Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

Rated 3.0

When the king of ancient Persia is assassinated, his adopted son (Jake Gyllenhaal) is accused of the crime and goes on the run with a princess/priestess (Gemma Arterton), the guardian of a magic dagger than can turn back time. Just when you’re ready to dismiss any movie based on a video game, along comes one that really works. The story is stuff and nonsense, but writers Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard juice it up with some good dialogue and comic relief for Alfred Molina as a desert rapscallion. Director Mike Newell keeps spirits high, though he relies too much on Cuisinart editing and CGI, denying us the pleasure of a well-staged action scene (maybe he or his actors couldn’t handle them). It’s an amusing throwback to campy 1940s Technicolor adventures like Cobra Woman and Arabian Nights.