The Princess (2022)

dir. Le-Van Kiet

A princess (Joey King) wakes up at the top of a tower and has to use her martial arts skills to battle herself to freedom and save her family. There’s a whole lot of confusion around the story itself – a nobleman is trying to force the princess to marry him so he can gain power, but he also has no qualms about holding the royal family captive? Why not just kill them and take the throne, then? But to The Princess’ credit, it’s not really trying to be anything intelligent or profound. It’s just mindless fight sequences with a bit of a “girl power” undercurrent clumsily thrown in. The action sequences aren’t terrible, but they’re pretty perfunctory. The acting isn’t terrible, but it’s pretty perfunctory. The set design isn’t – actually, it often is quite terrible, betraying the medieval setting and instead being obviously designed and built in contemporary times. The feminism angle is handled very amateurishly (is it really a victory if a woman has to fight and cheat death a hundred times over before she’s granted agency over her own life?), but hey, at least it’s there. The Princess is loud and dumb, but it knows it, so it’s hard to get agitated over it.

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