Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Year: 2010
Studio: Disney
Director: Mike Newell
Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer/Jordan Mechner
Writer: Boaz Yakin/Doug Miro/Carlo Bernard/Jordan Mechner
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton, Alfred Molina

The secret to this movie is the references and homages to films and set pieces from across the big action adventure cinema spectrum and you'll recognise flashes of Indiana Jones, The Mummy and countless others. Liberal amounts of thrills and spills, romance and laughs are thrown into the pot and bought to the perfect marketing boiling point and the result is a film perfectly suited to the season and demographic. It's the perfect proof that if Hollywood put the effort into original stories they do into crafting an advertising asset movies would be a very differently regarded art form.

Jake Gyllenhaal's the hero of the title. While sacking a holy city with his brothers on behalf of their father king he doesn't find the weapons they've been told are there (echoes of Iraq if you want to look deep enough) but does find a magical dagger that turns back time for a few minutes, giving the operator the change to change history.

When his father is murdered and he's framed for the crime he goes on the run, teaming up with the requisite beautiful princess (Arterton) and buckling many a swash to right his name. Everything from the jokes to the pacing are in the right place, and subsequently it's one of those movies that, even though you've never seen it before, feels strangely familiar.

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