Your Highness looked so promising. The trailer was amusing, it’s a mock medieval romp (which are usually enjoyable) and it has Americans pretending to be English, perfect. On top of that, there’s the cast. Man of the moment James Franco, and recent Oscar winner Natalie Portman. It all sounded so good, so where did it go so wrong?
It is written and stars Danny McBride, who also starred with Franco in Pineapple Express and is directed by the same director David Gordon Green. A lot of critics have been comparing this film to the earlier one, but I haven’t see Pineapple, so I was viewing this film with fresh eyes. I kind of wish now that I had something to compare it to, rather than just getting medieval manure with no background.
So what’s it all about? McBride plays Thadeous, a lazy, uncouth, chubby yob who is constantly in the shadow of his dishy and far more successful brother, Fabious, played by Franco, who is the king of quests.
Things kick off when Fabious’s bride-to-be Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel) is stolen by an evil warlock (Justin Theroux) who is planning to breed a dragon by sleeping with her, well actually raping her, in a ceremony known as The Fuckening. You get what we are dealing with now?
Anyway it’s time for Thadeous to step up and be the man they all know he is blah blah, so he joins his brother on the quest to bring back Belladonna. On the way they meet Isabel (played by Natalie Portman), who makes Lara Croft look decidedly chicken, and joins their mission. The journey involves a whole variety of weird and off-kilter scenes, involving a paedophilic warlord and a horny Minotaur just to give you a taster.
The plot itself isn’t the issue, we expect something silly for a mock medieval film, but the script is just terrible. It’s slow, wooden and barely raises a giggle. There’s not really much else to say about it other than to seriously question what McBride and Gordon Green had to do to get Franco and Portman on board. Presumably, get seriously medieval on their asses, to paraphrase Pulp Fiction.
Buy the Your Highness Extended Edition [DVD] on Amazon now.