Everyone working on this flick has had experience with previous blockbusters. With Jerry Buckheimer ("Pearl Harbor") producing, and Mike Newell (of a Harry Potter blockbuster), it has to be over the top in all respects. Not just big, my friends, but Super Hollywood BIG!
(This saga is all about Destiny & battling over a time-changing dagger; it builds a secondary suspense by wondering what lucky guy will reign over most of Asia - Persia of old.)
It's an acceptable but flimsy script from Oscar winning Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro & Carlo Bernard (from a screen story by Jordan Mechner), gussied up with a cast of thousands who live & battle in deserts, mountains & an astonishing array of palaces & underground trappings, backed with Harry Gregson-Williams' louder than life & reminiscent of "Lawrence of Arabia" music, and paced by a passel of editors (from "Raiders of the Lost Ark") who know how to make a short time in the dark seem like one after the other fast-action epiphanies - all overseen by f Alexander Witt's astounding camera work
(previously seen recently creating "Robin Hood" visuals) - well, how could it be anything but an oversized and suitable flamboyant summer extravaganza?
You want action? Half the film is filled with any number of unexpected appearances of adversaries to do loud clanking battle - the other half in chases on foot or horseback. It's based on a vid game, remember?
Pumped-up, robust (and still sometimes sad-eyed) Jake Gyllenhaal is on the run, falsely accused by evil-eyed uncle (played with perfect arch by Ben Kingsley) as responsible for his father-the-king's gruesome death. While on the run he meets & falls for the most beautiful ruler in all the kingdoms (Gemma Arterton) who knows the secret of what Destiny's all about & how it is controlled by that magic dagger.
"Everything changes with time," she announces in clipped Brit accent (everyone, even Jake, speaks with a Brit accent); and she's about to prove it - but not before they face two hours of battles & chases, hissing snakes, an ostrich race (Honest!), sword play, eye-to-eye & mano-a-mano fights, a magnificent mile-long funeral procession, a bevy of all-too-modern voluptuous harem femmes, a massive desert storm, one very modern lip-chewing kiss, and a concluding eye & ear boggling scene, that out-does any previous holocaust, in the guise of a sand & rubble disastrous temple collapse.