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Sean McNamara
Pierce Brosnan, Kaya Scodelario, William Hurt
Writing Credits:
Barry Berman, James Schamus

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.

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 98 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 4/19/2022

• Deleted Scene
• “Cast Reflections” Featurette
• Previews


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The King's Daughter [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 27, 2022)

With 2022’s The King’s Daughter, we get a look at historical characters through the prism of fantasy. The story takes us back to France circa the early 18th century.

King Louis XIV (Pierce Brosnan) becomes obsessed with the pursuit of immortality. He sends a crew led by Captain Yves De La Croix (Benjamin Walker) to find a mermaid (Fan Bingbing) whose powers Louis believes will allow him to live forever.

In the meantime, Louis’s illegitimate daughter Marie-Josèphe (Kaya Scodelario) comes to the king’s court and creates immediate disruptions in a variety of ways. Louis confronts conflicts he experiences with Marie-Josèphe as he also attempts to discover the secrets of the mermaid.

That synopsis makes it sound like Daughter essentially packs two separate movies into one. A tale about the mermaid could fit one tale while the drama between Louis and Marie-Josèphe could offer another.

Does Daughter manage to join these seemingly disparate halves in a satisfying manner? Not really, as the end result turns into a mess.

Based on a novel by Vonda McIntyre, perhaps this worked better in text form. However, the film lacks coherence and feels disjointed.

It never comes as a good sign when you find out a movie remained on the shelves for years. Daughter actually shot in 2014, so the studio sat on it for nearly eight years before they finally dumped it into the marketplace.

I can’t blame Universal for their unwillingness to unleash this turkey into the wild. The big question becomes why they bothered to give it a theatrical distribution at all – why not let it pass away peacefully as a direct-to-video release?

Because Daughter pulled in less than $2 million in the US, it clearly didn’t make a dent on audiences. I can’t blame moviegoers, as nothing about the film works.

Daughter throws approximately 47 different genres into the mix and never figures out a way to blend them. Instead, the stylistic choices simply feel random and incoherent.

We get a wide series of stabs here. At varying times, we get romantic drama, coming of age narrative, swashbuckling adventure, father/daughter tale, fantasy, and buddy comedy – and I probably forgot other domains.

Perhaps superior filmmakers could pull off all these different genres, but those behind Daughter can’t do so. The various choices butt up against each other awkwardly and without natural flow.

This means Daughter comes across as though edited with a chainsaw. Nothing meshes as we proceed through a series of barely connected scenelets on a path to nowhere.

Shockingly bad computer animation doesn’t help. Anytime we see the mermaid, we immediately find ourselves put off by how plastic and unconvincing this character looks.

If other aspects of the movie succeeded, the CG might become a real problem. However, here the bad effects simply add to the massive pile of flaws.

Somewhere buried deep, one might find the potential for a compelling fantasy via The King’s Daughter. As executed, however, the movie turns into a borderline unwatchable waste of talent.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus D

The King’s Daughter appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a satisfying image.

For the most part, sharpness worked well. A few interiors showed a smidgen of softness, but those instances remained infrequent. Instead, the majority of the flick offered fine clarity and delineation.

I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes failed to appear. Print flaws also stayed away from this clean presentation.

As for the palette, it showed a golden feel, with some teal as well. These came across as peppy and vivid.

Blacks looked dark and deep, and low-light shots seemed smooth and clear. I felt pleased with the transfer.

In terms of the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it opened up matters on occasion. Probably the showiest elements popped up during magical sequences or those connected to the sea.

A few other scenes added some pizzazz as well, but most of the movie stayed with general atmosphere. Music showed nice delineation, and effects continued to display appropriate placement and movement. Much of the film lacked a lot of ambition, but the soundscape suited the story and became more immersive when appropriate.

Audio quality appeared good. Speech remained distinctive and concise, and music sounded robust and full.

Effects demonstrated nice clarity and showed solid oomph when necessary. I felt reasonably pleased with the soundtrack.

Minor extras appear here, and Cast Reflections spans eight minutes, 24 seconds and involves director Sean McNamara and actors Pierce Brosnan, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, William Hurt, Benjamin Walker, Pablo Schreiber and Kaya Scodelario. They look at their roles, locations and work in this superficial discussion.

One Deleted Scene lasts one minute, 40 seconds and offers a dance sequence from the king’s ball. It goes for a weirdly contemporary vibe and might’ve seemed out of place in another movie.

Given how all over the place Daughter is, though, it’d fit fine. That doesn’t make it good, however.

The disc opens with ads for Cyrano and Redeeming Love. No trailer for Daughter appears here.

When a movie sits in limbo for many years, it usually means that flick stinks. This rule proves true for the soggy, messy and ineffective The King’s Daughter. The Blu-ray brings very good picture and audio along with a handful of bonus materials. Despite a solid cast, the flick flops.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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