Millie Bobby Brown is no shrinking violet in 'Damsel'

'Stranger Things' star takes a turn in new action film on Netflix

Damsel. Millie Bobby Brown as Elodie in Damsel. Cr. Netflix ©2023
Damsel. Millie Bobby Brown as Elodie in Damsel. Cr. Netflix ©2023 /
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It’s always fun to have a good weekend action film drop to streaming. That’s the case today as we get the new film Damsel on Netflix. It stars Millie Bobby Brown, of Stranger Things, in a role as a princess that finds herself in a spot of trouble.

But, as he makes clear in the early going, this isn’t the story of a woman that needs to be rescued by a prince. Instead, she does the rescuing. Elodie, is the eldest daughter of Lord Bayford (Ray Winstone) in a kingdom that is struggling with poverty and a lack of resources. When Queen Isabelle (Robin Wright) sends word she’d pay a fortune for Elodie to marry her son, Prince Henry (Nick Robinson), an opportunity is born.

The kingdom is beautiful and its people welcoming enough. But Queen Isabelle is somewhat icy, which causes Elodie’s stepmother (Angela Bassett) to have misgivings. Despite her plea, Elodie goes through with the union to help save her people. Soon, she realizes that it’s a ruse and she’s in over her head.

Queen Isabelle needs young women to join the royal line because the land, while beautiful, lives under a curse. To keep the kingdom and the people safe, they have to make some sacrifices.

Millie Bobby Brown carries a movie that doesn't do her justice

Brown is a good, young star. We’ve seen her take the lead as a hero in both series and films previously. So, it’s no surprise to see her playing the action-hero here. Unfortunately, it’s in service of a mediocre story.

Brown is good in the lead role. Some of the effects and world-building are effective, too. I liked the visual style at times and some of the big action set pieces. There’s a nice little resolution to the story, too.

But the overall stakes here don’t feel impressive. The characters aren’t particularly well drawn, either. In fact, most seem to fall into one-note caricatures rather than fully fleshed out characters. There are some entertaining moments, but mostly it’s predictable and not overly compelling.

Brown is a good young star but the film around her is mostly a dud.

Damsel is now streaming on Netflix.

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