“The King’s Daughter” Is Truly A Watery Royal Mess

Once upon a time there was a movie that didn’t know what it was. A romantic comedy? May be. A period drama? A fairy tale? Teenage fantasy mixed with royal intrigue? No matter. The producers invested a lot of money in the film and filled it with movie stars. That’s why we now have “The King’s Daughter” and all the stars have lived happily ever after, counting their money.

January is often where bad movies are hidden, but “The King’s Daughter” isn’t just bad, it’s a sickening, clichéd mess that’s not even worth the slightest risk of contacting COVID-19 to see it. in the rooms. Another clue? It was filmed in 2014 and only released now. It increases confidence levels, huh?

The film is set in 1684 at the Palace of Versailles and yet everyone oddly has an upper-class English accent and Tom Ford-esque outfits. King Louis XIV found an answer to thwart his own mortality: a mermaid. Yes, a mermaid – from the lost city of Atlantis, no less – who has the power to heal. He’s planning to drain his life force during a solar eclipse, which everyone knows adds extra spice to the mermaid slaughter, right?

But his plans are complicated by the arrival of his secret and illegitimate daughter, who bonds with the mermaid. She’s also a fish out of water: locked up in a convent for decades and unfamiliar with the intrigue at court, where everyone seems to be in a sneaky Vogue with way too much make-up on. the eyes.

Pierce Brosnan plays the horny king with rock star hair, arched playfulness and one hand always on his hip. Benjamin Walker channels his inner Johnny Depp to play a dashing Jack Sparrow-like ship captain who falls in love with the cellist king’s daughter, played by a breathless Kaya Scodelario, who, fittingly, was in the last movie “Pirates of the Caribbean”.

The rest of the cast includes Pablo Schreiber as the over-the-top, scheming royal adviser and William Hurt – seriously William Hurt – as the priest. He doesn’t need to come out of neutral to show he’s the best actor here, but with a terrible movie agent. And Julie Andrews – the real Julie Andrews – was enlisted as narrator, thankfully avoiding a deeper career quagmire by avoiding the set altogether.

Speaking of set, director Sean McNamara has had access to Versailles and isn’t shy about showing it under golden light – for what feels like hours. (It’s “the stuff of dreams,” we’re told.) An underground cave, on the other hand, looks like it was crafted by glue-sniffing teenagers.

Overall, it’s a weirdly edited film, with scenes that end jerkily, slow motions added for dramatic entrances on horseback, swimming sequences that really try to be awe-inspiring, poor fight choreography at the end and an excruciating minuet between father and daughter. The special effects are pretty ridiculous too.

Screenwriters Barry Berman and James Schamus use the kind of stilted, overcooked language that feels heavy but really paper on painful dishonesty. “It’s the voice of Satan calling you to the unholy sea,” Rachel Griffiths – another wasted star here – is forced to say as Abbess. Brosnan has the misfortune to have several of the worst lines, from the grandiose “My immortality assures the future of France!” banal: “Life is full of suffering, my child. And you suffered with so much grace.

Hurt can’t get away without uttering a clunker: “God gave you wings. I just hope you know how to fly,” he tells the girl – and delivers it as best he can. But it’s a fishy tale and it uses the wrong analogy. It’s appropriate for a huge miss of a movie.

“The King’s Daughter” is based on Vonda N. McIntyre’s 1997 novel “The Moon and the Sun,” but the film owes much to “Shape of Water” and “The Green Mile.” Why he was ever exhumed from his watery grave is a mystery. It will suck out your own life force.


“The King’s Daughter,” a Gravitas Ventures release that hits theaters Friday, is rated PG for “some violence, suggestive material, and thematic elements.” Duration: 97 minutes. No stars out of four.


MPAA definition of PG: Parental guidance suggested.


Online: https://thekingsdaughtermovie.com


Marc Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

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