Monday, March 25, 2024


Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things) returns to our small screens with a rather disappointing Young Adult-aimed feminist fairy tale. I really loved the wit and pace of MBB's ENOLA HOLMES, but this film lacks any kind of energy or pace.  It also suffers from the fact that the heroine basically has to do her escape journey not once but twice, the first time saving her own skin from a dragon, and the second time saving her little sister.

MBB plays earnest, resourceful Princess Elodie, who agrees to an arranged marriage with a Prince from a far richer kingdom to save her own people.  Problem is, that kingdom is sacrificing Princesses to assuage the vengeful nature of an evil dragon. As Elodie finds herself thrown into a dragon pit slash cave system she realises just how many young women have been thrown to their fate before her. And thanks to their wall-carved advice, she somehow manages to escape and get her own revenge.

The message of this film is admirable. No handsome Prince is coming to rescue you. The sisterhood will save you. Maybe the vengeful dragon is just hurting too. Maybe the wicked stepmother is actually wonderfully protective. Maybe the beautiful blonde Queen is the real villain.

It's just a shame that the earnest good message and MBB's high-energy performance is tethered to Dan Mazeau (FAST X)'s extremely thin and repetitive script.  I had also expected more from pace and invention from genre director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 WEEKS LATER).

DAMSEL is rated PG-13 and has a running time of 110 minutes. It was released on Netflix a few weeks ago.

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