Disney movies are not always my favorite films.  The plots tend to be rather flat, too cute, and too predictable.  However, they do occasionally make some rather good live action movies–Iron Will, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Secretariat, for example.  Another example is Prince of Persia, which is directed by Mike Newel, who also directed Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Prince of Persia reminded me a bit of Pirates of the Caribbean, except those involved generally seemed to take themselves less seriously than those in the POTC sequels.  The movie is quite Disney in the sense that it’s a story of a young man’s rise from the streets to life as a prince (Aladdin, anyone?).  The ending is also a little too perfect.

And yet, it’s an enjoyable movie.  There is enough action to fill out the plot weaknesses, and the acting is generally quite good.  Jake Gyllenhaal seems to step out of his usual type of character to play Dastan, the street-urchin-turned-prince.  His accent is a bit ridiculous at times, but since all of the Persians seem to be British, I guess it’s forgivable.  Gemma Arterton is quite fabulous as Tamina, who is a heroine who can think on her feet, and not always have to rely on someone to rescue her.

And of course, Sir Ben Kingsley is the villian Nizam.  Kingsley is an excellent actor, one who can seem honorable at one moment and very, very creepy the next.  Alfred Molina also has a humorous cameo as Sheik Amar, an ostrich-racing robber with a conscience.  Sort of.

Prince of Persia is worth watching if you want to see an entertaining movie, one that you don’t have to invest much into.  It’s pleasant, although not really believable.  But escapism is often Disney’s forte, so it works.