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Review: The King’s Daughter

The year 1684. France is the place. Pierce Brosnan is the King.

It is unlikely that this historical French fact was previously known. That is James Bond in the 1930s, swizzing in velvet and ruffles with windblown slo mo hair in order to play Louis XIV. The King’s daughter. It’s okay. However, in the future, he might regret his mincing and hand-on hip gait. This is the man who sang “S.O.S.” He was clearly a star of hardy in an ABBA movie.

The film had a cast that included William Hurt and Brosnan as well as Kaya Scodelario and Fan Bingbing (a Chinese superstar) so it is not surprising that CGI was used. The King’s daughterIt will be making its debut in January’s joyless wastes. (The image was shot in 2014, and the picture was quickly strangled in the crib. This may be due to various reasons. It could also reflect the Chinese government’s 2018 decision to punish Fan for tax fraud. This is it, finally.

It’s not really a bad movie, but it may seem insupportably silly to anyone unaware of its source material—a fantasy novel by Vonda N. McIntyre that beat out George R.R. Martin’s A Game of ThronesThe 1997 Nebula Award. So potential viewers should be prepared to accept a picture in which Louis XIV is not only played by Brosnan, but also owns a mermaid (Fan)—a creature he’s had kidnapped from the once-lost city of Atlantis. He’s done this because mermaids are said by “the books” to have the power to perpetuate human lifespans; Louis, having recently been the object of an assassination attempt, now wants to extend his already 40-year reign to…well, infinity.

In the meantime, the King also has a unacknowledged child who lives in remote convent on the coast with cranky nuns. Marie-Josephe (Scodelario) is the name of this little girl. As you would expect, she’s very spunky. Louis has never laid eyes on her before, but now he’s brought her to the Palace of Versailles for a festival marking an imminent lunar eclipse—the only time when a mermaid can be killed in order to harness its power. (Again, “the books.”) Marie-Josephe, as one might expect or know for sure, meets Marie-Josephe in the prison grotto. They bond. She is determined to rescue the miracle creature and lobby her father. He supports her and she also wins support from William Hurt, a stoic confessor, and a romantic royal sea captain called Yves.

It’s disappointing that the film lacks excitement given all the work it took (the glittery locations shooting outside and inside the Palace of Versailles was no easy feat). Although the story is quirky and not very interesting, it’s hard to invest in. Even though the seagoing and underwater effects are impressive at the time, the film still lacks excitement. It can sometimes be annoying, as well. I was just kidding.” I think we can allow that one of Brosnan’s lines—”I’m a king, you know”—was a little joke. We wish we were more sure of this, however.