The Princess – Movie Reviews by Ry!

The Princess – Blood in Ever After: It’s a Fairy Tale

What is it that pulls a person into a story.  From the emotional threads of a romance to the adrenaline pulse of the adventure, there are different ways to get pulled.  With film, a story weaves around a sandbox, hoping that its ‘hook’ is enough.  No matter the criteria, there is always something to the experience … even when it is generic.  In this review, I look at the latest Hulu Original film.  A twisting setting of action and fantasy, The Princess is general fun in a bloody fairy tale.

This is a tale of fantasy and blood.  When the princess (Joey King) is taken hostage, she must break out of a tower, save her family and stop Prince Julius (Dominic Cooper) from seizing the kingdom.  On the surface, the outline is built on common tropes found in any other fantasy/action film.  In the beginning, the audience is quickly introduced to the Princess (main character), before being thrust into her journey through an initiated bombastic action sequence.  From this point, the directive moves through a ‘point A to B’ method, introducing the audience to an ominous journey of entrapment.  The lack of explanation creates a broad puzzle where the Princess must piece everything together (through flashbacks and observation).  As she learns who is responsible for the destruction of the kingdom (Prince Julius), we move through a linear directive of aloof scenarios, visceral action and cheeky dialogue.  As the film is falling into a lethargic hole of monotony, we head into a second act that slowly shifts the focus towards the action.  With this change, the absurdity of the Princess’s conflicts begins to elevate the experience.  This adds a ‘self-aware’ component to the clichés, refocusing on the female warrior motif.  As the Princess struggles to fight through the waves of different foes, she begins to learn more about herself (through the continued use of flashbacks).  This hardiness creates a humanistic grip, providing some enjoyment to a lackluster journey. 

As the journey continues down this refocused path, the filmmakers fall into a repeated motion of:

Raw action scenario > Flashback exposition > Fantastical resolution > (repeat) Raw action scenario

Even with a heavy dose of predictability, it is the intuitive dynamic of heroism from the Princess that grips you to each scene.  Watching the creative ways she dispatches her foes is the highlight against the cliché plot, wooden side characters and lack of any real development.  Through Wu Xia choreographed action, the female warrior motif is built seamlessly within a different twist of a fairy tale.  After some convenient circumstances, we head into a third act that further pushes the action to another level.  With the final confrontation of the Princess and Julius, it leads to that inevitable ‘hero’s triumph’ climax and a different kind of a happily ever after.  The Princess is a basic journey that is highlighted by its intuitive use of action.  Even with lackluster moments, there is still enjoyment to be had.  If you are a fan of straight action, this is one for you.  It is available on Hulu, a good Friday night at home.   

Full Score – 2.5 out of 5 (Friday Night Rental)

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