Director: David Gordon Green
Cast: Danny McBride, James Franco, Rasmus Hardiker, Natalie Portman, Toby Jones, Justin Theroux, Zooey Deschanel
Synopsis: Fabious (Franco) is the popular Prince of the realm, off fighting the hordes of the evil Leezar (Theroux), and overshadowing his underachiever brother Thadeous (McBride). When Leezar steals Fabious’ bride-to-be Belladonna (Deschancel), he enlists his brother’s help to go rescue her. They are helped along the way by female warrior Isabel, who has her own scores to settle.
I should preface this review with the fact that I was seeing the film with low expectations based upon previous reviews, and I was also already extremely tired. I was far from being in the mood to think about much, and if anything, cheap laughs was exactly what I could have wanted. I got said laughs, and as such, this film was perfect for me at the time. If I had been in a more discerning mood, I probably still would have enjoyed it, but perhaps find it a bit silly.
That would not be an inaccurate interpretation, but it is where the charm of the film lies. Raunchy innuendo, gross-out, slap-stick… all the reliable comedy tropes are there. McBride revives the same slacker comedy type that he relies heavily on, and Franco channels more of his character in Pineapple express than his Spiderman villain, here to good effect. If the film had remained a two-handed effort between these two, the gags could have gotten old fast, but introducing Portman’s Isabel gives the comedy greater balance, in addition to providing a love interest for Thadeous (and the associated comic opportunities). In the end, there were quite a few belly laughs on offer, with many chuckles in between. Bride of Film Nerd and I saw the film as a second half of a double feature with Bridesmaids, and I can safely say we both agree that Your Highness was the superior comedy.
We were also quite surprised that the special effects were quite decent, in addition to some quite incredible action sequences. Each come from nowhere, and they are welcome when they arrive, giving the film a bit more flair whenever the running gags are in danger of becoming old. It helps that Franco looks quite appropriately dashing in the role of action icon of the film. Even McBride, when brought into his stand up and be counted final fight scenes, looks somewhat menacing, without extending the character beyond its origins to an unbelievable extent.
All of this commentary in many ways however is over-analysing what is a very simple film. If you find stoner/slacker/frat boy humour offensive, you should already be well aware to keep away from this film. If that list already has grabbed your interest though, there are many worse ways I can think of spending an enemy. The film gets the fourth star if you are tired and can’t raise your mind above low-brow!!
4 stars out of 5http://filmactually.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php