries more weight than this one line but its the best movie based on a video game I have ever watched.


The bad is hard to say because there are things they do SO right in this but the bad is just so glaringly bad. They could have cut out Alfred Molina’s part from this movie entirely and it would have made the movie better. The entire side adventure into the “Valley of Slaves” and their overlord Sheik Amar was pointless. No, it was MORE than pointless. It detracts from the movie. I like Alfred Molina, but he was completely useless in this, and his entire involvement takes you out of the setting. Ranting about “government assassins” and paying taxes to “the man” just took me out of the mysticism and setting of Ancient Persia.

There is also a major plothole that had me rolling my eyes is that the guardian of the dagger, Arterton says the only safe place to keep the dagger is in the secret secondary temple… uh… then why didnt you keep such a valuable artifact of the Gods there in the first place? I don’t know why they added that line there aside from a plot device to have them travel to the secret temple.

And as much as I love a good villain, Kingsley was sadly a prop in this movie and I wasn’t motivated to despise him or even feel for him. Kind of a waste really.

And only when they had some really close combat did they resort to that rapidfire camera angle change to make it look more exciting. Frankly I would prefer one shot instead of trying to trick us with thirty.


Overall the film was fun to watch, and Arterton is beautiful. I would love to see this movie with all of Sheik Amar’s parts edited out, or reducing him to a glorified extra. He didn’t need to be in this movie at all.

Aside from that and a little plot forgiveness its a pretty good movie. Would have rated higher without those flaws, but its easily the best movie based on a video game that I have seen.

And that’s why I give Prince of Persia a 6.5 out of 10

Couldn’t quite justify the seven, but its not quite as low as a six either!

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16 thoughts on “Review: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

  1. All this movie has done is reinforce the belief that video game adaptations aren’t worth it. Personally, I don’t think the problem is that video games make bad movies. The real problem is that nobody has done a good job adapting a video game. Its going to take one well-done adaptation to get things going. I had hoped “Prince” would be that adaptation, but, alas, it appears that is not so.

    A lot of video games have interesting concepts that would translate well to the big screen, but such adaptations need to be handled competently. To date, video game adaptations haven’t had the right talent running the ship. If there is a good script and a good director, I think we’ll see a good adaptation. But, to date, that has not happened. Here’s hoping things work out well with “Mass Effect” or “Bioshock.”

    1. This was a good (not great) movie, which is still better than any other video game adaptation I have seen.

      Why is this proof that video game movies are not worth it? And yet you still hope for Mass Effect and Bioshock?

      1. I don’t necessarily think video game adaptations aren’t worth it. Its all the press surrounding “Prince” that has been once again asking if a video game adaptation will ever be good. Movie audiences this past weekend seem to have agreed with the critics.

        Personally, I think video game adaptations are worth it. There are some interesting concepts and stories that have come out of video games. I just wonder if we will ever get the video game adaptation equivalent of an “X-Men” or “Spider-Man” to get things going. So far, we’ve mostly had the equivalent of “Blade” or “Batman Forever.”

  2. Finally the film gods have allowed there to be an AWESOME video game adaptation, an thy title name is…

    Prince Of Persia:The sands of time
    I completely enjoyed this movie from start to finish. Jake Gyllenhaal IS Prince of Persia as RDJ IS to Tony Stark. I wouldn’t want there to be any other prince, Jake did an amazing job as prince Dastien. I felt as though he had the very spirit of Prince kakolukia(from the game POP:Sot).Arterton is very exotic an stunning, an Alfred Molina brought a very funny comedic style which made me feel as though i was watching Cap Jack Sparrow in Persia.

    The plot of the story was it’s own but connected greatly with the story of the game, an managed to add in distinct features of the video game such as the sand trap, and parkour(even giving us a small wall run). Rodney’s part on Kingsley is quite true, his character wasn’t used enough to generate any feelings towards.

