Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
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In the spirit of the Pirates Of The Caribbean trilogy, Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films transport you to the mystical lands of Persia for this wildly entertaining, epic action-adventure. It's a race against time when a rogue prince (Jake Gyllenhaal) reluctantly teams up with a rival princess (Gemma Arterton) to safeguard a magical dagger that gives its possessor the power to reverse time and rule the world. Filled with death-defying escapes and unexpected twists at every turn - Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time is a fun-filled adventure that will keep your pulse pounding long after the credits end.
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BUT Amazon is having serious gateway issues-the transmission quality was absolutely terrible and the movie file had a lot of delays due to trouble with extremely S-L-O-W loading-we gave up, disappointed. This is the fourth consecutive attempt with Amazon Prime to stream a movie that has failed dismally; the issue was not with our ISP or with our Roku 3, as we switched right away to Netflix and their content streamed without any problems at all. Amazon has noticed the problem with our previous 3 attempts and has kindly refunded the rental cost, but they have done nothing to address their gateway problem. We have totally given up on trying to stream anything from Amazon Prime. Very poor quality, very un-Amazon. Disappointing.
Orphaned and left to fend for himself, young Dastan never realized when he risked his life for another child that he would draw the attention of royalty, but when King Sharaman witnesses the boy's courage and fortitude, it is decided that Dastan will be raised as his own along with his sons. Fifteen years later, the royal princes are formidable in warfare and fond of one another. The eldest (Richard Coyle) is in training to become the future king of Persia, while his dutiful uncle Nizam (Ben Kingsley) guides his responses and assists him in making wise decisions. When it becomes known that one of their holy cities is supplying their enemies with weapons, it is decided that the city must be taken by force -- a feat that proves successful but not without cost. In defeating an adversary, Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) comes into possession of a fine dagger with a glass hilt. What he does not realize is this special dagger will give him the power to turn back time... and that it is worth killing for.
One of the guardians of the magical dagger is Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton), who becomes a fugitive along with Dastan when something unthinkable happens. Soon they are running from their lives with a ransom on their heads -- and the full force of the dagger has yet to be revealed. While this script is inspired by a popular video game, and the movie does play homage to the game in various fun and smart ways, it can stand alone as a decent piece of cinematic material. Most adaptations cannot claim that much -- this has a first-rate plot, some fun twists and turns, and enough adventure to satisfy even the most ADD audience. I can count on one hand the number of times an audience has applauded at the end of a film, and this is one of them. It's a romantic, dangerous, mystical adventure into a fantasy version of history, complete with gorgeous costumes and a solid cast. Gyllenhaal and Arterton have great chemistry and their romance does not feel rushed or forced, since it starts off on the wrong foot, continues into constant arguments, and then at the end begins to soften.
Many of the escape methods and fighting techniques are straight out of the game -- leaping rooftops, sliding around on ropes, dangling from wooden pegs halfway up sheer walls, climbing with the assistance of arrows embedded into stone. There are a few modern jokes thrown in for the audience's enjoyment (one man Dastan runs into evades Persian taxes by spreading lies about the notorious thieves in a particular valley, whereas there is nothing more terrifying than ostrich races going on) and problematic material is kept to a minimum. If you're fond of the fantasy genre or were not concerned with the supernatural aspect in the Pirates films, this is no more pervasive and in some ways, less sinister since it doesn't involve the walking dead. It surprised me with the fact that it was simply fun to watch -- it doesn't require much emotional involvement but still manages to include a few wonderful moments and they were careful to keep the action scenes from becoming too repetitive. Overall, it's one of the more enjoyable experiences I have had in the cinema.