The King's Daughter (2022)

The King's Daughter (2022)

2022 PG 97 Minutes

Fantasy | Drama | Romance

King Louis XIV's quest for immortality leads him to capture and steal a mermaid's life force, a move that is further complicated by his illegitimate daughter's discovery of the creature.

Overall Rating

3 / 10
Verdict: So-So

User Review

  • d_riptide


    2 / 10
    For once, I have an unpopular opinion: I can’t really convince myself that The King’s Daughter is a complete trainwreck: I find it aggressively dull at best with a lot of mismatched dramatic potential in the story and characters…..

    ….but that does nothing to take away from how unapologetically inconsistent the film is in terms of style, presentation and perspective.

    Kaya Scodelario is firmly charismatic enough to be the only redeeming cast member here but even Sean McNamara finds a way to cripple her performance. His directing has a severe lack of rhythm to most of what he does, to the point where I almost mistook this as a directorial debut. I get what the method here is as he’s known for using true stories about people overcoming adversity to make it universal for all audiences but no such adversity is displayed throughout, thanks to the varying tones. This ain’t no Soul Surfer.

    Every single scene looks terribly mismatched to the point here no two of them actually connect to one another; further exacerbated by how they’re recycled endlessly, waning cinematography or otherwise. All the costumes and production design are an inconsistent hodgepodge of distracting faultlines that constantly clash against the otherwise glamorous, whimsy backdrop all while extremely choppy editing effortlessly butchers multiple key scenes with no visual coherence of narrative clarity to expand the story; a story that constantly splits up multiple characters arcs to keep them as inconsequentially barren as possible and gives them no space to grow or develop while also being unreasonably proud of its lopsided, over-embellished, needlessly convoluted plot threads. Even with the butchering job in the editing room being so abysmal, the film is too dour for the kids to invest in the essence of the fairytale and too cheaply dumbed down for the adults to take seriously… if the film wasn’t self-serious enough to the point of lunacy.

    Couple that with hokey dialogue, boring-as-sin, misplaced music and the murky, cheesy visual effects that reportedly curbed this films release from quarantine since 2014 and we’re left with an eerily similar facsimile of what became of 2020’s Dolittle.

    Similar to Foodfight, movies like these prove the price of the movie does and doesn’t matter at the same time because whether it being marketed at 40 million dollars or just 40 dollars, the end result betrays the foundation of a project that might’ve once had promise but is nothing to be proud of now.