Director: Le-Van Kiet
Writers: Ben Lustig and Jake Thornton
Starring: Joey King, Dominic Cooper, Olga Kurylenko, Veronica Ngo
The Princess gives us a new and bloody spin on the traditional fairy tale wedding. Joey King stars as The Princess who wakes up at the top of her castle’s tower, as it is being attacked by Julius (Dominic Cooper) and his army. The Princess starts to escape and takes on Julius’s army while trying to free her family. He’s attacking since he was due to marry the princess, who rejected him at the altar and he wants to claim the throne for his own.
To sum up the rest of the plot it is essentially the princess taking on wave after wave of bad guys as she makes her way down the tower to her family. It’s a pretty thin plot, with a few flashbacks to explain the princess isn’t a walking stereotype and why she knows how to fight. Joey King does a great job with the fighting and action, which is very entertaining to watch. There’s a surprising amount of blood and brutality throughout, which looks convincing. Because of the endless amount of fighting, even though it may be light on story, the film’s definitely not boring.
The rest of the effects and sets do feel like something out of a ‘made-for-TV’ special from the mid-2000s. If you took the sets, weapons, or costumes, they would feel right at home in something like Merlin. It just looks a little cheap, especially some of the CGI which already feels dated. The violence looks good, but the same can’t be said for almost everything else. It almost like it’s trying to be an edgy children’s show.
Outside of the main plot there is very little time spent building the characters. The princess (if she’s given an actual name, I can’t remember it and couldn’t find it after a quick search online. In the credits she’s listed as ‘The Princess’) is built up to be essentially a very skilled fighter, who wants to be a warrior rather than the future queen. Julius is a power-hungry mad man who just wants power and control. Dominic Cooper gives a really hammy performance, that is more funny than sinister and that’s probably a good thing.
At its heart it’s about choosing your own destiny, following the tradition of stories like Mulan. It does a decent job at telling that story, even though it’s been done before. Thankfully some great fighting makes it an entertaining easy watch, although probably not one you’ll remember long after it’s over.
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