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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
The "Hassansins" were modeled on the infamous Islamic mystery cult called the Hashshashin, from which the word "assassin" is derived, given their use of terror and assassinations as political leverage. Their leader was named Hassan Ibn Sabbah, whose activities took place in the heart of the Alborz Mountains of northern Iran (the place was called Alamut). Legends have surrounded the indoctrination process of the members of the Hashshashin cult, which are said to involve drugging and mind control. They were likely inserted as an homage to Ubisoft's largest franchise, "Assassin's Creed," which is likewise based on the cult of Hashshashins. See more »
Tamina mentions the "Mughals of the Hindu Kush" when going into Avrat. The Mughal Dynasty did not emerge till the 14th century, almost a millennium later than when the movie is supposed to take place. It spanned almost the entire Indian subcontinent and was by no means limited to the Hindu Kush mountain eange. 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 video game series sets the precident for the movie
It isn't often that a video game is so vivid, so involving...so enveloping, that it is looked on as a possible movie franchise on all those merits. Usually, just the action (Doom, Final Fantasy), or just the body (Lara Croft...Tomb Raider) or just some other one aspect makes for a great game, but an underwhelming movie. I had the pleasure of watching this movie in an early screening on Monday night, and it is definitely a step above and beyond the aforementioned videogames-turned-movies.
The hallmark from the very beginning of the Prince of Persia franchise (a primitive DOS programmed, side-scrolling adventure through a castle to rescue a locked-up princess) was not only having a great story, but telling it in such a way to keep the player in that world. This film, surprisingly enough, doesn't play out quite as closely to the video games as I had expected. Still, without spoiling either the games or this movie, I can say that it shows Jordan Mechner had full involvement in the movie. Many storytelling elements present in the "Prince of Peria: The Sands of Time" video game can be found here, and made for a very entertaining romp through the vast lands of Persia.
I would say that my main gripe is the under-use of parkour, the running/fighting style the Prince deploys in the video games. This is a hard gripe to substantiate though, because of how difficult parkour is to execute, let alone master, nonetheless I had expected something resembling the wall-running, banner-ripping moves seen in the "Sands of Time" video game trilogy. It's harder still to be too down on a little parkour, due to Disney's desire that this film would be the first in a Prince of Persia movie franchise, equal to or greater than the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie franchise. Therefore, I await with anticipation the creativity that more parkour would bring to the stories this most agile Prince can tell.
"Prince of Peria: The Sands of Time" gets 8 of 10 stars.
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