Le-Van Kiet’s fantasy “The Princess” opens in a conventional method, with the trill of Celtic-inspired flutes, a pink dawn and a sluggish climb to the highest of a spindly tower, the place an unnamed princess-bride-to-be (Joey King) lies on a mattress strewn with rose petals. But right here, the royal magnificence feigns sleep. Five minutes into this slender but vigorous blood-spattered fable, two enemy guards enter to pull our heroine to the chapel — and he or she brutally kills them. Clearly, the basic style that galvanizes Kiet and the screenwriters Ben Lustig and Jake Thornton doesn’t hark again to ye olde European fairy tales however somewhat to the feminist revenge thrillers of the Nineteen Seventies: works of exploitation and wuxia cinema the place warrior ladies caught it to the person. With knives.
The plot proceeds like an arcade sport. Her highness should combat her method downstairs to defeat her naysayer, together with a tyrannical fiancé (Dominic Cooper), his merciless consort (Olga Kurylenko) and the princess’s personal father (Ed Stoppard), a hapless weakling who believes he can fight fascism with calm and smart motive. Using scant dialogue, the movie makes a counterpoint: It takes bodily violence to regulate the throne. That’s one opinion on which the princess and her villainous betrothed can agree.
Long takes spotlight each King’s gumption (as when she somersaults forwards and backwards over a card desk to dispatch a trio of goons) and the admirably inventive combat choreography by Stanimir Stamatov and Samuel Kefi Abrikh, which emphasizes quick-thinking defensive strikes that make use of discovered objects — hairpins, pearls, heads of lettuce — to parry swords, axes, chains, whips and helmets with sharp horns. The high-aggro guitar rating is a misstep, however a panting, battered King is credible and compelling as she kicks, stabs and screams for the precise to decide on her personal future.
Rated R for rapacious bloodshed. Running time: 1 hour 34 minutes. Watch on Hulu.