The Princess director’s previous revenge story is a thriller to watch

Hulu’s New Subversive Princess Movie, R-Rated Action Movie Princess, dropped on Hulu last Friday. Quickly (and accurately) described as “Rapunzel meets Lowering“, it’s a very different and physically demanding role for its star Joey King, who shared with Polygon that she performed about “85-90%” of what you see in the movie.

Princess is directed by Le-Van Kiet and co-stars Veronica Ngô, who plays mentor to Joey’s princess character, training her in the art of sword fighting. But in 2019, Kiet and Ngô teamed up for one of the best martial arts films in recent memory: the hit Vietnamese revenge thriller. Fury. If you haven’t seen it yet, there’s no better time than the present.

Fury is a clever inversion of the well-worn revenge story “a dangerous person has his child kidnapped and must resort to his old ways”. But instead of being a father who was in a special forces unit (think of the whole post-Taken Liam Neeson projects), Fury talks about a mother (Ngô), named Hai Phuong, who is a former gangster. Now living a quiet life in a small rural area, Hai Phuong must use her old skills and connections to rescue her daughter after she is suddenly kidnapped.

Fury is packed with terrific fight scenes, like the opening scene above at an outdoor food market. Kiet uses the sets effectively to amp up the choreography, and the film is bursting with color in both the interior and exterior sets (there’s another thrilling fight scene later in a house bathed in neon lights).

But as capable and engaging as Kiet’s direction is, it’s Ngô who steals the show and makes the film what it is. A formidable scriptwriter who can communicate her desperation, rage and skill both through her fights and in the quieter scenes, it’s the kind of star role that should precede a long career as an action chef. And as Kiet will tell you, Ngô honestly comes with this combat skill.

“You don’t want to get into a bar fight with Veronica,” he told Polygon. “I saw her in action. [She’ll be] in the middle of a take where his joints have burst and look like Nah, it’s nothing.”

Fury was a huge hit in Vietnam, breaking the record for the highest-grossing Vietnamese film of all time. When it dropped on Netflix a few months after its domestic release, that audience exploded into a vibrant international group of action fans, Kiet told Polygon.

“It just goes to show how powerful streaming is these days,” he said. “People are willing to watch something that has subtitles, and it still resonates with them.”

If you haven’t watched Fury however, what are you waiting for?

Fury is available to stream on FuboTV and Hi-Yah!. It’s also available for digital rental and purchase on VOD providers like Apple, Vudu, and Google Play, or free with ads (but no subtitles) on Plex.

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