Martin Scorsese approaches Hugo, his delightfully inventive adaptation of Brian Selznick’s elaborately illustrated children’s novel, with a profound sense of wonder, and the feeling is contagious.
Here, in the bittersweet saga of a clockmaker’s orphaned son who reconnects with his father through the earliest machinery of cinema, we find one of the director’s most personal stories to date, a love letter not only to his craft, but also to one of its earliest innovators, Georges Méliès.
Here’s the dilemma. On the one hand, Prince of Persia is everything you’d expect from a sprawling, two-hour fantasy inspired by a video game: frivolous and predictable, a collection of high-wire set pieces loosely strung together in a convoluted story.
On the other, it is handsomely shot and surprisingly ambitious, with an impressive cast led by a bulked-up Jake Gyllenhaal, whose scrappy hero recalls a better-humored Hamlet, and Ben Kingsley as his beguiling mentor. And there’s the rub.