‘The Princess’ Review: Not Your Average Fairytale

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How The Princess debuted on Hulu is genuinely a magical tale. Magical because prior to the trailer being released just about a month ago, I had no idea this film existed. As if out of nowhere one day while at work, a notification appeared on my phone signaling a new trailer for an upcoming film coming to Hulu. Bored at my desk, I opened the link and began watching the trailer. 

Quickly two thoughts crossed my mind. One, this trailer definitely wasn’t appropriate to watch in a psychology office. And two, this film looked absolutely amazing. I watched that trailer three more times before the day was up. Now having watched the film twice, am I still excited about The Princess? Find out in my review! 

[Warning: Spoilers from The Princess on Hulu are below!]

The Princess is fierce in a land far away

The story opens up on a large castle, surrounded by water, in the middle of a large forest. Traveling up to the highest tower, we find a beautiful princess (Joey King) lying peacefully in a bed. Well… as peaceful as one can be while also handcuffed. From the moment that the Princess wakes up from her slumber, the action never slows down. This isn’t just any princess, but one that can hold her own ground.

Throughout the film, you discover what has led to her entrapment in the tallest tower of her family’s castle, the delicate ego of Prince Julius (Dominic Cooper). The Princess, who isn’t given a name during the entire film, rejected him in front of the entire kingdom on the day of their wedding. Her father (Ed Stoppard) spoke of duty and the need for a man to lead the country. 

The Princess- Joey King
Joey King as The Princess. The Princess (Hulu)

However, the Princess doesn’t want to marry the egotistical Julius and has to save the kingdom and her family from his violent streak. Good thing she has learned how to fight from Linh (Ngô Thanh Vân) to become the fiercest princess in all the land.

The rest of the film feels like one giant action sequence, one that sees Joey King’s titular character fight her way through a plethora of guards and enemies. She risks everything to save her people and prove her worth to her father. 

Fantastic Tales from Hulu 

There is so much to love about this film that I almost don’t know where to start. I loved that they made an action film set in medieval times where the Princess is so much more than a damsel in distress. It felt original and new, instead of the tired “strong knight saves the day” trope that runs rampant in stories set in this time period. 

Joey King was exceptional as the Princess, I cannot express enough how perfect she was. The balance of grace and action that she brought to the character was something amazing to behold. Her accent was also stellar, there was never a moment that it faltered or brought me out of the story.

The writing was exceptional, giving her more dimension than seen in a lot of action movies. I could watch an entire series of films about this princess and her badass adventures, kicking butt and taking names.

Dominic Cooper was also fantastic as the evil prince of the story. I have loved Cooper in almost any role I have seen him in and this one was no exception. Many of the scenes with him gave me chills because his threats and demeanor felt scary and intimidating. While I was rooting for the Princess to win back her kingdom, I found myself anticipating each scene with Cooper.

The Princess - Julius (Dominic Cooper)
Dominic Cooper as Julius. The Princess (Hulu).

The best part of the entire film was the action, although at times the amount of blood felt a tad excessive. It was well choreographed for a film on Hulu and I found myself becoming enraptured by it. I whooped quite a few times throughout the film as the Princess, Linh, and the younger princess (Katelyn Rose Downey) worked together to bring down Julius.

My only issue

The biggest problem I had with the film was the age difference between The Princess and Julius. While their ages are not explicitly stated in the film, there is a 22-year age difference between the two stars. I know that during medieval times women were married off at young ages, however, in a film about a powerful woman, it felt odd.

I think that if they had someone a bit younger in the role of Julius, it wouldn’t have felt so off. That being said, I couldn’t picture anyone else in the role except for Cooper and for a 44-year-old he definitely doesn’t look his age. The age difference didn’t necessarily take away from the story, because both of the main actors were so perfect that after the initial discomfort, I could put it aside.

Final impressions of The Princess

This film went from something I knew nothing about to one of my top films of 2022. Between the action, the acting, and the overall story, it felt near perfect in every way. I laughed, I cried and warrior-yelled for my princess through some of her toughest battles.

She gained the keys to the kingdom as her father crowned her the new ruler, sealing the deal as a fan-favorite film in my heart. If you’re at home and looking for something to watch, turn on The Princess, you won’t be disappointed. 

My rating for this film: 

★★★★/ ♥♥♥♥♥

The Princess is currently streaming exclusively on Hulu! Have you seen The Princess yet? What did you think of the film? Let us know over on Twitter!

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