Remember how I said that reviewing the bad movies was always the most fun? Well, I’ve finally got a real doozy for ya. It’s called Your Highness and I hated it. As follows will be a detailed description of why I hated it. So yeah, enjoy.
Your Highness is the movie equivalent of that guy in high school who draws a picture of a penis on your notebook and thinks it’s the funniest thing on the planet. In fact, the opening credits for the film even feature a storybook-esque opening that is literally defaced with moustaches and penises. I’m not even kidding. At this point, I think I knew what kind of film I was about to watch. Now, I have to say, I don’t mind vulgar humour. Sometimes, it’s hilarious, but it has to be done right. There has to be some restraint and there has to be a punch-line. Nothing is funny simply because it is vulgar. It’s funny because the vulgarity somehow puts the characters in an awkward or upsetting place. Your Highness doesn’t seem to get that and essentially, what plays out as one long, aimless penis joke, just fell flat. Plain and simple, very few of the jokes here actually worked. They didn’t work because no one involved seemed to understand the basic principal that in order for something to be funny you have to care about your characters beyond just a superficial level of watching them play out awkward jokes with paedophilic wizards.
It’s a shame too, because David Gordon Green’s Pineapple Express from a few years ago was one of the better comedies in recent memory and the wonderful James Franco and Danny McBride both return for this film, joined by Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel and a slew of great character actors including Justin Theroux, Charles Dance, Toby Jones and Damian Lewis. Unfortunately, I spent most of the film just feeling sorry for these actors. Literally all of them were better than this. It’s strange to watch a film that literally should be better than it is in every department, like everyone working on it just got lazy all at the same time. The only other example I can think of is The Godfather Part III, but the difference is that that movie is actually pretty good, just bad by comparison to the first two. This movie is just bad, no comparison required. I felt myself awkwardly chuckling at some of the jokes until eventually almost all of them went on for too long and then I stopped laughing.
Essentially this movie was born when someone, I’m assuming McBride, watched something like Dragonslayer or Willow while they were high and figured it would be funnier if the characters consistently uttered the f-word. Jokes like that work the first time, because of shock value, but just fall flat every time after that. I guess this is where I explain the plot of this dreck, but even that will be embarrassing. OK, let’s get this over with. So basically there’s a kingdom and there’s two princes in it. One is a dashing, young warrior named Fabious (Franco) and one is an ignorant jack-ass named Thadeous (McBride). The dashing, young warrior rescues a virgin named Belladonna (Deschanel) and plans to marry her, but she is kidnapped by the evil wizard Leezar (Theroux) who has to have sex with her when the two kingdom’s moons align in order for her to give birth to a dragon. Now, it’s up to the two brothers and a female warrior who they meet on the road named Isabel (Portman) to save her. So yeah, even this movie’s plot is one long, lame sex joke and plays out as such. It was embarrassing and I almost wanted to follow the old lady sitting behind me, who walked out early, presumably after assuming that a film called Your Highness would be a loveable family adventure But no, I stayed. I stayed so I could write this review, so you better appreciate it.
Your Highness is a film that keeps failing to impress. Despite how good the actors or director might be, it just fails on every conceivable level. That sucks too, because the trailer made it seem like it could have been a very funny movie. Unfortunately, all the truly funny parts are in the trailer and they actually work better there than they do in the context of the film. I really wanted to like Your Highness. A low-brow spoof of knight quest movies, a genre that was extremely popular in the 80’s would have been great if it paid homage to that genre and held some restraint in its jokes. It could have genuinely been a really great and unique comedy. Another problem was that the film never really knew when to turn the humour off. There were a lot of scenes where I was unsure if I was still supposed to be laughing or not. Knowing when to use comedy and when to use action, drama, romance, etc. is quintessential to making a good comedic film as well and also would have aided in making this film more memorable. Unfortunately, this film just doesn’t get these basic principles and as a result, it doesn’t work. Another loss for 2011. Tell me, will this lousy year in film ever pick up?
I give Your Highness a 1.5/5 (Don’t waste your popcorn.)
Anyway, here’s hoping we start getting some good movies soon and not just OK ones, which is really all we’ve got. Well, until that proverbial good movie comes out, I’ll be here to tell you all about the rest of them. Stay tuned for more junk from me and more big plans coming soon. Once again, remember to keep it locked and loaded, guys!