The King’s Daughter, starring Pierce Brosnan. Kaya Scodelario, Benjamin Walker, Rachel Griffiths, Julie Andrews, and Fan Bingbing, did not impress a lot of reviewers, but the movie still managed to garner am 80 percent approval from audiences, proving that movie reviewers and regular movie-watchers don’t always necessarily see eye to eye when it comes to what they consider good film. The movie’s official plot, according to Rotten Tomatoes, is as follows: “Known as The Sun King, Louis XIV (Pierce Brosnan) is the most powerful and influential monarch on the planet. Obsessed with his own mortality and the future of France, Louis turns to his spiritual advisor, Père La Chaise (William Hurt), and the royal physician to help him obtain the key to immortality. Believing a mermaid (Fan Bingbing) contains a force that grants everlasting life, Louis commissions a young sea captain to search the seas and capture the mystical creature. Further complicating his plans is his orphaned daughter, Marie-Josèphe (Kaya Scodelario), who returns to court with an abundance of elegance and an inherent defiance of authority. With a rare solar eclipse approaching, Louis will discover where his daughter’s true loyalties lie as he races against time to extract the mermaid’s life-giving force.”
A particularly rough review from the Associated Press wrote about the movie: “January is often where bad films are stashed, but The King’s Daughter isn’t just bad, it’s a cloying, cliched mess that’s not worth even the slightest risk of contacting COVID-19 to see in theaters.” While the movie left a bad taste on many critics’ mouths, the movie is still a visually pleasing flick for anyone who’s just looking for something pretty to watch for an hour and a half. If you are in the lookout for films to see when you’re done with The King’s Daughter, here are a few suggestions.
The Water Man
The movie Water Man tells the story of a boy who is on a quest to save his dying mother by searching for a mythical figure called the Water Man, who is rumored to possess the secrets to living forever. A more positive approach towards immortality than The King’s Daughter, The Water Man was directed by David Oyelowo, who also stars in the movie alongside Rosario Dawson, Lonnie Chavis, Amiah Miller, Alfred Molina, and Maria Bello. The movie received generally positive reviews from critics, with most of them praising Oyelowo’s directorial debut. Polygon wrote: “If not for the uptempo rhythm, The Water Man’s thin plotting would make it a slog. If not for Oyelowo’s handsomely mounted camera capturing the forest in supernatural blues and reds, the audience’s attention might wander to their phones. Thankfully, the well-executed components support the fairy tale when the tale itself runs short. And so do the endearing performances the new director pulls from the young Chavis and Miller. In the energetically adventurous The Water Man, Oyelowo takes the route less traveled by actors-turned-directors to fashion a highly flawed but promising lesson for dealing with mortality — a moral that will hit very close to home for an unfortunate number of families.”
Based on the novel of Christopher Paolini, who started writing the book when he was 15, Eragon starred Ed Speelers, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Guillory, Robert Carlyle, Djimon Hounsou, Garrett Hedlund, Joss Stone, Rachel Weisz, and John Malkovich, as the villainous king Galbatorix. Like The King’s Daughter, Eragon also deals with power struggles with an evil monarch. The movie was directed by Stefen Fangmeier, who also directed the movie Signs in 2002. Earning lackluster reviews from both critics and audiences, Eragon failed to catapult itself as the next big franchise after Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, but it’s still a nice little movie to watch when you’re looking for movies with themes similar to The King’s Daughter. Nigel Floyd of Time Out wrote about the movie: “Adapted from a children’s novel by precocious teenager Christopher Paolini, this cut-and-paste ‘sword and sorcery’ film is a painful reminder of what fantasy cinema was like before the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy re-wrote the rules. Ineptly directed by visual effects supervisor Fangmeier, the predictable storyline lumbers from scene to scene like a wounded, flightless dragon.”
The Little Mermaid
The King’s Daughter features a mad king on the hunt for a mermaid who promises to provide eternal life, but in The Little Mermaid, it’s the mermaid that’s in search of a better life. A classic Disney movie, The Little Mermaid released in 1989 and enjoys a 93 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, making it one of the most critically acclaimed Disney movies in history. The plot of the movie is as follows: “In Disney’s beguiling animated romp, rebellious 16-year-old mermaid Ariel (Jodi Benson) is fascinated with life on land. On one of her visits to the surface, which are forbidden by her controlling father, King Triton, she falls for a human prince. Determined to be with her new love, Ariel makes a dangerous deal with the sea witch Ursula (Pat Carroll) to become human for three days. But when plans go awry for the star-crossed lovers, the king must make the ultimate sacrifice for his daughter.”
Directed by Rob Cohen and written by Charles Edward Pogue, Dragonheart tells the story of a knight and a dragon on a journey to defeat a ruthless king. The movie boasts an A-list cast in Dennis Quaid, David Thewlis, Pete Postlethwaite, Dina Meyer, Julie Christie, and Sean Connery, voicing the dragon. A charming movie most people have already forgotten, it was one of the most memorable fantasy movies of the ’90s. And despite gaining just mixed reviews, the movie continues to delight fans and first-time watchers.
Last on the list of movies to watch when you’re done with The King’s Daughter is The Fountain. The 2006 movie stars Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, and Ellen Burstyn, and depicts the story of a time-traveling man in search of time and space for immortality. Like most of the movies here, The Fountain only received lukewarm response from critics, although it’s a must-watch if you enjoyed The King’s Daughter. The film review site Behind the Lens wrote of the movie: “Luminescent and stunning in its visuals, the emotional narrative propels us into an introspective self-analysis that will have the audience talking long after the film’s end. Although some may find the ping-pong time travels as distracting or even annoying, this is definitely my pick as the most beauteous and emotionally exquisite films of the decade. THE FOUNTAIN speaks volumes.”
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