The Persian army invades a neighbouring empire to capture their weapons. Our main protagonist is Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal), a man who does some wacky parkour stunts and leads his Persian army to victory, thus becoming a war hero. Later on, he is framed for the murder of the Persian King and now he is on the run.
That’s only 10% of the story. The other 90% involves a mysterious dagger owned by Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) that can turn back time. Only the person holding the dagger is aware of time being reversed. It needs the “sands of time” as fuel to operate. You can get the sand in some mysterious underground cave. But you cannot attach the dagger to the sand if not the gods will get angry and destroy the world and then the Princess must sacrifice herself and lots of crazy stuff will happen.
We have no guns or cars here, but rather we have arrows and swords. Dastan leaps from rooftops, climbs walls and dodges arrows for he knows he must save Earth from destruction. Princess Tamina tags along because the movie needs a female lead. Dastan tries to kiss Tamina a few times but he is not fast enough. Along the way they meet Sheik Amar, a business man played by Alfred Molina. It’s no surprise when I say he is the best actor of the entire cast.
Dastan and his newly found crew have to battle a group of ninja-like people called the Hassasins, who are a bunch of well-trained killers sent to hunt down Dastan and get the dagger. The Hassasins felt more like a plot device than anything, but the plot became so convoluted and confusing that these Hassasins were the least of my problems.
Towards the end, I became less and less interested in the plot. Every five to ten minutes, a new “rule” would get tossed at you and you have to piece together all the rules to make sense of what this dagger is all about. I was tired of listening to Princess Tamina talk about the sand gods and that person and that place and what they must do. I just wanted to see Dastan beat the villain up and be done with it.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time goes through the motions of an epic adventure movie without any real innovation. The action scenes are above average but the functions of the dagger are sketchy and raises a lot of unanswered questions. This film will do on a slow day, but you might have more fun watching Raiders of the Lost Ark again.