FEMALE empowerment is the name of the game in Princessa new period action drama that debuted on Disney+ Hotstar late last week.
Joey King plays the titular princess – the character’s real name is never spoken – the film has some well-acted action scenes and thankfully decent performances, but it suffers from clunky dialogue and cinematography that is overly “inspired” by Guy Ritchie. and Matthew Vaughn.
We are introduced to the princess when she wakes up after being knocked out and imprisoned by some mercenaries. Moments later, we learn that she’s not your stereotypical damsel in distress, as she single-handedly kills them – in a rather brutal way – and runs off.
We eventually learn that the palace has been invaded by a noble named Julius (Dominic Cooper), whom the princess refused to marry. A rejected Julius, along with his army and mistress/second-in-command Moira (Olga Kurylenko), decides to take over the royal family and force the princess to marry him so he can take over the kingdom.
Unbeknownst to almost everyone, the princess was taking fencing lessons on the side of one of her subjects, the warrior Lin (Veronica Ngo). Now she must free everyone and take revenge on Julia.
Despite a good start, the film’s shortcomings soon bogged down. First, it’s a movie that knows it’s about “empowerment” and doesn’t let the audience forget it, which makes the whole effort look disingenuous and preachy.
In addition, the film feels as if it suffered from a limited budget. Most of the story takes place over the course of one day within the palace, and while this allowed the focus on the characters, it also made the movie quite small and cheap.
Luckily, the actors managed to do well with the weak material they were given. In particular, King has become a believable “warrior princess”, and he manages to reproduce not only dynamic battle scenes, but also a strong British accent.
Cooper also proves to be a worthy antagonist, despite being saddled with cringe-inducing dialogue that would turn a less competent actor into a one-dimensional villain.
One thing I noticed while watching Princess How similar is the way the fight scenes were shot to what we’ve seen before in movies like Kingsman as well as Sherlock Holmes. Whether this is a tribute or outright plagiarism, I suppose the viewer must decide. Comparisons were also made with Raidand I have to agree.
I’m not sure how much of the film’s failures can be blamed on the director. Vietnam-born Le-Van Keet, who is making his Hollywood debut, has proven himself to be a competent director in the past, as evidenced by his 2019 action film. fury.
By the way, fury starred Ngo, who is criminally underused in Princess. The few scenes she had with King were some of the highlights in the film, especially after they teamed up to take on the bad guys and I wish we could see more of them.
First, it would be more convincing to show how strong women can and should work together, instead of showing that the princess is forced to work alone most of the time.
However, for now Princess Ultimately, it’s not a great movie, it’s far from bad, and the action scenes alone are worth watching. I just wanted the movie to live up to its promise.
Watch the trailer for Princess below: