Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a 2010 fantasy–adventure film written by Jordan Mechner, Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro, and Carlo Bernard; directed by Mike Newell; and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. The film is based on the 2003 video game of the same name, developed and released by Ubisoft Montreal.
The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Prince Dastan, Gemma Arterton as Princess Tamina, Ben Kingsley as Nizam, and Alfred Molina as Sheik Amar.
Despite the film being primarily based on The Sands of Time, elements from Prince of Persia: Warrior Within and Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones are also incorporated.
The plot follows Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal), a street urchin in Persia, historically in the Persian Empire in the sixth century BC. After showing courage in the market place, he is adopted by the king. He has "no blood and no eye for the throne." Fifteen years later, the brothers lead the Persia army in an attack on the sacred city of Alamut, under the assumption that the city's people are selling weapons to their enemies, as shown by Nizam (Ben Kingsley), the King's brother and adviser. As Garsiv leads the initial assault, Dastan decides to lead a surprise attack with his friend Bis (Reece Ritchie) against the orders of his brother. He manages to open the eastern gate of Alamut and prevents further casualties. During the fight in the city, Dastan defeats one of Princess Tamina's (Gemma Arterton) guards who was in the possession of the mythical Dagger of Time. The dagger gives its owner the ability to go back in time for a short period so that the user can try to correct any mistake or redo any moment. Alamut falls to the Persians, Tamina is captured and is offered as a wife for Tus, which would make the city of Alamut a part of the Persian Empire.
The Persians celebrate their victory, but during the celebration Prince Dastan is fooled into presenting a poisoned gown — seemingly given to him by Tus — to King Sharaman (Ronald Pickup), which fatally burns the king. Prince Dastan is held as the perpetrator of his father's murder. He escapes the castle with Princess Tamina while Bis, his best friend, is killed trying to save them. Together, they embark on a journey — the Prince wants to prove his innocence, while Tamina wants to safeguard the Dagger of Time. On the first night, Tamina attempts to kill the prince and recover the dagger, but Dastan accidentally activates the dagger and learns about its ability to rewind time for one minute and in doing so, prevents Tamina from attacking. Dastan believes that Tus knew about the dagger and framed Dastan for their father's murder in an attempt to seize the throne and the dagger, thus becoming the most powerful ruler of Persia.
During their journey, the duo meets a group of merchant-bandits, in the valley of slaves, including entrepreneur and ostrich racing-organizer Sheik Amar (Alfred Molina) with his friend Seso (Steve Toussaint) who hails from the Ngbaka, masters of the throwing knives. Dastan offers Tamina up as a slave in return for their hospitality. However, the bandits try to take the Dagger of Time and take Dastan to the newly crowned Tus because of the reward for his capture; they fail in the process, while the two escape.
Dastan and Tamina return to Persia for King Sharaman's funeral. Dastan tries to convince his uncle Nizam that he was not the cause of his father's death, only to discover the dagger was taken by Tamina. Instead, he notices the burns on Nizam's hands, which indicate he was the one who set up the murder of the King. Furthermore, Nizam has set up an ambush for Dastan along the Persian streets, and after a conflict with his brother Garsiv, Dastan escapes.
Dastan catches up with Tamina and explains that the villainous brother of the King, Nizam was behind it all. The attack of Alamut was based on false allegations provided by Nizam and promoted with a motive to attain the Dagger of Time and use it with the massive Sandglass, which is hidden under the city of Alamut. This way, Nizam would go back in time before he had saved Sharaman from being attacked by a lion and undo the act, hence ensure that he becomes the King of Persia. However, Tamina reveals that the Sandglass is the vessel holding the Sands of Time, which the Gods conjured to punish humanity for its sins. A pure hearted girl, offering her life, convinced them to seal the sands; should the Dagger of Time be used to pierce the Sandglass, the sands would be released and destroy the entire world. The holder of the dagger may also turn back time as far as they please. The pair then put aside their differences and agree to work together to protect the dagger.
Meanwhile, back in Persia, Nizam, aware that Dastan knows he was responsible, tries to convince the newly-crowned King Tus and Garsiv that Dastan is trying to overthrow them and must be killed without a trial to avoid a rebellion. When this fails, Nizam hires the Hashshashins, a group of highly-skilled warriors that Nizam kept hidden for his own ends after Sharaman had the sect disbanded.
Dastan and Tamina are again captured by Sheik Amar, Seso, and their group because of the chaos they caused back at the valley. Sheik intends to claim the reward for turning them in to renew his business. But that night, when everyone is asleep, the Hashshashin leader( Gísli Örn Garðarsson ) attacks the group in an oasis by controlling a number of vipers. Many of the group die, but Dastan uses the dagger to rewind time, and, foreseeing the attack, manages to kill all the snakes single-handedly, saving Seso in the process. The Hashshashin leader then leaves in a sand dervish.
The next day, the pair, now accompanied by Sheik and Seso, travel to the secret sanctuary in the mountains near India, where it's possible to seal the dagger by returning it to the stone where it came from. In order to do so, Tamina would have to sacrifice herself, but it fails as they run into Garsiv's men. Dastan, however, manages to persuade his brother that he is innocent, only for Garsiv to be killed by a flurry of spike-knives thrown by a Hashshashin. The Hashshashin attack, killing many of the group, while their leader manages to snatch the Dagger of Time from Tamina (who was knocked unconcious in the battle) by using a trained snake. Eventually, Dastan is saved from the last Hashshashin by Garsiv, who then succumbs to his injuries.