The Prince of Persia movie and why it matters
August 9, 2010, Author: Jacob Saylor
The film industry has seen many movies trying to facade as epic video game translations. I could make a sprawling list for you, but for 80% of the gaming-to-movie films that absolutely fail, please just visit Uwe Boll’s resume (the rest you can find in our ongoing series ‘TIMJ at the Movies‘). When I first heard about Prince of Persia from Mike Newell, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton, I didn’t expect much.
I mean we have one really established actor, an actress whose biggest role yet is as James Bond’s sex partner for a night in Quantum of Solace, and a director whose biggest hit yet was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. When push came to shove though, and Hollywood decided to actually put some effort into a ‘video game movie’, it kicked some major box office ass… as well as mine for thinking it was going to be lame.
In terms of movie-to-movie sales… Okay, fine. It didn’t kick that much ass, but it did as far as video game movies go. I firmly believe that with a longer list of more quality iterations, we could see a very sharp incline on ticket sales. The general public needs to know that these movies aren’t to be trifled with anymore, before they go and spend their money on ridiculously priced concessions and tickets. Prince of Persia is in my mind, hopefully the first in a long line of prosperity for game-to-movie adaptations.
The movie received rave reviews across the board, even from our site. I think that this has done more for both the gaming and film industries than is presently clear. What was once a gimmick to make money off of big name video games is hopefully now going to be a full-fledged, quality, and essential part of the film industry. That is why this article exists, to relay my message to Hollywood; keep movies like Prince of Persia coming.
Not many video game movies have achieved critical acclaim, which is a sad fact indeed. My hopeful thinking is that all of these movies listed on IMDB will turn out to be just as much of a surprise as Prince of Persia. We have God of War, Warcraft, Gears of War, and many more all-star video games on the alleged list to hitting the silver screen. I want to see a trend different from 3/10 ratings, I don’t want the biggest names in gaming to be made fun of as we walk out of the theatre, throwing our now stale popcorn out.
Now when I said before, “This is important to “both the game and film industries”, I wasn’t kidding. If you’re not big into video games, but you still know that the movie you are watching is based off a video game, generally your thoughts on the movie are going to reflect your thoughts on the video game, without ever having played it. This means that the consumer, even critics, may judge the game subconsciously or consciously not on the game’s merits, but the movie’s failures.
In closing, let me say I’m not expecting the next ‘Gone With the Wind’ from anybody (though it would be nice), because let’s be honest; Prince of Persia was a damn good movie. However, it’s not like it was cinema gold. It was a fun outing with my friends, and I would do it again with all of the monetary expenses of going to the movies. Prince of Persia was a huge success in the eyes of gamers, and hopefully somebody over in the golden state of California will get the message. For now, we can only sit and wait for the next trailer, the next morsel of video game movie… Hopefully it will taste as good.