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Thursday, 14 April 2011

Your Highness: Review

Take the elements to classic fairy tale adventures, a handsome prince going on a quest to defeat an evil wizard in order to save the one he loves, battling monsters along the way. Then add Danny McBride and his foul-mouth into the mix and lots and lots of penis jokes and you can pretty much sum up Your Highness.

Prince Fabious, returning from defeating a Cyclops, has brought home a beautiful princess to marry but she is kidnapped by the evil Leezar, who wants her for himself in order to mate during the colliding of the two moons, and give birth to a dragon. Determined to get her back, he heads off with his band of soldiers and his inept, cowardly brother, Thadeous. The journey is filled with peril, especially when they are double-crossed and they meet a female warrior bent of revenge against the same wizard.

If you can imagine The Princess Bride as written by two teenage boys, you will have a pretty good idea what the level of the humour is like. It become obvious during the credit sequence, when illustrations of Thadeous escaping his pre-credit captors, are defaced with red pen of various body parts. This is all well and good but for a full length comedy, it becomes tiresome very quickly.

McBride, along with fellow Pineapple Express star James Franco, give the British accents a go and are not altogether successful, although their partnership isn't too bad. Zooey Deschanel is completely wasted as the princess and Justin Theroux gets to play pantomime as Leezar. Only Natalie Portman comes across the best, taking her role of the tough, fighting warrior with a pinch of salt and still delivering the good. There's support from a host of British talent too; Charles Dance, Toby Young (as a servant called kind of know where the joke in that one is) and Damien Lewis.

While it all looks great fun and some of the set pieces are fine, it suffers from just not being funny enough. Sure, there are a couple of decent laughs but in a film that looks like it could be hilarious, there are far too many missed opportunities and instead we get another f-word or another sexual gag that are even more childish than the last one.

McBride, who co-wrote the script, has given us much better material with the TV comedy Eastbound and Down and the underrated The Fist Foot Way, this is a major disappointment and one that if you are a teenage boy and still think that seeing a penis around a man's neck on a chain is funny, then you will be in for the treat of your life. For the rest of us, it's just not good enough.

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