In the Persian Empire of the olden days, the King Sharaman adopts Dastan from the streets after watching him perform a brave act. After 15 years, Dastan(Jake Gyllenhaal) together with his brothers – the king’s sons - Garsiv and Tus are planning an attack on the sacred city of Alamut. Their uncle, Nizam(Ben Kingsley), acts as a guide to matters related to the kingdom. In order to avoid a massacre, Dastan infiltrates into the city from a less guarded side and opens the doors for his brothers. When Dastan, his brothers and their army are entering into the sacred city, Princess Tamina(Gemma Arterton) hands over a dagger to one of her guards and asks him to escape. Unfortunately, the guard is killed in a fight with Dastan and the dagger comes into his possession. When the Persian have conquered Alamut, Tus decides to take Tamina as his wife.
King Sharaman arrives in the sacred city, furious about the attack by his sons on the city. In order to calm their dad, Tus asks Dastan to meet their dad and present him with gifts. Tus offers a gown to Dastan to present it to their father. After accepting the gift and wearing it, Sharaman admonishes Dastan on the attack. While talking with Dastan, Sharaman is killed by the poisoned gown and everyone turns against Dastan. Then, Dastan escapes with Tamina into the desert. Once out of reach from their pursuers, Dastan and Tamina fights with each other for the possession of the dagger. During the fight, Dastan realizes the magical powers of the dagger. It can turn back the sands of time. Now, Dastan and Tamina embark on an adventure to clear Dastan’s name by uncovering the real culprits and also to safeguard the dagger from falling into evil hands. In this journey, they come across a merchant-bandit named Sheik Amar(Alfred Molina) and also a group of assassins. How Dastan forms allies with some and overcomes others form the rest of the story.
Mike Newell directs this movie which is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. The movie is based on the popular video game of the same name. An acrobatic hero who uses the rooftops of old Persian buildings, a mysterious princess, deserts and characters with dubious motives are all the necessary ingredients of a romantic adventure. Unfortunately for Mike Newell, this ends up as Jerry Bruckheimer movie which is full of CGI, explosions, unbelievable events, distorted history and cheesy lines. The action scenes provides only a glimpse of the director’s brilliance. The movie as a whole lacks the magical charm of one of his earlier venture – The Goblet of Fire and the characters end up as one dimensional. Out of the action scenes, the fight between the Seso who is a master at throwing knives and the spike wielding assassin is racy to watch. The references of current events like supplying weapons to terrorists and taxes are feeble attempts for providing a modern context to the story and also for generating emotions in the viewer.
The performances have nothing to boast about. In fact, the thespians – Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina – give a mediocre performance in badly written roles.
Watch it only if you like explosions or have nothing else to do.