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The Princess Hulu Review: Fast-Paced Medieval Empowerment

Joey King as The Princess posing with a sword
Joey King in The Princess

The Princess is the latest Hulu exclusive from 20th Century Studios, starring Joey King, Dominic Cooper, and Olga Kurylenko. In case you didn’t know, Disney has operation control/ownership of Hulu by majority. Comcast still owns 33% of the streaming service for now, but that will change as they focus more on Peacock. Since it is under the Disney umbrella, Hulu has become the streaming home to several films from 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures; these studios came from the 20th Century Fox purchase that Disney made back in March 2019. Hulu has seen the exclusive release of films like The King’s Man, No Exit, Deep Water, and Death on the Nile

Joey King as The Princess in ​​The Princess

The premise of the Hulu Original film is very simple: a princess is being forced to marry a man who wants to become king. The execution however not only turns the premise on its head, but turns Joey King into an action star. King is absolutely committed to the stunt work and gives it her all. That being said, it’s very strange seeing her in an action heavy role like this; she’s 23 but she still looks like she’s younger than that. Between that and her height, seeing a 5’4’’ woman take down several men that have to be well over 6’ tall seems very silly at times. 

(L-R): Veronica Ngo and Joey King in 20th Century Studios’ THE PRINCESS, exclusively on Hulu. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Another thing to keep in mind: this is not a family film. It is an R rated action film and they earn that between the violence and some of the language. The camerawork is also a little chaotic as well; that might have been what they were going for, but it can be jarring and hard to follow the action at times. Everyone involved though is committed to the stunt work, that much is clear (another reason why stunts should be recognized by The Academy).

Also Read: Schitt’s Creek: Hulu Paid Netflix Insane Amount To Acquire Show

The story jumps around a lot, flashing between the present and past to give us backstory on our titular character. It’s appreciated, but it takes you out of the momentum the action is trying to build. I think it would have worked better if we got the backstory right at the beginning, then went right into the main story to keep the action better connected.

Dominic Cooper as Julius in The Princess

Joey King isn’t the only cast member to be recognized. Dominic Cooper does a great job playing the villain Julius. Most viewers I’m sure will recognize him for his MCU role as young Howard Stark in Captain America: The First Avenger, but this is a very different character. He wants the crown and will stop at nothing to get it, and Cooper is clearly having a great time playing the bad guy. Olga Kurylenko is also a great supporting villain as well; she gets to make better use of her talents here than as Taskmaster in Black Widow.

Veronica Ngo also does a nice job as Linh, the woman who trained The Princess. She not only provides physical support in the fight, but helps The Princess learn what she’s fighting for. We don’t get a lot of time to connect with the other characters, especially the Royal Family, so I don’t feel like I cared about them as much as I should have.

Overall, I had a pretty good time watching The Princess. I think Hulu was the right home for it in the end; Joey King isn’t a household name, so I don’t think this would have been a smash hit at the box office. I’m sure it will do well on streaming and I’d recommend watching it at least once. It’s a 90 minute medieval action film that’s all about female empowerment, which is honestly what we need in the world right now.

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