The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
The sheer whoosh of the story line keeps you watching anyway, and, as the prince, Jake Gyllenhaal has a hearty good-naturedness that comes as a relief amid all the turbocharged antics. He wears his heroism lightly.
As usual, the talent in Prince of Persia is generally top notch -- from the cinematographer John Seale to the parkour expert David Belle -- but the ingredients have been masticated so heavily the results are mush.
A spectacularly silly video-game adaptation about a Fresh Prince of Gel Hair who runs around the desert with a magic dagger, a curious version of Alfred Molina and some hoity-toity chick who never breaks a sweat. It's sort of pointless.
Prince of Persia is destined to disappear into the quicksand of time, too innocuous to be hated, too bland to be remembered, just awaiting some bright optimist in a distant future to press the do-over button.
It's not a classic, but it's sturdy enough, thanks to Gyllenhaal and a sly and grousing turn by Alfred Molina as Sheikh Amar, a scoundrel with a heart of gold -- or at least, a ticker very interested in riches.
Although Prince of Persia stimulates the circulatory and nervous systems, it engages none of the higher faculties of game play. Like, say, hand-eye coordination and map-reading skills. It's a frenetic yet passive experience.
Prince of Persia got the go-ahead from an administration at Disney that was sent on its way last year. I wouldn't be surprised if their successors at the Mouse House wish they had a magic dagger that would allow them to go back and erase this movie.
The funny thing is that Gyllenhaal, with his boyish charm playing nicely off his buffed-up physique, actually makes a pretty decent action hero. If only we could go back in time and make Prince of Persia worthy of him.
What's missing in Prince of Persia is a sense that all the running, jumping, climbing and fighting is leading to something. The best video games challenge you to reach the next level. Prince of Persia is content to skim the surface.
A lot of action flicks are examples of mediocrity, but a truly terrible action movie, one that shows how not to do things at every turn, is a rare thing. Perhaps this was the true destiny of Prince of Persia.
I had fun watching all of the claptrap unfold -- or, perhaps, more than I've had at other recent big-screen spectacles, so perhaps it's only the baseness of its peers that makes this "Prince" seem even slightly regal.
The two leads are not inspired. Jake Gyllenhaal could make the cover of a muscle mag, but he plays Dastan as if harboring Spider-Man's doubts and insecurities. I recall Gemma Arterton as resembling a gorgeous still photo in a cosmetics ad.
It's meant to be fun, not work, but the plot is so loosely constructed it takes a lot of effort to piece things together. Better just to wait for Jake to mow down more bad guys and hit reset. Or, ahem, wait till the end.