Review by Jack Foley
DANNY McBride and long-time cohort David Gordon Green’s Your Highness is the type of film that aims low and somehow hits even lower. But not in a good way.
Designed as an homage to the fantastical sword and sorcery epics of the ’70s and ’80s (Krull, Beastmaster, etc) with a touch of Monty Python and The Princess Bride thrown in, the film instead winds up a lame, uninspired rip off.
What’s more, it seems to think that the clue to a good comedy is an endless array of swear words (supposedly funny in a medieval context) and dick jokes. Well, in moderation, perhaps!
The plot focuses on a character named Thadeous (McBride), the put upon brother of good looking warrior hero Fabious (James Franco) who is continually forced to exist in his sibling’s shadow.
When Fabious’s love interest Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel) is kidnapped by the evil Leezar (Justin Theroux) Thadeous is reluctantly enlisted on the quest to get her back, thereby unlocking the dormant (or stoned) hero within (slowly).
En route, brothers bond, best friends betray and Natalie Portman shoots some arrows as a feisty warrior princess.
It’s difficult to know what’s more astonishing about Your Highness – the shockingly low brow nature of the screenplay or the fact that it was able to attract studio funding and an A-list cast.
Whatever the answer, McBride fans expecting a big screen romp to rival Eastbound & Down‘s trash talking quality will be sorely disappointed. This is a juvenile effort that will struggle to engage with anything but the most puerile mind.
Those chuckles that do exist leave you feeling guilty and even then are overplayed, such as a wise wizard with pervy tendencies or a village filled with nearly naked women.
While the effects, too, leave a lot to be desired even though one suspects they are supposed to look dated in line with the homage.
Needless to say, none of the cast emerge with much credit except the safety of knowledge that they are all capable of much, much better.
For McBride and the once promising indie king Green, however, this proves an ill-advised folly and it’s back to Eastbound & Down for them to restore their reputations.
Running time: 102mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: August 8, 2011
- Royal F**kening Wesite (X-Rated)
- Buy it on DVD (Amazon)
- Buy it on Blu-ray (Amazon)
- Read our review
- Danny McBride interview
- Your Highness Photo Gallery
- Watch the trailer