Sunday, May 30, 2010


Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton, Alfred Molina

"Defy the Future"

Cinema 2, Shang Cineplex

I'm hardly into video games. So I was pretty amazed at how an incredible tale of exploration in an exotic setting can evolve from a single video game. In that same manner, it is quite refreshing to have a big adventure movie that knows how to have fun and not take itself too seriously.

The story revolves around Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal), a young highly spirited orphan who was adopted by the king of a vast Persian empire. Despite having no royal lineage, he is raised as a prince and along with his 2 brothers (real sons of the King) they rule the empire as warriors constantly waging a battle against their foes.

But things quickly change for Dastan who gets into trouble after being framed for the king's murder. To clear his name, Dastan together with feisty Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) embark on a spinning desert escapade to find a magical dagger that has the ability to turn back the sands of time.

Jake Gyllenhaal who has starred as a gay cowboy (in Brokeback Mountain) and a Marine (in Jarhead) is well equipped to handle the role of Dastan. His toned body and good physique help him to perform those really dangerous yet acrobatic parkour stunts. Although most of the time, he looks really gruffy (being in the desert et al) his princely portrayal is very credible.

Ably supported by a good ensemble cast of good actors like Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina (among others), Jake succeeds in bringing a grandiose popcorn entertainment to the big screen with much aplomb.

Ok so let's admit the plot is as convoluted as a knot. There are too many sideplots unfolding at the same time and it is literally peppered with all sorts of strange looking creatures/characters. Yet the exotic set designs (great sandstorm shots!), the well choreographed fight scenes, the stunning visuals and the sometimes funny dialogue more than make up for its numerous flaws.

A shaky technique of action film making does get a bit tedious at times, but the film was highly enjoyable and entertaining. So much so that I sort of crave for a sequel, heh!

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