Transplanted to Mars, a Civil War vet discovers a lush planet inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter a princess who is in desperate need of a savior.
Set in the mystical lands of Persia, a rogue prince and a mysterious princess race against dark forces to safeguard an ancient dagger capable of releasing the Sands of Time -- a gift from the gods that can reverse time and allow its possessor to rule the world. Written by
Walt Disney Pictures
Dastan is a name from Ferdowsi's Shahnameh that means "the trickster". See more »
The map in the opening scene shows a Persian Empire stretching to Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) in the west. Persian rule never again extended this far once Alexander the Great toppled the Achaemenid Dynasty in the 4th century BC. In a featurette on the DVD, the director describes the movie's action as taking place between the 4th and 6th centuries, presumably AD, several centuries after the map would have become obsolete. By that time the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire would have controlled many of the areas shown as western Persia on the map. See more »
Long ago in a land far away, there once rose an empire that stretched from the steppes of China to the shores of the Mediterranean. That empire was Persia. Fierce in battle, wise in victory. Where the Persian sword went, order followed. The Persian king, Sharaman, ruled with his brother, Nizam, upon the principles of loyalty and brotherhood.
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The sands have spread fairly thin and it shows... but surprisingly in a good way
The common view amongst "professional" reviews is that the movie is average. scoring below 50% from Rotten Tomatoes, and MetaCritic, and notably a 2 out of 4 stars from Roger Ebert. The average user ranking on MC puts it at 9 out of 10.
Most reviews range anywhere from 8 out of 10, to as low as 2 or 3 out of 10.
If there's one thing critics can agree on, its that the movie is clichéd, borrowing elements from plenty of epics based in the Middle East and fantasy alike, and that it's loads of fun.
The one thing no one can agree on is whether that's good or bad.
It should be pointed out that this film is produced by the same company/studio that brought us 'Pirates of the Caribbean', and it certainly shows.
With that said, I'll lead into my thoughts on the film. The first "Pirates" scored on average a 7.8 - 6.4 of 10, while the sequels averaged anywhere from 4.5 to 5.3. I'd say this movie is better than the sequels while not as good as the first.
So, I'd give it roughly a 7 out of 10.
The story is fun, for what it is. Which is a rough retelling of the video game "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time", while incorporating elements of the following two sequels, as well as incorporating stylistic elements from the following game and the first three of the original trilogy. Thats right! Based loosely on one game, borrowing elements from SIX more. The movie is stretched too thin, and it shows.
The movie feels like your prototypical "sword and sandal" action flick, borrowing heavily from films like "The Thief of Baghdad", and stories found in "1001 Nights". So think 'Arabian Nights', Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, Aladdin, all mixed with some Steve Reeves 'Hercules' and Robert E. Howard 'Conan' flash.
Is it as cheesy as that sounds? YES! Is it as awesome as that sounds? YES!
But it's still well edited, well acted, well scored (Harry Gregson-Williams never fails), and overall well done enough to merit an enjoyable experience.
The ONLY complaints I can think of are few, but here they are: A bit too much CGI, not on the stunts (not much CGI there surprisingly) but on things like demonic-esque snakes (you'll see). Too much random slow-motion. The sexual-tension seemed too forced (too many of those really slow "they're about to kiss but don't" moments). And whereas yes, the ending is supposed to have a "Deus-Ex-Machina" feel to it, in the game it is much more thorough and more explained, in the movie you're just expected to roll with it.
Other than that. A fun night at the movies! Grab your over-priced candy, soda, and popcorn (or do like me and sneak snacks in) and have fun with friends, family and loved ones, recapturing the fun escapism of your childhood with an epic but cliché action movie.
Hope you enjoyed my review... And I hope you enjoy the movie too!
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