None of the dramatic moments are earned, characters lurched through the overly complicated plot devoid of chemistry or motivation. Directing is sloppy and unclear. There have been plenty of other movies that shoot parkour action well, so why does Newell rely on quick cuts and poor framing when shooting the movement sequences? The plot doesn’t make sense either. They’re trying to cram in far too many elements in the story, as if they aren’t sure what story they want to tell. There’s an invasion, a desert trek, holy temples, a funeral that never happens and a heist. The Hashasin show up late in the film, why? To look cool and menacing, I guess, cos they do nothing else. This happens a lot; Alfred Molina shows up, then he disappears, then he shows up again, then he gets beaten. It’s a shame since he doesn’t stay longer, since he seems to be the only one enjoying the movie.
Gemma Arterton looks exotic and beautiful, and she’s trying her best to sell spunk, but then actually has to say the lines in the script. Gyllenhaal does worse, it’s like he didn’t even bother with a script, culling his lines from an action hero cliché handbook. I suppose that’s the case when he spends too much time working out to actually come up with witty repartee. Kingsley has been phoning in performance for a long time, this is no different. Why are the brothers even needed in the story?
If there’s anything that saves this movie, it’s that it looks great, most the time. The cinematography is uniformly excellent and really presents Persia as the setting the game should be set in. Unfortunately, pretty landscapes do not a movie make; a family travel slideshow maybe, and even that will have more drama and comedy than this film. I really am disappointed. PoP: SoT is one of my favourite stories in games or otherwise. The writers seem to have recycled the key point of SoT’s story but then surrounded it with a bunch of needless crap and have it all played out by wooden actors. At this point, I wouldn’t have mind a last generation model of the Prince as the main star, as long as he’s voiced by Yuri Lowenthal, or Nolan North.
In fact, I think I’ll play the game again.