Your Highness - 3 out of 5
A brave young knight called Fabious has his young lover taken from him by an evil wizard and it's up to him, his jealous younger brother; Thadeous and his young man servant, Courtney to save her and thwart the evil. Along the way they are joined by the beautiful and deadly Isabel who is out for her own revenge on the magic man. Oh, there's a catch...Your Highness is a stoner comedy. Did you catch the pun in the title?
He's not attacking anything, he just caught his thing in his zipper.
Written by actor Danny McBride (who also plays Thadeous) and Ben Best (writer and Clegg on Eastbound & Down), the film initially had given me high (no pun intended) hopes. The red band trailer made the film look ridiculous and hilarious. I've never been the biggest fan of stoner comedies because most of them are written with the thought your audience will be high and, therefore, find everything funny. However, there are quite a few pot-laced comedies out there that are quite amusing...sadly, Your Highness isn't quite up to those standards.
Kenny Powers takes a seat at the Round Table.
I'm a fan of Danny McBride. I love his character of Kenny Powers and the show Eastbound & Down and I've found him to be very funny in Tropic Thunder and Hot Rod. Your Highness however, seems almost confused on what constitutes as a joke. Don't get me wrong, there were a couple of times that I was chuckling over the goings on but for the most part, it seems McBride and Best felt that by adding a swear word in at the end of a line would get some laughs. Sadly, it didn't...motherfucker.
Your Highness is filled with potential that was just never fully achieved. James Franco plays Fabious and his straight man act makes for some genuinely amusing moments. Add in the fact the filmmakers took all the right things seriously in order to set up some great comedy. The music sounds like it's taken from a number of fantasy films and the sets and costumes all look legit enough to create a world that's believable. The only thing that was left was adding in the gags but all the quality jokes come few and far between. All the rest are filler--gags like sexual references, gay jokes and, like I said before, pointless swearing...bitch.
"Do you smell onions?"
Don't get me wrong, I'm no prude. I have no moral or ethical reason against swearing, in fact I swear a lot. Sometimes when I'm dying a lot in a video game, I find myself inventing new swear words because the ones we have aren't descriptive enough to convey the frustration I'm feeling. Swearing isn't a seasoning that will make comedy taste better. In fact, sometimes, adding a "fuck" to a line might have the reverse effect and point out how little time a person spent at the writing desk. Don't believe me? Go to an open mic and watch a comic who adds "fuck" to their joke like a valley girl adds the word "like" to every sentence. It's clear the comic didn't feather out the joke like it needed to be and uses the F-bomb as filler as an attempt to mask his (or her) weak writing. And that's exactly how a lot of the scenes in Your Highness felt...shit.
What the hell is this thing?!?
The film isn't really terrible but it's not that great either. There are some scenes that are very funny but to get to them, you have to sit through some very unfunny ones. James Franco and Danny McBride work well together and Natalie Portman, who plays the dangerous Isabel, feels slightly out of place in the film. Maybe it's because she's too hot to be around McBride or the fact in real life, she's a really pretentious actress and seeing her in a stoner comedy seems like something she would have passed up, I don't know but she didn't belong in the movie...
Then the movie gave me this scene and I was suddenly fine with Portman being in it.
If you're a fan of McBride, I say check the film out. If you like stoner movies, get high and check it out because you'll laugh more than I did. If you have a curious interest in the film, why not see it. However, if you haven't seen the trailer, don't like movies that make jokes about weed or what I've said in this review repulses you like watching a fat man at a buffet, you might want to pass this one by.