Preview. PrinceWiki PrinceWikiFilm
Reminiscent of childhood favorites Ali Baba, Scheherazade, magic, brave youths rewarded, secret underground passages booby-trapped, sword clashes.... Fast fun fight for family, truth, justice - and to save the whole world. "We make our own destiny" encourages the hero.
As the sun rises (opening and closing scenes) on the DVD, I almost miss the moral that Destiny connects some. A voice-over frames the history. Missed more than I realized on TV (King orders Dastan to marry captured Princess, burns from poisoned robe. She flees with him and tries to stab him for enchanted dagger he accidentally rewinds time for alternate events. "Give me the strength not to kill her". They flirt and fight on the way to the King Sharaman's funeral.)
I liked what I saw, from evil Nizam ordering out sorcerer "Hassansin" assassins. Found DVD, but the whole is mostly better. He kills a dreadful number of (his own loyal royal Persian) soldiers. The defiant ostrich racer-promoter Sheikh Amar (Alfred Molina) defying taxes on behalf of "the small businessman", decrying "secret government killing activity", is out of place, comic relief goes too far. The knife-throwing Seso (Steve Toussaint), a famed Ngbaka "Scourge of the Numidian Plain", convinces the "slightly dishonorable entrepreneur" Amar to "nobility" of action.
Questions: Why does the poison cloak not affect the servants who touch it first? Why don't we see Nizam''s burned hands earlier? How does Dastan find Tamina again alone among the dunes after the funeral? Why bother with magic and dead eyes when Hassasins terrifying for deadly skill alone?
Still think film could edited pre-amble, credit to plot that stands alone fine starting later. Perhaps starting, with one orphan boy saving another, saved in turn by king, draws in niche audience? Chase over (really, the rooftops) city does set scenery. Dastan's actions show his rebellious contentious attitude - in a fight, buddy betting, ignored in disharmonious council. Climbing to open the Eastern Gate yet while invading Alamut show his creativity, courage, bruising acrobatics, warror skill, achievement, and goals "to save lives". Eldest son Tus observes: "You've never excelled at following orders."
Brave handsome youngest prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal), adopted from "gutter", fights their treacherous power-hungry uncle Nizam (Ben Kingsley), for a magic dagger guarded by courageous beautiful Princess Tamina (Gemma Arteron). Pressing the weapon handle top can turn back time briefly; misuse can release an apocolyptic sandstorm. Arabian nights desert scenery, sandstorms, venomous snake-wielding Hassassins, sword clashes, martial art conflicts, flying knives, shiny armor, fierce battles, massive explosions, falling stone, fiery pit, sacrifice ... gauzy flowing costumes, romantic glances, sweet kisses. Palette sandy, humor rare "welcome to search me for it", action over-the-top, emotion and wide-screen effects believable. song over lengthy credits is piercingly unpleasant; throughout was appropriately unobtrusive.
Prince Garsiv (Tony Kebbell) has lean, narrow, few-days-growth almost-beard Joseph Fiennes style for brotherly resemblance, normally ignored in entertainment casting. Muscled body on fuller faces, very short hair, seems to be common lead look these days. Though attractive for models, I prefer more unique actors, especially with deep rumble-my-heartstring (not North American accent) voices. Eldest heir Tus (Richard Coyle) is not my style, but they make a fine trio.
Spoilers: Shocking when all three Princes including Dastan, Ngbaka, and Tamina all die in turn. Tears swell. Entirely believable. The happy ending turning back time to save them relieves deeply. The luck to rewind just after the entrance to Alamut is the perfect point to start all over. Well done helping the viewer recognize with Dastan where we are in time. Though he meets Tamina without their history, his love is in his eyes, his gift of the dagger a hint that "We hardly know each other well enough. I look forward to the day that we do".
Some films I saw (part) on TV first before finding DVD. Older DVDs have no extras, extras sometimes take more time than film itself, so regular play may be posted first.
Making of ..
"Epic period piece"
- Cast/ crew - first see person labelled by name title then bit bites illustrate words by example, hold attention even of ADHD
- I watched 3x and could again
- real sets, props, vipers, scorpions, hidden valley ahs one narrrow path
- "exquisite detail" leather - cheese grater to age heavy costumes "feel like clothes" "look like paintings"
- (Pirates of Carib. designer Penny Rose)
- army of 500 not CGI
- "fantastic craftmanship", 30 tries for Dagger,
- all on the spot artisans hand-made
- took Marrakesh metal, wood, materials to England Pinewood 007 studio (9/11 stages turned over 3-4 x = 30-40 sets), for duplicate castle
- black-red warrior Nasaf Persia contrasts with Hindi gold-blue Alamut
- "rewarding visually" stunning, film watchable without sound
- genuine action in Morocco at hottest time, Aug over 100F, rain
- "hysterical sequence", pro jockeys never on ostriches before
- 3th-6th Century Morocco
- "actual God-given action hero can fight, jump, clamber", swing, flip, bounce, climb, ride, "Parkour" from game
- wires for safety, not stunt moves
- 3 ads I ignored
- we have to pay to get more ads? GAK. Why I frequent public libraries.
- ads for Blue-Ray, sorry Blu-Ray, who cares, obsolete in months anyway.
- I like previews I can choose, others I FF Fast-Forward.
- Tron, I saw - fun effects, happy ending, no need to watch again
- Toy Story 3 - Sunnyside Day Care has evil Teddy, traitor Ken, who trap our old favorites. I caught the last half on TV.
ad for DisneyRewards.com, Blu-Ray, Disney Zeke and Luther
A Christmas Carol - animated musical, Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge
Fantasia , Fantasia 2000, Destino short
Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 talking dogs, too cute, for $50K show prize, "families are stronger together than we are alone"
Lion King HD (once was bad enough)