PLOT OVERVIEW: Thadeous (Danny McBride) and Fabious (James Franco) are brothers. Fabious is far more beloved for being a great warrior. Thadeous gets to test his metal on a quest though when Fabious’ bride gets kidnapped by the evil warlock Leezar (Justin Theroux). Now fit in Natalie Portman and dick jokes and you’ve got the rest of the movie.
I should start by saying this movie isn’t terrible. It’s just not very good. Not because it’s poorly written, acted or directed. The problem is the movie just isn’t very funny. I went into Your Highness expecting a spoof of fantasy films. Instead I got a straight up fantasy flick. It makes for a good one too. They’ve got an interesting mix of characters, monsters and quests that would make a fan of fantasy films very happy. I didn’t come for a fantasy film though. I came for a comedy written and starring Danny McBride who I find hilarious on Eastbound & Down. The jokes are horrible. Instead of writing out gags the characters just say “fuck” a lot. That’s about it. Monster shows up. Danny McBride gets scared and says, “Fuck this,” then runs away. This gets copy pasted throughout the entire film. That gag and another involving pedophilia. The movie doesn’t try to poke fun at the narrative tropes that occur in fantasy films. Not like movies like Airplane and The Baxter do. Instead we just get a feeling of what it would be like if Frodo and Sam talked about dicks in between doing cool shit. Because of the lack of spoofing, the characters of Natalie Portman and James Franco becomes cookie cutter. We get your run of the mill noble knight without a single character flaw and your run of the mill ass kicking babe. They play their characters straight the entire time which would be fine if there were any jokes to play off of. The characters Justin Theroux and Zooey Deschanel play are easily the worst. Deschanel gets one funny gag early on but then the rest of the film might as well have been played by a cardboard cut out of Zooey Deschanel. Theroux had to say the worst lines. He’s a warlock that’s also perverted. So he refers to things like ‘The Fuckening.’ The whole joke is that the word fuck is in there Get it? Get it?!?
WHAT’S THE WORD: Green. The word is green in honor of the director David Gordon Green. DGG got his start making independent art house fare such as Real Women Have Curves and Snow Angels (Great movie by the way). Then he got the gig directing Pineapple Express. He did a lot of things in that film to keep it from being another lazily made stoner comedy. Not here though. DGG let me down by just succumbing to whatever the cast wanted to do. The whole film is directionless. Why? Maybe everybody forgot he’s a credible director and instead thought they hired Dennis Dugan; someone who has made a career out of taking orders from actors.
A SECOND OPINION: “You can’t call it a stoner comedy if there are only two scenes of pot smoking. They did have that one scene that was flooded with topless chicks though. Kudos.”- Papa Laier