A guy asked a while ago if Jake Gyllenhaal is a good fit when it comes to starring in brain-dead Eloi popcorn movies like Prince of Persia (Disney, 5.28) and Source Code. Will the public buy JG, he meant, as a quipping musclebound fantasy action hero when they basically see him as an anxious, internally-driven, reality-based guy to start with?

I don’t know if they’ll accept him as a rugged hero-stud, I replied, but JG is a reliable and believable actor with big shoulders and nice pecs, at least. And he seems as committed to prostituting himself in the service of big Babylonian bullshit movies like this one — i.e., Ali Hunky, Cousin of Alexander the Mummy — as Liam Neeson or anyone else. These movies aren’t about presence and confidence and force of spirit on the part of the actor as much as whether or not the producers, the director and the screenwriters have hack attitudes or not.

If Prince of Persia is a stinker I don’t think that’s Gyllenhaal’s problem, really. He can probably relax, in any event, because (a) he’s already gotten paid for Prince of Persia and (b) he’s costarring in a supposedly high-quality Ed Zwick film out later this year called Love and Other Drugs.