After an act of courage by Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal), King Sharaman (Ronald Pickup) adopts him into the royal Persian family.
Fifteen years later, Dastan and his two siblings launch an attack on the sacred city of Alamut during which Dastan comes into possession of a mythical, glass-handled dagger capable of turning back time. For generations, the dagger has been guarded by the family of Princess Tamina.
Shortly afterwards Dastan is framed for the murder of the king. With nowhere to go and no one he can trust, he seeks the advice of his uncle Nizam (Ben Kingsley), the brother of the murdered king.
Not surprisingly, this big-budget action movie boasts some stunning special effects.
Casting decisions, however, are flawed. None of the main cast are of Middle Eastern descent, yet the story is set in Persia and character names are Persian. With the right amount of make-up, Kingsley can pass - but no amount of touching up can make Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton (her British accent does not help, either) look Persian.
Although there is a reveal towards the end, the Disney halo effect is still not enough to make this film anything more than mediocre.