Your Highness (2011)
Directed by: David Gordon Green
Written by: Ben Best, Danny McBride
Starring: Charles Dance, Damian Lewis, Danny McBride, James Franco, Justin Theroux, Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel
Your Highness (2011)
(15) Running time: 102 minutes
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic
There have been a number of films this year which I have been very excited about, and have built up expectations on the news section of this site. I am finding recently, more and more are letting me down. Shark Night 3D, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, The Green Lantern and now this. There were two major selling points to medieval comedy, firstly it was directed by Pineapple Express director David Gordon Green, and secondly, Natalie Portman’s almost naked behind. The film delivers on Portman’s pretty much naked behind, but sadly the director has put together a comedy which lacks something very very important, it is not funny!
Sadly I am not Danny McBride’s biggest fan, and here he plays Thadeous, a drunken, pathetic slob who’s older brother Fabious (Franco) has everything. Talent, good looks, fighting skills and a gorgeous bide to be in the shape of Belladonna (the beautiful Zooey Deschanel) Thadeous is one of those idiots who ruins party’s by getting too drunk, sleeps with prostitutes and generally makes a complete ass of himself everywhere he goes. He loves his older brother, bit is also jealous of him. After years of hiding away from fights, Thadeous is suddenly thrown i at the deep end as his older Brother’s bride is kidnapped by the evil wizard Leezar (Theroux). Thadeous is ordered by his Father, the King, to help his older Brother get his bride back, and a quest begins to save Belladonna.
On the way the pair meet all sorts of monsters and strange characters, none of them even remotely funny. The characters are more bizarre than anything, like a five headed snake controlled by a weird man and his hand surrounded by gorgeous women. They also come across the gorgeous Isabel (Portman) she joins them in their quest. What follows is a load of fart jokes and gags in bad taste. I found the use of more modern language and swearing completely off and it did not fit the film at all, in fact, it ruined it. The word is that a lot of the script was made up on the spot, and it shows. The special effects are good, but there is very little wow factor, the action is poorly staged and the so-called fast pacing feels painful and irritating.
The jokes themselves feel forced, and it almost looks like the actors are waiting for an applause after each so-called funny moment. This is over the top humour, and most stupidest of humour that personally I found immensely annoying. Maybe I am starting to show my age, but absolutely nothing is this film made me laugh. It all felt offensive where it didn’t need to be, and seeing such great talent like Franco and Portman trying their hand at comedy just made me feel embarrassed for them. If you want to do films like this and actually be funny, then take some influence for Monty Python and get it right. See, the Python’s perfectly balanced stupidity with credibility and actually managed to be funny, painfully funny in fact to the point that I actually end up in pain from laughing so much. You Highness barely touched a funny bone, I just wanted it to end! There is one big highlight, and that is Portman’s ass, other than that if you find men wearing giant monster cock’s round their neck as a trophy funny, then you’ll probably enjoy this film a Hell of a lot more than I did.