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Your Highness

Your Highness: Crude but Funny Medieval Comedy

  • Danny McBrideJames Franco...
  • Action & AdventureComedy
  • Out now
  • David Gordon Green
reviewed by
Yasmin Shehab
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Your Highness: Crude but Funny Medieval Comedy
Prince Fabious’ (Franco) bride-to-be, Belladonna (Deschanel) has been kidnapped by an evil warlock (Theroux). His good-for-nothing, lazy brother Thadeous (McBride) is forced to accompany him on the quest to save Belladonna and slay the warlock. Along the way, they are joined by Isabel (Portman); a brave warrior out for revenge.

Your Highness is basically a bunch of crude jokes and slapstick with a sprinkling of magic and sword fights, the cherry on top being a rather randy Minotaur. You could call it rather immature but luckily its immaturity is of the endearing kind. What really makes this film work is that everybody involved was fully aware of just how ridiculous a film they were making, so they don’t take it seriously. This isn’t one of those films that leave you cringing in your seat, feeling sorry for everybody on screen. Instead, the humour lets you lose yourself in the story a bit and laugh with the actors instead of at them.

The actors play their parts dead-pan and watching those serious faces cursing at each other and arguing in over-the-top English accents while clad in medieval costumes somehow doesn’t lose its novelty. You get the feeling that Your Highness was an experiment in seeing just how much the filmmaker could get away with.

In addition to this, McBride’s character Thadeous is a hopeless sexist but his ignorance is presented in such a way that keeps the film light and funny as opposed to hideously offensive.

Acting-wise, some of the best parts of the film take place between Franco and McBride. While the main cast do a good job, the two brothers were given the most to work with seeing as how the film, at its core, is about their fractious relationship. The interaction between Franco’s over achieving, perfect, heroic Fabious and McBride’s immature, lazy, weed-smoking Thadeous provides the film’s heart.

However, Theroux’s villainous warlock Leezar steals the show. From his Blade Runner-inspired hairstyle to his eyeliner and awful teeth, he oozes this combination of smarminess, cockiness, self-entitlement and delusions of grandeur, making for a magnetic and highly entertaining villain.

This is an enjoyable film, but this reviewer found the memories of it upon finishing rather hazy, which is quite a feat considering the amount of weird stuff that takes place and considering just how beautifully shot the film is. The costumes are gorgeous, the stunts and sword fights are really well done and the special effects are rather impressive. Individually, there are a lot of things to like about the film but in the end, they just don’t all add up.

Like This? Try

Pineapple Express, Superbad, Step Brothers

360 Tip

Danny McBride, James Franco and director David Gordon all worked together previously on 2008 comedy Pineapple Express.

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