If the trailer for The Princess is any indication, viewers are about to get a whole new take on a pretty classic princess story. Joey King stars as the titular character, and in this Le-Van Kiet-directed action movie, there’s no damsel in distress to be found. After refusing to marry the sadistic Julius (Dominic Cooper), The Princess learns to fight to save herself and the kingdom. Critics were able to screen The Princess ahead of its release to Hulu subscribers, so let’s see what the reviews have to say.
Along with Joey King and Dominic Cooper, the movie stars Veronica Ngo as Linh, who teaches The Princess martial arts, Olga Kurylenko as Julius’ sadistic sidekick and Ed Stoppard as the title character’s father. Let’s see what the critics think, starting with CinemaBlend’s review of The Princess. Mike Reyes rates the film 3 stars out of 5, saying Joey King has a lot of weight to pull in this movie, and she does it effortlessly, delivering a strong message of female empowerment:
Peter Debruge of Variety says the script is full of clichés, but The Princess deserves credit for attempting to find the formula to help deprogram a generation used to seeing their princesses waiting to be saved or married off:
Jeff Ewing of Forbes agrees this is a formula that works, and Joey King really shows off her combat training, as action comprises about 90% of the movie. That leaves little room for character development, but this critic says that’s OK in this story about a princess who proves she’s able to handle her own business:
Not all the reviews are as positive, however, as Brent Simon of AV Club grades The Princess a D. This review says Joey King struggles to deliver a fully dimensional character, and she isn’t done any favors by the rest of the production, which has the overall air of cut corners and compromises:
David Ehrlich of IndieWire also grades the film a D, agreeing that Joey King shouldn’t be held responsible for the movie’s messes, as actors are rarely asked to carry so much of a movie that does nothing to lift them up in return. The review does wonder who the intended audience is, with dialogue that is “sub-YA” being paired with Mortal Combat-level violence:
The critics may not agree on how much they enjoyed The Princess, but they all say it’s full of violence and action. They also seem to like the typical “princess” story being turned on its head, even if they don’t agree on how successful the film was in its execution. If you’d like to judge for yourself, The Princess is available for streaming now on Hulu. Be sure to check out these other movies on Hulu, and start planning your next trip to the theater with our 2022 Movie Release Schedule.