Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer has been responsible for a string of hit blockbusters from Flashdance to the Pirates of the Caribbean. So why did audiences stay away from Prince of Persia? Maybe America just isn’t ready for a hero in a turban. Jake Gyllenhaal, boasting WWE-worthy muscles, is the orphan adopted by Persian royalty. He goes on the run after being accused of murdering his adoptive father with a poisoned cloak. In tow is a beautiful princess (Gemma Arterton) with futon-like lips who hopes to unsheathe the twinkling hunk’s mystic time-warping dagger. In arid pursuit is manipulative fiend Ben Kingsley and an army of what the film calls “Hassansins.” Lost already? Following the story is as fruitless as a desert, but any plot complications are shunted aside in favor of a bazaar-load of Middle East exotica and swashbuckling thrills that detonate with greater regularity than IEDs in a Baghdad market square. The sharpest line, though, may go to Alfred Molina‘s bumptious oasis swindler, who observes, “You can’t run an ostrich race with only one ostrich.”
Long-necked land birds also feature along with a menagerie of other weirdness in this week’s other notable release, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?. Crazy aspiring actor Michael Shannon holds a pair of flamingos (“eagles in drag”) hostage. Coffee-swilling cop Willem Dafoe investigates how the lunatic is related to the dead body in a neighbor’s house. Produced by David Lynch and directed by Grizzly Man‘s Werner Herzog, Son is a neat exercise in absurd tragicomedy, with fine supporting performances from Big Love‘s Chloe Sevigny and cult actor Udo Kier.
Extras: Persia‘s Blu-Ray package includes an interactive feature that allows you to play with Jake’s dagger and access making of content. My Son features an essential commentary track from the always nutty Herzog and a short film.
- By C. Bottomley