‘The Princess‘ is a historical action film directed by Le-Van Kiet with Ben Lustig and Jake Thornton handling the writing. It was made by 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of Disney, but it went to Hulu instead of a theatrical release.
The Princess (Joey King) ran from an arrange marriage at the alter. In his anger, her former fiancee Julius (Dominic Cooper) and his henchwoman Moira (Olga Kurylenko) bring an army of thugs to the castle, sealing her in a tower, while imprisoning the King (Ed Stoppard), the Queen (Alex Reid), and their youngest daughter Violet (Katelyn Rose Downey). After escaping, the Princess goes on a rampage in the tower, slaying all who get in her way with the help of her mentor Linh (Veronica Ngo). The two slay their way through Julius’ thugs praying they can make it before it’s too late to save their kingdom.
So.. where to begin? You can tell this was written by male feminists because it is clear they have never actually studied history, taken a class on character development, know a thing about medieval weaponry, or have met a woman outside the Hollywood bubble. Yes, this might sound mean, but after viewing it, there is just no other explanation.
For one thing, all of the female characters are made to be as obnoxious as possible while the men are meant to be either weak-willed or “toxic.” Even Linh’s uncle and mentor Khai, played by Kristofer Kamiyasu, is shown to be totally useless until the final act. Heck, even the Princess is somehow able to best him, an experience Kung Fu warrior and swordsman, in a flashback sparring match. It made no sense.
The Princess is certainly meant to go against the trope of the “damsel in distress.” Nothing wrong with that, but the traits they give her make her unbearable. She is crass, foul-mouthed, bratty, arrogant, and selfish. I do not what it is with Hollywood where they think for a woman to be cool, they have to act like a cheap villain from a B-Movie.
And this is the biggest flaw in the movie. The Princess is no different than Julius. If the movie had been titled “The Prince,” there would be endless write-ups about how the protagonist was a toxic male. With the Princess, there will be nothing describing her as a misandrist. That is the double standard in the entertainment industry. Not once, do you feel endeared to her and in fact, in a scene when Moira was strangling her, I was kind of like, “yeah, I get it.” Julius has all of these same traits and moments, but he is suggested to be the villain of the film with the only defining difference is he is man who was given vague dialogue about tradition that felt like it was copied from a pamphlet the writers picked up at a Renaissance Fair.
Apologies, that is an insult to Renaissance Fairs.
Also, the writers do not seem to know how weaponry even works. The Princess uses an admittedly cool looking curved short sword for most of her slaying. However, when she goes against the whip-wielding Moira, she seems unable to slice it. What? Pretty sure sharp metal can slice through leather-like material.
Despite never once saying she has powers, The Princess is able to defeat multiple enemies with just her fists, one was armored and three times her size. Logic is thrown out the door and we are not asked to suspend our disbelief, but to disregard it altogether. Why not make her simply outsmart the men or give her some sort of MacGuffin to explain why she can hurt these larger-than-life thugs? Because she is the new heroine of Hollywood films. She don’t need no man and she certainly is strong, but not in the likability segment.
Bottom line, The Princess is a movie that is written like bad fan fiction and has no understanding of the place in history where it takes place.
PS: I discuss this movie on my vidcast as well.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong brutal violence, Rude humor, Strong foul language
FAVORITE QUOTE: I admit I underestimated you.
Check out the trailer below:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my reviews of Restless and Firestarter. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.