The Princess, released July 1st on Hulu, purports to have two writers. It may well have two or more choreographers, but calling them writers would be a stretch. In a nutshell, bad guy wants to marry The Princess and be King. She refuses, fights and kills her way down the tower, and lives happily ever after. The rest is all fight scenes. Shocking is the only way to describe the 59% Rotten Tomatoes rating, only one vote away from a Fresh Tomato. Not only is there little plot, The Princess has no dialogue of any significance. Olga Kurylenko (Moira) used to be an actress with some heft (Quantum of Solace, Black Widow). Here, she gets third billing and a whip. Where is Olga Kurylenko and what have they done with her?
If you relish sword fights and hand-to-hand combat in close quarters, you may be able to tolerate The Princess . . . for about 20 minutes of its 94 minute length. I probably missed a few but she kills at least a dozen and maims many more as she works her way down the tower. Eventually, she meets up with her sensei, Linh, and they kill another three dozen or so. It takes a while to kill that many so there’s no time for any conversation other than “patience and focus.” Do you recommend anything about The Princess you may ask? The storehouse did have an amazing array of weapons but we didn’t get to peruse it nearly long enough. In any case, I give the flick 1.0 Gavel and it receives a poor 5.5/10 IMDb score.
Chained and locked in the tower, The Princess wakes up to “you’re going to get married whether you like it or not.” The King, Queen, and sister Violet also in chains, Julius and Moira lock down the castle. “You can’t rule by fear for long.” Too late, the King now regrets thinking Julius the ideal candidate to protect the vulnerable kingdom without a male heir. If The Princess won’t marry Julius, there is an option, an option even sicker than Julius. “A warrior is defined not by how she fights, but what she is fighting for.”
Not many actresses are named Joey, so Joey King (Radium Girls) has that going for her. Not every actress can be a believable action fighter, snarl or no snarl. As The Princess, King has that going for her, too. Dominic Cooper (Mamma Mia) has to be scratching his head why he ever studied Shakespeare. As Julius, he’s only a C- bad guy. Veronica Ngo (Linh) is the only actor taking this film semi-seriously. You saw her in The Old Guard opposite Charlize Theron, a sequel out soon.
“I will be your nightmare. I’ll be in heaven thinking of ways to kill you. You’ll be in hell, sleeping with one eye open, always looking behind your back, wondering when I will attack.” It seems The Princess really, really didn’t want to marry Julius. Will she become The Kingslayer?
“An action-packed and blood-splattered but braindead R-rated fairy tale that proves that all the ass-kicking in the world doesn’t matter if you don’t care about who’s doing the kicking.” Detroit News
“This film has just one brave question to ask: “What if a princess could also kick your ass?” The shrug-worthy answer – “Then she would probably kick some ass, I guess” – makes for the bulk of this facile, plotless movie.” The Wrap
I’ve already wasted more time on The Princess than it deserves. Moving on . . .