The Princess, the review: no more weddings, the kingdom defends itself with the sword

The Princess: Joey King in a photo from the film

Other than “let your hair down”. The princess in the tallest tower is there. The wedding dress as well. Her hair is long, but she doesn’t sit idly by waiting for someone to save her. Also because she has handcuffs around her wrists and, if she wants to survive the two brutes who jump on her, she must find a way to get rid of them. We didn’t expect it either, but there review of The Princess it will be quite exalted. The Le-Van Kiet film starring Joey King, starting July 1st on Disney +, is one of the most surprising of the season.

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The Princess: Joey King, Veronica Ngo in an action scene

Firstborn of a king with two daughters to whom she never thought of leaving the kingdom, the Princess in secret, from a very young age, accompanied her lessons in good manners to those of martial arts and the use of the sword thanks to the teachings of her friend. and mentor Linh (Veronica Ngo). When she refuses to marry Julius (a Dominic Cooper who enjoys playing the role of the psychopath), she is locked up and sedated, waiting to be brought to the altar by force.

Julius, her father, all the men who try to drag her have not dealt with her willpower: behind that innocent face there is an indomitable spirit, ready to rebel with blows of blades, kicks, punches, stones, every blunt object possible. Nobody can put the Princess in a corner. Let alone in the highest tower of the castle.

The Princess: between Bruce Lee and Kill Bill

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The Princess: Dominic Cooper in one scene

Vietnamese director Le-Van Kiet comes from martial arts cinema and has a particular taste for horror. He shows it. Its protagonist Joey King will also have the sweetest face in the world, but that doesn’t stop her from tearing off her dress with her bare hands and smearing it more and more with blood as the film progresses (as happens to Bruce Willis’ white tank top in Die Hard).

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The Princess: Joey King, Veronica Ngo in a fight

Throwing away the “old school Disney princess” model for good, The Princess is much closer to films like Kill Bill and John Wick. Although perhaps the most obvious reference is Chen’s Last Fight, a cult film starring Bruce Lee. Built like a video game, The Princess is set in the castle for most of its duration, with the protagonist trying to free herself starting from the tallest tower and going down to the dungeons of the castle. Leaving a trail of blood on each level.

The action is frantic and fast, Joey King did a great job on body and choreography: fun is guaranteed. Between a punch and an acrobatic escape, The Princess also has time to clarify things that we take for granted today but that – the recent decision of the American Supreme Court on abortion is a sad and glaring example – we must never stop to defend.

The Princess: free princess in free kingdom

The protagonist of the film wants to decide for herself: she is neither willing to marry the first invader that happens, nor to be told by her parents that her greatest aspiration in life is marriage. The princess rightly wants to decide on her own body and defend that of her younger sister: when Julius threatens to marry her if he doesn’t change his mind about her, her anger becomes even stronger.

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The Princess: Joey King in one scene

And anger is the driving force behind this film: an anger that, if well addressed, can lead to change. A feeling that, not surprisingly, when associated with the masculine is often a virtue, while when it inflames the cheeks of a woman it is ugly, unpleasant, hysterical. The princess doesn’t care and transforms it into her strength. And the film is no longer kind to her for this: it earns this autonomy with her nails and teeth, taking so many blows, risking every step. We are not facing one of those films in which the protagonist is given help or given special attention. There is a lot of blood and sweat in The Princess. Gifts, but always body fluids.

The Princess: long live the fluidity at the cinema

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The Princess: Joey King, Veronica Ngo in an action scene

Director Le-Van Kiet loves Rambo films, Commando with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Alien: all films in which the dramaturgy is written in the body of the protagonists. If until twenty years ago this genre was considered above all “masculine”, today, fortunately, it is no longer the case. We will not say in fact that The Princess is “female action cinema”. It’s action cinema. Point. Shot and choreographed well. Fortunately, today genres and styles are mixed and we have finally broadened our horizons with respect to “male films” and “female films”. A film like The Princess is aimed at everyone, especially those who are hungry for action and on-screen blows. The protagonist of this film is not “a woman who behaves like a man”, but a character struggling for her own self-determination, which should be something everyone can identify with.

That said, The Princess doesn’t have who knows what ambitions and that’s why it works so well: in its video game mechanics, with the monster getting bigger at the end of the level (i.e. at each floor of the castle), it’s a great toy, a crazy ride to be enjoyed without too many pretensions. It also lasts 94 minutes, a format now almost unthinkable for entertainment films. And so yes: from the highest tower to the dungeons, to the death.


As written in the review of The Princess, the Le-Van Kiet film with Joey King is a crazy short ride (94 minutes of pure adrenaline), which is not too pretentious if not entertaining, looking at models like the films with Bruce Lee. , Kill Bill and John Wick. The fact that the protagonist is a princess who refuses to marry and for this reason she has to fight to save her life offers an easy reflection on the condition of women today, but we are faced above all with a film of pure entertainment, which does the job well. her.

Because we like it

  • The almost videogame structure of the film.
  • The protagonist Joey King.
  • The fights well shot by Le-Van Kiet.
  • The short duration.

What’s wrong

  • Those who do not like the “cinema di beating” might be bored.

The Princess, the review: no more weddings, the kingdom defends itself with the sword