Review: Your Highness
Your Highness is a really big budget movie full of action and special effects, all to make really immature jokes. I totally support that and I enjoy the exercise. It could be funnier but it’s consistently pleasant.
Prince Fabious (James Franco) is the heroic heir to a medieval kingdom. Prince Thadeous (Danny McBride) is his slacker, loser brother. When Fabius rescues the virgin Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel) from a tower, the evil Leezar (Justin Theroux) returns to kidnap her back. Thadeous has to step up to help Fabious on his quest to save her.
The production value of Your Highness is on par with any King Arthur or middle earth movie. Leezar shoots magic electro-beams, and the heroes fight monsters of CGI and animatronics. It’s just Thadeous says “F*ck this” and a villain goes naked with his penis digitally removed.
The Danny McBride style of rude swearing is funny with a British accent. It actually comes across as more innocent and endearing. Thadeus is not as abrasive as Kenny Powers, which may strip the film of a little edge. It’s still funny that the star of this huge budget FX movie is totally pissed off that he’s on an adventure.
Leezar is the funniest character. Theroux nails the satirical perspective on an arch evil villain. He messes with Belladonna like a kid making prank phone calls, only it’s the old morphing wizard trick. His ultimate plan for “The F*ckening” gets right to the point of most evil schemes, and his use of magical fairies is totally irreverent.
The action scenes are not very exciting. A carriage chase, sword fights and monster battles look like the genuine article, but don’t flow with any momentum. Thadeous and Fabious meet Isabel (Natalie Portman), a surreptitious warrior, in one such battle. Portman contributes to the film’s tone by keeping a totally straight face while making beaver jokes.
The cave of eyes is a cool fantasy realm, like something out of Labyrinth or The Neverending Story. The wood nymphs are sexy and silly, and there’s minotaur rape. Yeah, they went there. I enjoyed the ride. I probably won’t own it on DVD but it still amuses me when they say “gay” meaning “happy.”