Wednesday 3 August 2011

Today's Review: Your Highness

Hey look, it's those guys from Pineapple Express, in a movie by the guy who directed Pineapple Express. I liked Pineapple Express, so I was hoping I would like this. The trailer was amusing enough, a medieval themed movie with dick jokes and weed. What could go wrong?

Your Highness follows the exploits of Thadeous (Danny McBride), a layabout prince whose famous and adored brother, Fabious (James Franco) returns from his latest quest with a beautiful virgin whom he intends to marry (Zoeey Deschanel). But at the wedding the virgin is reclaimed by the evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux), so the two brothers embark on another quest to save her. Trouble is, Thadeous has never been on a quest, so hilarity ensues as he comes across the dangers and peculiarities scattered throughout the kingdom.

There's really not much to this movie. It reminds me more of a spoof along the lines of Disaster Movie instead of the Pineapple Express antihero romp it could have been. While it's clearly not as mind-numbingly awful as Disaster Movie and its sisters are, it is littered with sex jokes and swear words seemingly just for the fin of using them. It starts out by saying "Oh, you thought this was your traditional medieval heroic tale, but actually they're saying 'fuck' and talking about dicks", but quickly lets you know that it's not going to stray away from that at all.

The storyline is simple enough, yet manages to be slightly baffling when they reveal that the evil wizard actually wants to have sex with the fair virgin in order to make a dragon baby. Why? I don't know. There are weird characters thrown in with little effect, like a particular scene with a Yoda looking guy which is mostly there for gross out value. Even the introduction of Natalie Portman as a companion only serves to sex it up a bit, otherwise it would just be about hairy men in armour walking through fields and using their 40th synonym for "penis".

But hey, I can't say I was overly surprised. Your Highness does exactly what it says on the tin, or in the trailer. While the dialogue can go on for a bit too long to squeeze in that extra gag, there are a few lines that actually made me laugh. In all, it's entertaining enough. As I said before, it certainly doesn't fall into Disaster Movie territory, it's pretty much a good, if slightly tedious, comedy. Another down point is that the special effects leave a little to be desired, but I can forgive that because it's a comedy movie, they should be focusing on the jokes rather than the explosions.

The actors do well in their roles, even Danny McBride seems to steer away from the hard talking crazy characters he always seems to play. Franco does a pretty good British accent too, though Portman and Deschanel sounded a bit off. The movie is also quite well paced, so although the dialogue doesn't really offer anything new, there's a nice range of locations for the action to take place in.

Your Highness is quite good, just not nearly as good as I was hoping. I am a bit of a purist when it comes to comedy though, and I have been steadily drawn to the Apatow produced features, so it should appeal to less of a fan boy. Still, I had fun, even if all the cocks and titties did seem a bit too much.

My rating: 3/5

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