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Featured DVD Review: Warrior Princess

September 13th, 2014

Warrior Princess - Buy from Amazon: DVD

Warrior Princess is an Asian action / adventure film that takes place in the 17th century. It is being released on DVD by Lionsgate, which is a company that releases a ton of movies direct-to-DVD. Some of these are hidden gems, but others will remained buried. Is this film a pleasant surprise?

The Movie

The movie begins on the battlefield, a rather cheap looking battlefield. Queen Ahno is leading her troops, but we see her shot. We then flashback to when she was Princess Ahno riding on horseback and competing with her brother to see who is the best archer. While going for distance, they nearly hit the Grand Lama Galdan. Fortunately, no violence comes from this. This would have been awkward, as Ahno is in love with Galdan. Of course, the two can never be together, because Galdan is a monk who has taken a vow of celibacy. Worse still, Ahno's father betroths Ahno to Galdan's brother, Senge, who is to be king.

However, before Ahno and Senge can be married, Senge is murdered. Galdan's mother is convinced that the Tsetsen clan is responsible for Senge's death and that the kingdom will fall if Tsetsen becomes the leader. She convinces Galdan to give up being a monk and take his brother's place on the thrown. As a result, he does get to marry Ahno. Despite his daughter becoming the Queen, Tsetsen still plots against Galdan and Ahno must choose sides. Will she be loyal to her husband or to her father.

This film clearly wants to be an epic movie, but it just doesn't have what it takes. This is partially a cultural issue. Queen Anho is a real person and the events depicted in this movie is an important part of Mongolian history. I have no connection to Mongolian history, so I wasn't as engaged as a Mongolian would be, or at the very least, someone who knew Queen Anho was a real person would be. On the other hand, while Warrior Princess is reportedly one of the most expensive movies made in Mongolia, but I don't think that's a hugely impressive number. The fight scenes don't feel epic and it is clear the filmmakers didn't have enough money to shoot a scene with thousands of people.

The lack of an historic connection to the story and the small scale of the epic warfare result in a film that wasn't able to grab me. It isn't bad, but there are certainly better films in this genre.

The Extras

There are no extras on the DVD.

The Verdict

Unless you enjoy Mongolian history, I don't think Warrior Princess will be able to hold your attention. There are far too many Asian historical epics out there that are bigger and better. Additionally, the DVD has no extras, so there is little value here.

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