Joey King shows royalty who’s boss in hit & miss action film.
The trailer for the made-for-Hulu action movie “The Princess” sets us up for a modern day spin on how royal women are underestimated. They always have a strong sense that allows the men to see their true colors. Women are only pieces of meat, if they act like idiots or degrade themselves. I’m able to distinguish the qualities of a woman through their minds and hearts. That’s how I show my respect for them.
In recent memory, “The Invisible Man” and “Promising Young Woman” both had their own dangerous ways on dealing with chauvinist pigs. And in the action genre, Samara Weaving knew how to fight against her killers in “Ready Or Not.” So, who says “women can’t be action stars?” The box office receipts? The studio executives? “The Princess” doesn’t need the money to prove a point.
Joey King plays a Princess, who wakes up chained to her bed, because she is forced to marry the evil Julius (Dominic Cooper). Her parents-the King (Ed Stoppard) and Queen (Alex Reid)-have been disillusioned by the fact that they couldn’t have a son, that they think her marrying this guy would save the royal family tree.
She refuses, which is why Julius’ men chains her up and why he holds her family hostage in order to seize the throne. And he also has a female assistant named Moira (Olga Kurylenko), who has a whip with a blade at the end. She can either strangle or slit her victims’ throats.
So, what’s a girl to do? Sit around and wait for her true love to come? Weep and cry like the generic damsel in distress? No and no. She has to kick some ass.
The reason how she’s so good at fighting isn’t just her womanhood, but also, as a child, she was training with her wise and loyal mentor Linh (Veronica Ngo). And another woman to join her in the fight is her younger sister Violet (Katelyn Rose Downey).
“The Princess” is a hit-&-miss movie, because of the comedy that seems uninspired, like how there’s a fat henchman who struggles to go up and down the stairs. But I didn’t see this movie as a comedy; I saw it as an opportunity to give the royal genre a spin. Princesses are not the damsel in distresses stories have made them to be. They have voices and can excel when you least expect them to. Joey King delivers as the Princess who isn’t given a name, but is given an attitude that makes her maturing from a child actress to a young adult. Yesterday, I enjoyed her in “Ramona & Beezus,” and today, I’m enjoying her in “The Princess.” And she’s also given support from Ngo, who knows how to play the wise mentor without condescending herself.
The villains are also pretty good in their own aspects. I like how the would-be King looks and acts like Dominic Cooper with his tone, beard, and devious characteristics. And Kurylenko is also fun when she uses her deadly whip, and when she uses the kind of dialogue that I looked for and missed from the big action names in “Minions: The Rise of Gru.”
“Ready or Not” would be the more original film of its kind-an R-rated ride with a female hero and the right kind of vulgarity and risks. “The Princess” wants to live up to its potential, and it may not be perfect, but when you see action movies with a leading lady being given a brain, you have to seize the moment. After all, “The 355” wasted such fine actresses like Jessica Chastain or Penelope Cruz. This shows royalty who’s boss.
Streaming on Hulu