A Prince of Persia adaptation was never going to be a masterpiece. For a start, it is a video game adaptation. These are well known for being notoriously bad (although I have to admit the when one switches off the brain, Resident Evil and Tomb Raider are quite fun). And another thing is that Jerry Bruckheimer produced it. In my opinion, fame and fortune kinda went to his head in the same way it did for Michael Bay. I mean, has Bruckheimer produced a memorable film since the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie?
So we have Jake Gyllenhaal, sporting a very fine British accent playing Prince Dastan, the adopted son of the King of Persia. After being framed by his Uncle (Sir Ben Kingsley) for the murder of his father, he escapes with the Dagger of Time, an object that can rewind time. With him is a Princess (Gemma Arterton) who is the guardian of the dagger.
Lets start with the good stuff: it's good fun. If you liked The Mummy, Aladdin and Indiana Jones, you'll love the style of this. Where the film truly excels is where the references to the game come in ie the stunt work. There is fantastic cinematography in places and the lighting isn't too bad either. And once you make your way through the hardened pine that is the acting, you have Alfred Molina, who has the distinction of being brilliant in everything he has even been in: An Education, Spiderman 2, hell, even Raiders of the Lost Ark, despite being on the screen for like, 90 seconds!! But coming a very close second in terms of performance is... a suicidal Ostrich. Yes, you read that right folks!
But that's all very minimal.
The writing is very laughable. Very shoddy exposition with lines that made my mate repeat them (very loudly) to an empty (and very small) cinema. The CGI at times is very weak. Remember how bad the Scorpian King looked in The Mummy Returns despite the rest of the film looking pretty damn good? Well, Stephen Sommers admitted that they left that to the last minute and he was very embarrased by this. I suspect thats what happened here, but at a lesser level, The effects of the Dagger in action looks amazing but other scenes like certain shots of the landscape of the Cities look very weak. And there is this annoying text at the beginning and end of the film that would have been better had it been as a voice over.
Despite all of these flaws, Prince of Persia is good solid fun on the same level as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is ie don't take it too seriously and you'll have a great time! Alfred Molina is to Prince of Persia to what Alan Rickman is in Robin Hood: just magnificent and often gloriously over the top! However, having not played the game, I can't tell you if you should avoid it as a fan. But give it a go!