    But overall i really enjoyed Prince Of Persia, it gets two thumbs up from me. (Hopes for a sequel)

  3. One of the things I like about this movie was the how Prince Dastan has the same habilities than the game but is not the core of the movie. He is a great acrobat and figther but is more than that, in other VideoGame movie protagonist are what the protagonist of teh game was a shooter or an martial arts artist and the whole movie turns around that specific hability

  4. I thought the movie was okay. it reminded me a bit of The Mummy films. Alfred Molina was one the reasons the movie kept my interest. I especially liked how at first the villain isn’t who we expect. Overall the action was good, what bothered me was the shaky cam most of the time.

  5. It had a simple plot, but an interesting one with awesome action and good character development. Saying this movie has a failed plot is like saying “High Noon” has a failed plot.

    1. The movie opened at 30 million. It will struggle to get to 100 million. The movie cost 200 million.

      I think the movie is going to close more doors than it will open.

  6. I think the best thing about this movie is the doors it opens up for the video game to movie business.

  7. I was expecting such a train wreck. I was expecting to have to walk out of the theater. But I loved it. It’s not perfect, but it’s going to go in my DVD collection on the guilty pleasure shelf right next to Speed Racer.

  8. wow you are the first review i have read that has said that they didnt like Alfred Molina part in this movie every one else like JM did up tope has said that he stole the movie i am still going to see this with my brither we were both really into the games and want to see this movie

  9. My biggest problem with this movie was that this WASN’T Prince of Persia. They gave the characters some similarities but, for the most part, Dastun and Tamina were cookie-cutters in comparison to the characters of the game. I realize adopting a name from the source material to something not like the source at all is a very common Hollywood practice; I might be fine with this if the adaptation itself was good, but I felt this film lacked significantly in story. It’s really disappointing: Prince of Persia: SoT is a video game with a engaging plot that could make a good movie with the appropriate tweaking, but I feel as if this movie was entirely different from the game altogether.

    On the other hand, I agree that the environments were stunning and the action was very good, however. The few parts that did include Dastun’s parkour were really cool, and I only wish they’d done a little more of those stunts.

    1. Adaptation MEANS change, so I dont mind that it wasn’t a word for word translation of the Sands of Time plot. I actually prefer that it wasn’t.

      Ending was predictable though.

      1. I went yesterday and saw this. I was looking forward to it since they announce they were gonna do it, but going in I wasn’t expecting much – since I’ve been let down time after time regarding video game being adapted to big screen. But I gotta say – I totally enjoyed the crap out of this movie. It’s a great popcorn action/adventure film. I enjoyed Gyllenhaal’s performance – He did the best he could with this role (both acting and physical appearance). Gemma Arterton did a great enough job with her character, and I liked the chemistry between them – given the circumstances, I bought it enough. I loved the whole backstory and the relationship between the 3 brothers…kept me interested.

        But, as Rodney stated, It’s way far from being a perfect movie. I totally agree with Rodney’s take about the whole “Valley of Slaves” part and that Kingsley was totally underused. Also, you are right about the close combat scenes…they weren’t as annoying a Bourne-ish fight, but almost. The plot and ending could be predicted from miles away.

        Gotta say, Arterton is gorgeous and sexy in this film. Thank god for the desert’s heat and sexy outfits! The action was very cool – and overall I was expecting disappointment once again – but much to my surprise, and been given new hope = video game movies CAN BE COOL films!

  10. It’s not a good movie but by videogame movie standards, it is a masterpiece.

    I liked Alfred Molina’s character. I could say a lot of the movie didnt have an Ancient Persia feel, so i’m not going to complain about one character.

  11. I agree that this is the best video game adaptation yet.

    Personally, I liked Alfred Molina’s character. He stole all his scenes, in my opinion, and brought some comic relief. No, he probably wasn’t necessary. But I appreciated his scenes nonetheless.

    I guess I didn’t take the movie “too” seriously overall, and I really enjoyed it. A fun summer popcorn movie, no more, no less. I’d recommend it.

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