3 May 2010 | bucaneerfilms
Not Your Average Video Game Flick
Tonight I was fortunate enough to see an advanced screening of this film. Like many, I became a fan of this franchise with the Sands of Time trilogy, and I was very excited when I learned that there were plans to make a feature film based on it. The storyline of the game is very cinematic (at least in the aforementioned trilogy, not necessarily in the previous games in the series) so I felt that at film adaptation would be an impressive epic.
Having finally seen this movie, I can say that I was not at all disappointed!
One of the main strengths going into this movie was it's involvement of the series creator Jordan Mechner. He crafted a very engaging screen story that pushed beyond the controller, creating an entirely new addition to the mythos. I know that at times including the creator can sometimes stifle the process, as many will fight changes to the source material that may need to be altered to work better with a director's vision; but I feel that Mechner's involvement showed his desire to see his brain-child develop into a success on the big screen.
In addition to involving Mechner, the other big strength was the way that the filmmakers chose to handle the story. Let's face it, movies based on video games have a very poor track record. Super Mario Brothers, Street Fighter, Tomb Raider... all of them made for films that were mediocre at best, and downright abysmal at worst. Prince of Persia had a mighty big hurdle to clear with this, and they found the perfect team to tackle it. Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney already accomplished a similar feat when they brought Pirates of the Caribbean to the big screen (a movie based on a theme park ride, in a genre that had not seen success in 50 years!)
Their strategy was the same, they wrote their own story that borrowed elements from the game, but did not strictly follow it. The film stands alone, and does not require it's audience to be intimately familiar with the source material. The nods to the game throughout were great, but I was relieved that I was able to enjoy this film for what it was, rather than constantly looking for where it deviated from the games.
This movie clearly was made for someone like me, and in my party of four, three of us, who were all guys, loved it. The fourth, who was the only woman in the group, was less than impressed, and complained that it was too much action. If you're expecting Citizen Kane, you stand to be disappointed, but if you expect this to be another video game adaptation, you are in for a real treat!