posted 2011-04-27 12:00:40

"Your Highness" Hits a Lowness

Your Highness Hits a Lowness

Danny McBride and James Franco fail in bringing any laughs

Samantha Tsao

Contributing Writer

After watching director David Gordon Green’s Your Highness, I came to the conclusion that the movie is just a combination of Gulliver’s Travels, Lord of the Rings, “Magic: The Gathering,” and a washed up comedian.

The movie features an interesting cast of big names like Danny McBride, James Franco, and recent Oscar-winner, Natalie Portman, whose unfortunately limited screen time mostly focuses on her undressing and diving into a pond.

Your Highness is about Prince Thadeous (McBride) and Prince Fabious (Franco), two brothers who live completely opposite lives.  Thadeous is a lazy underachiever who lives in the shadow of his happy-go-lucky brother Fabious. He spends his days drinking, smoking weed, and abusing his squire.  When Fabious’ bride to be, the virginal Belladona (Zooey Deschanel), is kidnapped by the evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux, in arguably the funniest role of the film), Thadeous is forced to join his brother on a quest to rescue Fabious’ love.  Along the way they meet Isabel (Portman) and encounter numerous life-threatening situations.

The opening cartoon sequence sets high expectations that the rest of the film fails to fulfill, outside of a few somewhat engaging action sequences. At points, Green channels his inner Michael Bay with enough fast camera movements and quick cuts to make one nauseous. But other than that, the sword fights in Your Highness add a sense of excitement to an otherwise dull movie.

Billed as a comedy, Your Highness fails to deliver any steady line of jokes or humorous scenes. The movie lags as the audience waits for a one-liner or any kind of comedic jump-start. A word of advice: when trying to be funny, don’t wear out the same jokes.  Modern day cursing with feigned British accents in a renaissance movie is funny the first time around, but ten times after that, it gets old.

Your Highness lacks laugh out loud gags as well; in fact, the packed theater I attended never burst into a chorus of laughter once. The audience would have been better off re-watching the trailer, as it featured every funny moment in the movie. As a stoner comedy, it should be funny, but it fails even in that genre.

With such talent at work, Your Highness had much potential.  The crew surrounding this movie would usually make for a great team, and it’s unfortunate that an equally great movie wasn’t delivered.