Rating: 6.6/10 - Good
If you want to watch a film that is free of bizarre, dirty jokes, do not watch Your Highness.
Director: David Gordon Green. Screenplay: Danny McBride and Ben Best. Producers: Scott Stuber, Jon Mone, Danny McBride, Mark Huffam and Andrew Z. Davis. Starring: Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel, Charles Dance and Justin Theroux. Studio: Stuber Productions. Age Restriction: 13NL. Running Time: 102 Minutes
This film is uneven and tries too diligently to be entertaining. Still, a number of silly bits in the film are funny. It does not look for strong morals or much of a message. One would think writers Danny McBride and Ben Best wanted to be as foul as possible. I gave into all the penis jokes and enjoyed myself but I think McBride can write better than this. He has done a splendid job with the television show Eastbound and Down already. There he played an obnoxious but likable sports star. here he plays an obnoxious but likable medieval fighter.
Thadeous, played by Danny McBride and Fabious, played by James Franco, are the sons of King Tallious, played by Charles Dance. The are the typical talented and not-so-talented brother combo. Fabious is an impressive knight while Thadeous is a slob.
Fabious wants to celebrate yet another victory. To do so, he decides to marry his girlfriend, played by Zooey Deschanel, who happens to be virginal.
Unluckily for him the ceremony is interrupted by the arrival of the evil sorcerer, Leezar, played by Justin Theroux, who kidnaps Belladona and imprisons her in his dungeon. He wants to have his way with her but only when the two moons of the film's world converge. The timing is important for a reason which the viewer finds out.
Natalie Portman the joins the cast. Her acting performance is nothing special but it is not woeful like that of No Strings Attached. McBride and Franco are probably the best thing about the film because they play their characters as most people would expect them to be played.
I am not sure why the conservative folks in SA did not see to it that this film kept the R rating it received overseas. It is age restricted 13NL in our cinemas, which suggests to me that the ratings boards here think our teenagers are well-versed in filthy language and practices. Yet, concerned groups have made a noise about Naked News, which is screened during the adult period on our television screens on Friday nights and is censored. Logic was lost in the washing.
In any case, the language in Your Highness is disgusting. It is clever too but it is puerile.
The movie should have also been better edited. Some of the jokes are not remotely funny and things drag on at times.
Verdict: Not the best film McBride will ever make but still worthy of a viewing to catch some solid jokes.
Your Highness is out in cinemas now.