Prince of Persia: Assassin’s Creed

May 24, 2010 | Reviews

Or so my better half calls it. He’s not far wrong; the movie is full of the kind of crazy acrobatics that Altair got up to in the game, but in fairness, Prince of Persia did it first.

I personally like to call it Prince of Persia: Look at Jake Gyllenhaal, Isn’t He Sexy.

I saw it over the weekend. It’s the usual Hollywood fare. The script and dialogue is mostly predictable, and mostly brain-dead. There’s this dagger, see, and if you have it and this sand stuff, you can turn back time for about a minute. You can use it to destroy the world. The bad guys want it so they can conquer everything, and the good guys want to stop them.

Yes, yes, seen it a hundred times before. If you didn’t figure out that Ben Kingsley plays the bad guy within the first ten minutes, you probably need help getting dressed in the morning. Hijinks ensue as the dagger gets stolen, repeatedly, by everyone who comes into contact with it. The hero and heroine don’t trust each other to begin with, but form a bond through crazy life-threatening antics that eventually blossoms into kissing at the worst possible moment, as the bad guy is about to rip reality a new one and maybe you should get over there and kick his ass because it’s not like you have anything else to do.

Did I like it? Eh, yes, I did. It was watchable, and didn’t do anything to really trigger the deep and unrelenting rage I harbour for most Hollywood films. It was action-filled blandness for the most part.

Ah, but I wouldn’t be writing here if it was just another action flick. Oh no, dear reader. A movie has to have something really special – or really rageworthy – for me to elevate it to must-blog-about status. And the reason I have decided to bestow such an honour on Prince of Persia is this: Jake Gyllenhaal is really, really hot.

I don’t see enough really good looking Hollywood stars. Look what else is out at the moment – Robin Hood? Russell Crowe, no offense to the man, is no male model. He’s an actor, and a good one, but he’s not there to be eye candy. Will Smith is not attractive and never has been (no, really, and you’re not fooling anyone by saying he is). Other notable top earners are Leonardo DiCaprio, Bruce Willis, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler… Orlando Bloom, maybe? Again, not really male models – Ben Stiller in Zoolander doesn’t count, as I’ve seen enough male models to know that he doesn’t look like them.

Oh, but Jake Gyllenhaal in Prince of Persia. Oh my.

He’s playing a rugged, stubbly, muscled warrior. He is very attractive. He is a good actor. And, if I may say so, he has the kind of raw sex appeal in this movie that’s so unbelieveably hot it could set things on fire from a great distance. I’m stunned that there weren’t more women in the theatre when I saw it, but more than a little relieved as well because otherwise I’d probably have to wade through a river of drool to get out.

I don’t know of many other actors who could really pull that off. It’s expected for actresses, of course; how many plain female stars are there? Pitifully few, compared to the men, because a leading lady is supposed to set the screen alight in Hollywood Land. Actors seem to do it by accident more than anything else.

Hmm… Jude Law, possibly. He could pull it off in the right role. Elvis Presley, because he’s the King and nothing will ever change that. James Dean. Robert Downey Jr., but I’m not sure he’s all about the raw sex appeal – Sherlock Holmes notwithstanding. There are icons of the screen going back a while that do come to mind, but not in the same volume as actresses.

Could I even begin to hope that this is a turning point? That Hollywood has finally decided to intentionally add elements to its action flicks to attract female film-goers? On one hand, it’s pretty unimaginative (“Hey, we should add something to get women into the cinema… let’s cast a sexy man in the lead role! It works the other way around, doesn’t it?”), but on the other hand, they’re actually making an effort, even if it’s pathetically cynical. Baby steps, don’cher’know. It isn’t much, but it is progress.

So, in summary: go see this movie. If you like hot sexy men, REALLY go see this movie. If you prefer hot sexy women, Gemma Arterton has a fair chunk of screen time and (like the vast, vast majority of female Hollywood stars) she is both hot and sexy. For everyone else, it’s a watchable action flick and it’ll entertain you pretty well for a few hours.