The Fantasy Blockbuster Epic On Disney+ With A Marvel Villain As The Hero

By Shanna Mathews-Mendez | Updated

If you’ve only watched Jake Gyllenhaal in serious roles, you’re missing out. Yes, he’s a phenomenal actor, and his villains and disturbed characters are great, but the work he does in Prince of Persia is so far beyond fun that you have to add this title to your list of movies to watch soon. 

As a movie lover, I’ve watched Jake Gyllenhall in every role imaginable, and I’ve liked most of what I’ve seen. I recently caught him in the remake of Roadhouse, and I found him to be still a reliably entertaining watch. And, of course, as a die-hard MCU fan, I was thoroughly delighted to see his darker side emerge once again in Spider-Man: Far From Home. But his most joyful role by far is that of Dastan in Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

Prince Of Persia Is A Poor Adaptation But A Fun Movie

Jake Gyllenhaal

It’s insane that this movie only has a 36 percent positive rating, and even audiences only give it 58 percent positive reviews. I suppose it’s because Prince of Persia is based on a video game, and gamers didn’t like the adaptation. It could also be because people were weary of swashbuckling adventures at the time.

The Casting Controversies

I also noticed some people complaining that Gyllenhaal is not Persian, which in this day and age is always going to be a problem. In the end, I think many moviegoers, especially critics, have trouble simply suspending disbelief and giving themselves over to a movie, which you absolutely must do in a fantasy adventure film. 

No Connection To The Game

The story of Prince of Persia centers around Dastan. As a young boy, Dastan was taken in by King Sharaman, adopted as his own, and raised with his own two sons, Garsiv and Tus. The boys grow up truly as brothers, with a deep love for each other. 15 years later, the king’s brother, Nizam (played brilliantly as always by Ben Kingsley), sends the Persian army out to battle the holy city of Alamut on the premise that the people there are forging dangerous weapons to be used against Persia. 

During the battle, Dastan proves himself a mighty warrior and secures a sacred dagger, which he brandishes as the spoils of war. The Persian army also captures Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) from Alamut, who denies the city is making weapons.

Palace Intrigue

At a great feast to celebrate the victory, the princess is betrothed to Dastan’s brother, Tus, as the oldest prince of Persia, in order to unite the two nations, and he gives Dastan an embroidered robe to bestow upon their father as a symbol of honor. When Dastan lays the robe on the king’s shoulders, it immediately begins burning him, and the king dies within moments. 

It is from this point on that the real adventure begins in Prince of Persia, and it never really ends in the final moment. For almost two hours, we watch Dastan run from his own brothers and army, who are convinced he tried to kill his father.

Stranger Situations

Meanwhile, Tamina is reluctantly at his side, herself fleeing from capture while trying to kill Dastan, and she sets out on her own. What sounds like serious material can be, but it’s constantly dotted with witty dialogue between Gyllenhaal and Arterton, as well as the ridiculous situations these two find themselves in. 

Streaming On Disney+


Prince of Persia is a movie that keeps you guessing, hoping the two stars will fall in love and wishing for a happily-ever-after that doesn’t involve too much loss of life (at least for our heroes).

The directing is great, the cinematography is magical, and the acting is above par. It’s a movie to revisit at least once every couple of years for sheer entertainment value. I strongly encourage you to stream Prince of Persia on Disney+ the next chance you get.