I tried to keep count and got to 4 before what might be considered an “adventure” became a confusing concept – but never mind trying to figure out if the title is a bit misleading, because it’s one of the stranger and more fun Asylum mockbusters we’ve yet to review!
Adrian Sinbad, a Qatari shipping magnate played by a white American, has a heart of gold. He’s discovered some super-deep-sea oil, or something (never seen a film where that happens before, so far so good), and is also investing heavily in environmental stuff as well. Good work Sinbad! Anyway, he’s got a tanker with 130 million gallons of oil on it which gets hijacked for a $10,000,000 ransom. Hold on, 130 million barrels? The Gulf of Mexico spill, which went on for weeks, was only 4 million! How big a tanker would you need to carry all that? Anyway, we mustn’t dwell on such things, for there is much more film to discuss!
In the first 12 minutes of the film, not only does all this happen, but Sinbad and a few of his co-workers fly out in a helicopter to the tanker and see it…get pulled under the surface by a gigantic sea creature! This is almost insanely fast by Asylum standards, and when the helicopter is also sucked into the ocean, only for Sinbad to wake up on a mysterious island which is actually the back of a small-country-sized whale, things start to get odd.
This film is apparently the mockbuster for “Prince Of Persia”. It has the alternate title “Sinbad, Prince of Persia” and the DVD I have has the hookline “The Real Prince of Persia” – that the film isn’t set in Persia, and stars a guy who neither looks nor acts particularly Persian, appears to not be a particular problem for our friends at the Asylum. Of course, in their grand tradition, they’ll rip off the name or the plot but not both at the same time, so in this one we get a plot which appears to be sort of lifted from “The Odyssey”. Sinbad has to deal with giant birds and a Cyclops and crabs and Sirens and super-squids and having the island he’s on flap its tail and submerge, thanks to some ancient prophecy about how a bloke on a helicopter will come to save us all. Oh, and this is packaged with an enviro-disaster of some sort, which is never really explained but gives the people back at Sinbad’s corporate headquarters something to do.
As well as his cannon fodder team, he meets Loa, the beautiful daughter of a scientist who died on this island decades ago and left her to fend for herself. She helps him and adapts amazingly quickly to modern life, given her apparent complete lack of exposure to it – including helping him pilot a submersible to go and rescue the sunk tanker, which is in danger of rupturing and spilling its oil all over. There are some nice subplots here and there, but this film’s Wikipedia page is the place to go if you’d like a slightly too-detailed rundown of the plot.
It’s full of holes and features a thoroughly confusing ending, but I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed this one (my wife’s alternate explanation is repeated exposure to the Asylum means my brain can’t process good entertainment any more). Patrick Muldoon deserves a bigger career than he’s had – if they ever made a film of the “Uncharted” computer game series he’d be perfect for the lead. Sadly, although I also loved “Ice Spiders”, not enough people did and it didn’t launch him into the wisecracking action hero stratosphere.
This is what I’d call a “classic” Asylum mockbuster, where the routine is:
1. Title from one film
2. Plot from two or three others
I mentioned “The Odyssey”, but there’s the classic Ray Harryhausen films here too, as well as a hefty dollop of “Lost” (close to its end when this film was made). It’s got more in common with “Transmorphers” than “Sharknado”, is what I’m trying to get across. Anyway, Muldoon is a great leading man, there’s always something going on and this is definitely in the upper echelon of Asylum films.
Rating: thumbs up