YOUR HIGHNESS (2011)
Director: David Gordon Green
Cast: Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel, Justin Theroux, Toby Jones, Damian Lewis
RunTime: 1 hr 42 mins
Released By: UIP
Rating: M18 (Sexual References, Some Nudity and Violence)
Official Website: http://www.yourhighnessmovie.net/
Opening Day: 23 June 2011
Synopsis: Throughout history, tales of chivalry have burnished the legends of brave, handsome knights who rescue fair damsels, slay dragons and conquer evil. But behind many a hero is a good-for-nothing younger brother trying just to stay out of the way of those dragons, evil and trouble in general. Danny McBride and James Franco team up for an epic comedy adventure set in a fantastical world—Your Highness. As two princes on a daring mission to save their land, they must rescue the heir apparent’s fiancée before their kingdom is destroyed.
Thadeous (McBride) has spent his life watching his perfect older brother Fabious (Franco) embark upon valiant journeys and win the hearts of his people. Tired of being passed over for adventure, adoration and the throne, he’s settled for a life of wizard’s weed, hard booze and easy maidens. But when Fabious’ bride-to-be, Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), gets kidnapped by the evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux), the king gives his deadbeat son an ultimatum: Man up and help rescue her or get cut off.
Half-assedly embarking upon his first quest, Thadeous joins Fabious to trek across the perilous outlands and free the princess. Joined by Isabel (Natalie Portman)—an elusive warrior with a dangerous agenda of her own—the brothers must vanquish horrific creatures and traitorous knights before they can reach Belladonna. If Thadeous can find his inner hero, he can help his brother prevent the destruction of his land. Stay a slacker, and not only does he die a coward, he gets front row seats to the dawn of an all-new Dark Ages.
Let's talk about characters in film, the stereotypical cookie cut-outs which all make a film familiar and some to relate to. And then comes the antagonist, the evil doer that foils all good in the world. Then comes the people in between. The fillers that leads the protagonist to its goal who may or may not be thanked for or some worse fate do befall onto them as scape goats or even valid to death at the mercy of try to be a hero. Sad isn’t it? I do feel for them underdogs. working their butts off just to help. Oh wait i feel for all but of one kind. The annoying funny guy that lightens the mood of a serious scenario. Much like Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars or the fat dude (Zach Galifianakis) from the Hang Over, these are the people who you just wanna smash their teeth in but you can’t because you’re a good guy and people don’t expect you to do these kind of violent nature but if there was a chance, I'll jump at the moment. But, Your Highness stepped it up even further. helming in the steps of films like Step Brothers, Pineapple Express and such, the annoyance just got the lead role. And that lead role goes to Danny McBride.
I’ll have to admit, while watching the most anticipated film i have been waiting for ages, seating with my friend in the darkened hall, this trailer of medieval times came on and spewed profanity in my ears with the vision of Danny, I was totally put off. I whispered to my right and said, “This looks terrible. It’s filthy and stupid, I'll never pay to watch this.” A reply returned and said, “It’s funny wat. I think it looks interesting”. I dissed in disgust and began wide eyed as the reel exploded coming in terms to my anticipation. Forward 1 week later, a message rang on my mobile and there rolled across the screen of my certain demise. But, harsh was i to be judging a character by mere thought as superficial assumption instead of seeing it for my self and judging thee as it presents.
There i was, min by min passed, what i assumed to be the confirmation of my forth hatred towards a character, the darken room among the viewers slowly warmed up to me. My statement of it being filthy and stupid still remain true but, i have to admit, it is rather charmingly funny. No, i’m not a total convert but alas my dear readers, i have learnt that one must not judge another by mere assumption and only by understanding and seeing with my own eyes will i discover it’s true intent and prospect of such value. In another words, it’s a pretty funny show.
In a nutshell, Your Highness is modern take of a fairy tale with witches and goblins and whatnot which will incredibly throw you off balance with the dialog script which sounds like a college dorm hall. Let’s do a quick story setup. Danny McBride (Thadeous) and James Franco (Fabious) are sons of the king. Fabious met and fell in love with a fair young maiden (Zooey Deschanel) while on a quest and was about to marry her when the evil sorcerer, Leezar (Justin Theroux) takes her – setting the foundation for the driving story arc: A quest to re-rescue the fair maiden. They both go on the quest, finds and team up with warrior-babe Isabel (Natalie Portman) who has her own quest to complete.
Character acting all around are tremendous as expected from the level of what the film has to offer. All were played out to that degree of awkwardness which had to be pitch perfect in comedic timing. Zooey the ever-ethereal fair maiden with a quirky twist was good as expected. Franco the knight in shining armour is as stoned much as one can deliver. Danny as mentioned as annoying as ever BUT i must say, he kept the annoyance under controlled and when i thought he was going to go over the top, he pulled back and was, dare i say, rather charming at times. and oh how can we forget wonderful Natalie Portman, whose ass kicking and warrior demure had us at hello.
The story, simple. Nothing complicated. It’s pretty straight forward. One can say this film is a cross between Pineapple Express and A Knights Tale who grew up and are in college, drinking beer and smoking pot and tons of dick and fart jokes. Comedy, depending on what your degree of low brow you can go, the lamest and crude are the specials of the day. Some might be offensive at times but its offensive enough that it’s actually quite funny. I went in with very low expectation and expected to be offended and bored till the end but i was wrong. In the end, Your Highness is rather an entertaining slapstick fest that not for everyone. I mean where else can you find a wise old creature who will show them the way that happens to be a pervert and smokes pot? Smoking pot. Wait-a-min, the title of the film is...ah, i see what you did there.
(If you like your knights in shining armour coated with vulgarities, ride on sir!)
Review by Lokman B S
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