revisiting the 9s: dunkirk (christopher nolan, 2017)
music friday: tom snyder

geezer cinema: the princess (lê văn kiệt, 2022)

I first came across Lê Văn Kiệt a couple of years ago, when I watched Furie as part of a Letterboxd challenge. It was a delightful surprise. I wrote, "Everything about Furie is a little better than you expect, and the result knocks your socks off." So I was eager to see The Princess, with a decent cast of lesser-knowns (Joey King, Dominic Cooper, Olga Kurylenko, along with Veronica Ngô, who was the star of Furie), and good reviews for the action scenes. It's true, though, that overall, The Princess wasn't popular with critics (a Metascore of 43/100), or, for that matter, filmgoers (IMDB rating of 5.5/10). I actually intended to see Nope, but the theaters are still a bit crowded for us in this COVID era.

So, The Princess. Which isn't as good as Furie, but once again, it's a little better than you expect, and at times, at least, it can knock your socks off. The plot is generic (young princess is forced to marry a bad man, she tries to escape her destiny), and there's something kind of cheap about the look (it was shot in Bulgaria ... I don't know why). It reminded me of Kick-Ass, with that great performance by Chloë Grace Moretz as "Hit-Girl". Except here, the ass-kicking woman (Joey King) is a decade older than Hit-Girl, and she is the main character, not a supporting role.

As with Moretz, there is something fun about a little shrimp kicking ass, and Kiệt makes sure the Princess gets a lot of really big men to whoop on. Special kudos to fight choreographer Kefi Abrikh, who performed the same function for Furie. Joey King is clearly having a great time, Veronica Ngô is a welcome presence who has a lot to do in the second half of the film, and Olga Kurylenko combines a cool outfit, a whip, and an attitude to good effect.

This is not a great movie, and it may have benefitted from my lowered expectations. But it was certainly a fun way to spend a couple of hours (I laughed a lot).



I'm glad we watched it!

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