In a fairly blatant bid to capitalize on their success in turning “Pirates of the Caribbean” into a Kraken-sized money-consuming juggernaut, Walt Disney Pictures and uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer have turned their collective attentions to unleashing a pair of similarly expensive, CG-heavy, comedy-tinged fantasy-adventure flicks this upcoming summer.
While “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” the very liberal adaptation of the classic segment from 1940’s “Fantasia,” starring Nic Cage and Jay Baruchel, appears to be pretty dreary and creatively DOA, plenty of eager eyes are looking to director Mike Newell’s cinematic take on “Prince of Persia: Sands of Time” to both offer up a slam-bang blockbuster experience as well as break the hopelessly pathetic spell of unwatchable video-game movies.
Although I’m not exactly holding my breath for “Prince of Persia” to accomplish either of these feats, I am more than willing to admit that the final theatrical poster for the film — originally unveiled at UGO — is at least nice to look at, albeit pretty standard photo-shop stuff.
With Jake Gyllenhaal – looking about as Persian as Zach Galifianakis – assuming the hero pose, flanked by a snaky-looking Ben Kingsley and a Maxim sexpot-esque Gemma Arterton, there’s an undeniable energy to the one-sheet. I credit a large part of that to the buff star’s turned gaze, which almost begs us to try to imagine the multitude of astonishing, shiny computer-rendered wonders waiting just outside of the frame, and the ominous dark clouds looming overhead, promising heap-load’s of unimaginable danger and close-calls.
I’m also pretty darn fond of the skeletons lurking in the right corner, as any poster can be improved ten-fold by the presence of sinister-looking bone-bags. It looks as if they’re just tied to stakes, but I’d unabashedly love to see some re-animated “Jason and the Argonauts”-style walking dead tromping around (with extra points awarded if they wisecrack a la “Army of Darkness”). However, as I can’t recall any from the busy trailers and TV spots, I’m going to assume that this wish will have to wait until the inevitable sequel.
Overall, it’s a solid-looking effort, perfectly in-keeping with typical Hollywood blockbuster advertising, that does a decent job selling the film for what it is – a glossy, family-friendly action spectacle from “the producer of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’” with almost unfairly attractive leads, a creepy bald villain and cool supernatural phenomena. Whether it properly delivers on this well-worn promise or not remains to be seen, but I’ll bet there’ll be plenty of people making pilgrimages to the multiplex on Memorial Day weekend to find out first-hand.
Directed by Mike Newell, “Prince Of Persia: The Sands of Time” will be released May 28.
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Follow Cam Smith on Twitter at http://twitter.com/camspcepisodes.