In Prince of Persia‘s opening credits, the name ‘David Belle’ appeared. This District 13 fan with two thumbs got excited for imminent parkour. An abundance of free running did follow to my delight. Sadly, no amount of excitement in plot compared.
The quest of fugitive prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) is an exceptionally dull one – to retrieve a special dagger capable of reversing time. Such a skeletal story suffices for a video game, but barely does for a film. How many would wish they had the dagger, so they can save themselves a good two hours.
Pace is its biggest flaw, in what would otherwise be a great action piece. Fight choreography is not the forefront action I wished it could have been. The essence of free running is lost, as impressive stunt work is made to look like rushed, exaggerated effects.
Due to the uneven pacing issue, characterisation also suffers. Men are lost or absent, sooner than we get to know them. We rush through the simple incident of how Dastan becomes royalty without royal blood, which is hardly believable. Neither do we learn much about the Hassassins, beyond their purpose of being a villainous plot device.
Ultimately forgettable, the temporary fun can still make for good entertainment, though a warning to the casual gamers would be fair – the movie could spoil its end for you.