Friday, December 31, 2010

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

This Disney film interpretation of a video game was last night's late show and, wow, is it a stinker. Cheesy special effects, bad acting, and worse writing combined to make this movie bad in pretty much every conceivable way, yet all too rarely did it make the leap from bad to amusingly bad.

None of us had ever played the video game, but Kyle had just finished reading a book that discussed the game and its conclusion, in which the player must choose to save the girl or save the world. In this Disney-fied version, Jake Gyllenhaal, who spends the entire film looking slightly amused and half stoned, gets to do both. Thus, the movie manages to have even less moral complexity than the video game.

As Kyle and I were discussing the film afterward, we agreed that it was as if someone had gotten a big pile of money, rounded up a cast, a director, a production team, a special effects company, a caterer, an insurer, and on and on--and then said, "Hey, where's the writer? Did you get the writer? I didn't."

At the risk of stereotypically taking the side of writing, more and more movies seem to have pushed story and dialog aside in favor of pretty much every other aspect of the film, and they suffer a great deal for this choice.

Of course, as a writer, I would think that.

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