A kind and bold example of how no career is sacred, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is both an exploration of how dull Jake Gyllenhaal is as a lead and how unintrusive the work of director Mike Newell is. The pair have had success separately, but it appears that, like most hoping to take on video game projects, they were doomed to failure. Rightly so. Who cares for Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time? It’s like holding out hopes on an emotional connection with an egg timer. The House of Mouse tanks another adventure-themed feature and shamefully so. The scope and finesse of the larger scenes and the genuine awe Newell can create here is a sad and irredeemable waste.
Mobsters and undercover sting operations are no stranger to the movies, nor to the filmography of Al Pacino. But Donnie Brasco immediately feels a little different to its contemporaries. Mike Newell of Four Weddings and a Funeral directing fame seems almost short-tempered with the genre at hand. He marks Johnny Depp and Pacino, the two leads throughout this crime-oriented feature, with a satisfying wave of the hand that gives the pair a free rein to explore eponymous lead Brasco (Depp) and Benjamin Ruggiero (Pacino). The old hand of the latter man guiding what was at the time a new generation of potential mobster leads. It is not the faith presented by Pacino but the confidence of Depp to take on this new genre that strikes most entertainingly of all with Donnie Brasco.