I went into the midnight showing of Your Highness with good expectations. Not that I would be seeing a great movie with an awesome storyline, or top-notch acting, but a movie that would have great comedy to make me laugh my ass off, effectively spoofing the fantasy genre. It definitely spoofed the genre very well, but the comedy aspect left plenty to be desired. And I will also be bombarding this article with Natalie Portman pictures so enjoy. Let’s start out with a summary of the movie’s plot and players:
In a fantasy land, the King has two sons. Thadeous (Danny McBride) plays the layabout, simpleton son. He is forever a disappointment to his father, while his brother Fabious (James Franco) is the exact opposite. Fabious protects his father’s realm against the evil forces of the wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux), and is everything a prince of the realm should be. This of course leaves Thadeous with a big chip on his shoulder and having to sulk in his brother’s shadow.
At the start of the movie Fabious brings home a bride named Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), rescued upon his latest quest against Leezar. They proceed to plan a wedding until Leezar showing up, ruining the ceremony with an awesome display of magic, and kidnaps Fabious’s virgin bride. You see, Leezar needs to impregnate a virgin when the two moons merge together so he can have a dragon produced to do his bidding… or something along those lines. This in turn causes Fabious to begin a quest to save his love Belladonna, and Thadeous is to go along or be banished from the kingdom as per his father’s orders.
Before long, Fabious, Thadeous and his squire Courtney are off seeking out labyrinths, unicorn swords, and the destruction of Leezar. Along the way they encounter everything from perverted ‘Wise Wizards’ and topless forest women to snake creatures and minotaurs. They also encounter the one and only Natalie Portman, who portrays the warrior woman Isabelle. She is seeking vengeance against Leezar for murdering her family long ago.
I have to admit that one of the biggest reasons I went to see the movie was for Natalie Portman in the scene where she is in a thong, about to bathe in a pool of water. Sadly the scene came and went, faster than it appeared in the trailers I might add. Still, every scene with Natalie Portman was fantastic. She definitely took the job very seriously with almost every one of her lines being delivered with maximum intensity. I would actually love to see her in a fantasy movie that has a serious tone to it. Be forewarned, Portman doesn’t show up until nearly an hour into the movie.
As I said before, the comedy left something to be desired. About 100 percent of the things that I laughed at either involved swear words, pot smoking, or sex talk. I was expecting all of this with the director David Gordon Green of Pineapple Express at the helm. At the end of the movie it actually dawned on me that this was a bad thing. There had to be more to the humor in this movie besides all of the F-bombs dropped and the references to penis and vagina being featured so prominently. There just weren’t any extremely funny situations that one would look back on with his friends and talk about once the movie was over.
The set pieces were pretty damn amazing truth be told, one of them taking eight weeks to build so it better have been! The costumes, make-up and special effects were all top-notch. I would imagine had they wanted to make an actual serious swords and sorcery epic, they had all of the makings here for one. But that wasn’t the purpose of this movie, even though it’s true intentions fell rather flat.
I desperately wanted to like this movie more than I did, but it’s one I just wouldn’t be able to bring myself to watch more than once. It has some good occasional laughs, a more than decent cast, but I grew bored with it by the time the finale was occurring. I wouldn’t recommend not seeing it, but just don’t expect to be wowed by Your Highness.
– Too much simple toilet humor
– No truly memorable funny moments
– The movie dragged on a lot longer than it should have
+ Some parts actually made me laugh out loud
+ Great production value
++ Natalie Portman
For those reasons I give Your Highness 2.5 grizzlies