Thursday, 6 May 2010

Prince of Persia: Already A Letdown?

Coming soon to a large multiplex cinema near you: Jerry Bruckheimer's take on Prince of Persia:

I have to apologize for the slightly dodgy picture quality here; what I was trying to pull off didn't quite work I'm afraid. Anyway, any film by Jerry Bruckheimer will no doubt have its share of thrills and spills and also a large spoonful of wooden dialogue (including clangers, plus some explanations that we're frankly patronised by) but his films always make for a good night out, right?

Well maybe not if, like me, you're a disgruntled fan of the original Prince of Persia games. First of all, the Prince never had a name, secondly, he wasn't so wooden in the way he talked. No doubt Jake Gyllenhaal can wield a sword very well (he'll have to, otherwise it'll be "Prince of Persia: The Laughable Rogue") and Gemma Arterton as his love-interest Tamina will prove to be a good sidekick. Plus we'll be able to tell who the bad guy is because he'll be the one wearing the most eye-liner. We've got all that, but none of this:

That's right: BEAST BASHING! In Bruckheimer's version, the Prince will not slay a single zombie or kick a demon into the pits of oblivion - all of the enemies are human. To my mind this defies one of the points of Prince of Persia: it's a platformer where you get to kill some inhuman beasties using some flashy swashbuckling moves. It would have been better if, like in the video game, the Prince used the Dagger of Time to stop a zombie or demon from jumping on him. Surely the film needs to have an element of the supernatural in it? Even if the villain eventually turns into that devil-god monster from the fourth installment in the end, at least it'll keep the purists happy.

I suppose if you're not familiar with the game, then you'll enjoy the film as a piece of escapism. If not, well, at least they've got the Prince's clothes right!

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