Sunday, June 6, 2010

Toon Talk: The Sand Man Cometh

From Douglas Fairbanks in The Thief of Bagdad to Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia, the movies have always been enamored with heroic stars in fantastic epics set in the fabled mystic lands of the Middle East. With sprawling vistas of unending sand dunes as a backdrop, these adventures hold their audiences in thrall as they unfold, led by a larger-than-life main character who may or may not have a magic lamp or flying carpet on hand to aid in all the swashbuckling derring-do. The latest actor to take on such a role, in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (in theaters now), is Jake Gyllenhaal.

Best known for his performances as wide-eyed teens in October Sky and Donnie Darko and his Oscar nominated turn in the modern classic Brokeback Mountain, Gyllenhaal is an unexpected choice for a big Hollywood summer movie like this one, but he rises to the occasion. All toned and scruffy, he tackles (literally) each of the (many) action sequences with a leading man bravado and a sly gleam in his eyes that anchors this better-than-average video game adaptation. Without Jake, the movie would drift off the screen as easily as sands through an hourglass ...

UPDATE: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is now available on DVD and Blu-ray from

Click here to continue reading my Toon Talk review of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time at

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