Casual Friday: 10 Reasons to see Prince of Persia

Fair warning: I’ll do my best not to unleash the spoilers on you all unwitting. But what might be one person’s innocuous fact could be another’s spoiler. Therefore: Read at your own risk.

10 Reasons to see The Prince of Persia:

1. Jake Gyllenhaal’s abs
2. Jake Gyllenhaal’s pretty hair 
3. Jake Gyllenhaal’s big sword…

Ok, I’m just kidding.

Although not about the fact Prince of Persia is totally worth watching.

See, I was one of those bright-eyed and bushy-tailed folk who tottered off to see this movie on the day it opened, and, I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve seen it again twice since then. The movie is nothing truly innovative or brilliant, but I maintain that it is still a rather satisfying sort of Movie-Comfort-Food. The kind of thing you watch to be simply entertained, when your brain or your heart isn’t up to the really meaty stuff.

Shall I present my real list to you now? (In no particular order…)

You should see Prince of Persia because:

1. Good use of the time travel plot device
I thought the use of the Dagger of Time was actually really good in this movie. It was important throughout and didn’t just unleash Armageddon at the very end, as some magical artifacts in other movies do. I especially enjoy the scene where Dastan figures out the dagger in a rough and ready sort of trial and error. Another good scene, which I don’t want to spoil too much, is when he has to demonstrate the dagger’s powers to someone else. Really skillful use of a plot device to make a good scene.

Caveat: Except for the ending. I saw it coming from the beginning. I didn’t really see how else they could end it that wouldn’t be a total downer, and yet…the ending. It irked me.

2. The costumes 
They did some really beautiful pieces for this film. Princess Tamina’s outfits are especially drool-worthy and will, I wager, inspire many a cosplayer in the years to come. Especially the ones who favor skimpy costumes. Me, I’m personally drooling over the bedouin outfit she wears for the trip to the sacred temple. I want her boots. I also really love the Prince’s armor for the siege at Alamut. The chest piece is awesome, and reminiscent of the video game without being too hokie, and anything that leaves Gyllenhaal’s beautiful arms bare except for a little leather to accentuate gets my enthusiastic vote.

3. The fight scenes
I know, I know. You’re thinking, “Did a 13 year old boy just hijack the blog?” Nope. I was actually really impressed with a lot of the visuals for the fight scenes, and that’s saying something because it doesn’t take much to burn me out on a fight scene. I’ve been trying to find the name of the roof-hopping thing, which is actually a real sport, but no luck. My google-fu has failed me.

Anyway, all the roof-hopping and wall-walking and stuff was actually really freaking neat to watch. I also felt like it was a nice hat tip to the video game without making me feel like the movie had devolved into a video game. It added a bit of freshness to the action aspect to have the Prince do more than just hack, clang clang at his enemies. He actually spends most of his time roof-hopping to get away from them.

4. Relatively few Ebil Plotter Types
There is, of course, an antagonist in the film. I don’t think it’s a big surprise who it is, but just in case I won’t say. I will say it was refreshing that not everyone nearest and dearest to Prince Dastan turns out to be Evil. I hate that plot device, because then you have to wonder: if everyone the hero associates with are Pure Evil, how did he turn out so good? I was pleasantly surprised that that was not the case here.

5. The Romance
I like their banter, and it’s actually a rather sweet relationship by the end. I also enjoy how Dastan goes from seeing her as a commodity, to seeing her as a person, to falling for her. I think the arc of his feelings for her really carries his overall character arc. It’s only once he starts listening to her and caring for her that he, I think, really comes into his own.
Caveat: I have to say the Kiss, once it happens, is just BAD. It’s the middle of an action scene and they just stop and move slowly into each other and it kills the tension of the scene dead and renders what could have been a sweet moment ridiculous. Also, I refuse to belief that that was the best take. Seriously?! I think Gemma Atherton couldn’t feel her upper lip because of all the collagen because her lip basically smooshes over Gyllenhaal’s and it looks horrible.

6. The musical score
I should probably disclose that I’m a big Harry Gregson-Williams fangirl. Ever since his score for the Sinbad movie a few years ago. Sinbad is a pretty bad film, but I think the score is beautiful.This one is too, with some nice Middle Eastern touches, and a sort of muted grandeur that I for one can’t get enough of. I listened to it on youtube and actually bought it before I’d even seen the movie because I loved it so much.

7. The Special Effects
Ok, I’ve gone to the dark side. I think the time sand-shifty effect is really cool. 🙂

I think I could also make an argument, though, that this is a case where special effects were used just right. They didn’t film everything on a blue screen so when the special effects do show up they’re well…special.

8. Princess Tamina

 Ok, so the Princess is basically your typical Feisty Heroine, add water and stir. However, I do feel like she gets some good bits in here. She does, for instance, get to put one over on ol’Dastan a time or two. In fact, I think they come out basically even on the tricking each other scale. What bugged me a bit, I must say, was how she kept picking up a sword and then not really using it. She doesn’t ever really defend herself in a fight, and the one time it seems like she’s going to, Dastan literally steps into the middle of it. Although she does save Dastan from one of the Big Bads at one point so I guess that counts as some good bad-assery for her. I also…

(SPOILER)

love her scene at the end where she makes Dastan drop her. I thought that was really well-played because she’s terrified and she loves him and she doesn’t want to fall, but she knows the world’s going to be destroyed if he doesn’t let her go. THAT is a great moment for her character, and made me like her more than anything else in the movie. It’s such a sad moment but I fucking eat it up because it’s so compelling.

(/END SPOILER)

9. Fun Fantasy Romp
Pretty simplistic, right? You should see this movie because (I think) it’s a freaking fun way to spend two hours.

and last but SO not least, you should see this movie for….

*drumroll*

10. Jake Gyllenhaal

Oh, you knew he was going to pop up somewhere on the list.

And really, do you need a better reason to see the movie than him? I wouldn’t be a heterosexual woman if I didn’t mention the utter HAWTNESS that is Jake Gyllenhal as Prince Dastan.

So, are you convinced you should see this movie yet? 😀

Cross-posted on The Waters of Lethe (my new blog to promote my YA books)

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2 thoughts on “Casual Friday: 10 Reasons to see Prince of Persia

  1. Valerie says:

    parkour. the roof jumpy, wall-climby ness is called parkour. Like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNvJy0zoXOYStill haven't seen this yet. maybe I'll pull a $7 ticket night on it…

  2. Parkour! Thank you!Apparently they had the inventor of parkour help with some of the stunts for this movie. They really are awesome.

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