‘The Princess’: the wild movie on Disney + wants to be a bloody and fun mix of ‘Murder Raid’ and ‘Tangled’ but only shines in isolation

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the United States in making action movies with a female lead. Very recently we have titles like ‘Jolt’, ‘Kate’ or ‘Agents 355’. Nor is it that it was difficult to go further, since Hollywood never bet too strongly on this type of proposal, but everything indicates that it would be something that could be consolidated.

The last example so far we have with ‘The Princess’, an action comedy starring Joey King that arrives on Disney + this July 1. Described by Jake Thornton, one of its screenwriters, as a cross between ‘Tangled’ and ‘Killing Raid’, it is a promise that promised to be one of the great hobbies of this summer, but when it comes down to it, it is one of those proposals that insists on being cool at all times and then only happens on a few occasions.

‘The Princess’ is the story of a young heiress imprisoned in the highest tower of the castle after refusing to marry the person to whom she was promised against her will. The disgruntled suitor then decides to seize power by force, but she will do everything possible to leave her confinement and confront him. Come on, a fairy tale with a very different approach than what we are used to, base material succulent enough to make us curious about the result.

To enhance it, it starts directly with the princess played by King already imprisoned, which allows the action to make an appearance after a few minutes instead of respecting the linear narrative of the story. Nothing hits that decision on paper, but here it ends up being a small burden, since there is no other choice but to introduce different flashbacks throughout the story to justify things, thus breaking the vibrant rhythm that director Le-Van Kiet seeks to imprint. to ‘The Princess’ at all times.

In addition, that creates the feeling of filling gaps too conveniently when a more traditional approach would have allowed us to believe from the first moment that the protagonist is capable of kicking the ass of anyone who puts her in front of her. By wanting to go too far forward, what he achieves is to mitigate that effect.

In return, ‘The Princess’ exhibits action scenes above the current average, both because of its obvious attempt to limit as much as possible the editing that creates an aura of spectacularity and because of King’s involvement in those sequences. That in turn results in more fun, something very important here, because it quickly becomes clear that we are facing a film with a casual approach that will use humor whenever it thinks relevant.

All this leads to specific moments in which ‘The Princess’ really is at that level that she wants to be cool more than anyone else. Both the camera movements and the choreography shine and as a spectator you enjoy a lot. What there is not is a real continuity, that is to say, within a sequence there are very successful specific parts, but it never completely finishes off the whole.

In fact, there are even specific situations in which this search for greater visual fluidity ends up giving rise to specific moments that border on the ridiculous -I think, for example, of that fight on the stairs with the enemies attacking the protagonist one by one-. It also doesn’t help that the investment in digital effects was far from appropriate and there are certain retouches with little to no credibility.

In the end, what remains is an unequal cocktail, both narratively and purely visually. A great point in its favor is its tight duration -it hardly reaches an hour and a half of footage- and that not a single hair is cut in the action scenes. Here there is blood and fatalities, also achieving that difficult balance between his comic will and the forcefulness of the action never completely unbalances towards either of the two extremes. Of course, it is never especially fun, but that touch of lightness that it brings does suit it.

‘The Princess’ promised to reach much higher than what it achieves, which leaves a bittersweet taste. All in all, at least he seeks to have a certain visual personality, he is not fooling around in the treatment of violence -eye, do not expect a carnage here either- and King is quite convincing. It’s something.

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