Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

ADVENTURE; 1hr 56min

STARRING: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley

Dagger eyes: Arterton and Gyllenhaal

Throwing elaborate build-up to the four howling winds, Prince of Persia charges into a battle royal as ancient Persia’s army raids a holy city suspected of treachery. Front and centre is Prince Dastan (Gyllenhaal, maximally beefed), a ring-in orphan raised in the palace from childhood; Kingsley is his snide uncle. Dastan has the scrappy spirit of the streets, which serves him well when the pillage goes pear-shaped and he’s on the run with an antagonistic princess (Arterton as Tamina) after being unfairly accused of his father’s murder.


But the canny Prince has an ace up his cheesecloth sleeve: a magical dagger that can turn back time. The inevitable catch: in the wrong hands, which all want it, the dagger could cause all manner of mischief. Prince of Persia is directed by Mike Newell and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, which tells you all you need to know about the wham-bam element right there. Based on a video game, it’s gorgeous, delirious nonsense in which everyone speaks with an English accent and epic momentum is all. Exactly what Dr Popcorn ordered.