April 10, 2011

Movie Review: Your Highness

Your Highness almost seems destined to appear on plenty of Worst of 2011 movie lists come next January, not to mention a healthy share of Razzie nominations. At the same time, I am pretty sure it is also destined for something of a cult status. I mean, the movie is pretty darn funny and I can honestly say I am not sure I have ever seen a sword and sorcery stoner fantasy before. Frankly, I am not sure was have ever been made before. I also must admit that the movie was pretty darn funny, in a juvenile, vulgar, and puerile way, but funny nonetheless.

The movie was directed by David Gordon Green, a man whose career has taken in interesting left turn. His early career was notable for small, dramatic films such as George Washington and Undertow. He then took a  turn into the land of comedy for the Judd Appatow produced stoner-action movie Pineapple Express. Apparently the experience sat well with Green as here he re-teams with Express stars James Franco and Danny McBride for Your Highness, which is a heavily improvised comedy written by star McBride.

Your Highness is a rather simple story that sticks to the conventions of the genre. Evil wizard kidnaps the hero's would-be bride and it is up to the hero and a small band to embark on a quest to free his love from the clutches of evil. There will be hardship along the way as the evil wizard will try to stop them, not to mention some sort of intra-band troubles, along with quest incidentals.

So, having the story in a nutshell, all you really need to know about the movie is that it is a continuous stream of profanity, pot jokes, and penis jokes. Yes, there is a veritable ton of them and there is no way to stem the tide of phallus related humor.

I guess that I am not supposed to like this. I think I am supposed to frown disapprovingly at the shocking lack of intelligence on display. The stream of consciousness waterfall of off-color lines and puns should not be considered funny or entertaining. On another day that may just have happened, however it was not any other day.

Your Highness proves to be a funny, stupid movie whose sole purpose is to make you laugh. It succeeds, I laughed. Is it the funniest movie I've ever seen? No, not nearly. It does have plenty of energy and a cast that is willing to put it all out there in an effort to get a laugh. This is not a movie to be taken seriously, but you already knew that, this is more the sort of movie that should have as little as possible going on in the brain at the time of the viewing. Difficult, I know, but I have had years of practice.

For such a low-brow movie, it has quite an interesting cast. Franco is fast becoming one of the more interesting celebrity personalities and he has fun with the straitlaced hero. Danny McBride is funny in just about everything and his petulant loser prince here is a funny, stupid character with little redeeming value, well no redeeming value. Natalie Portman plays the tough girl role and looks to have fun cutting loose a bit. Zooey Deschanel has little to do except sit around and look pretty. Finally Justin Theroux does some scenery chewing as the evil wizard.

This is a movie to sit back and unwind to. It is dumb, stupid, inane, pointless, and has no real reason to be.  That said, it is funny, goofy, silly, vulgar, and smile inducing. Choose your path wisely and be at peace with whichever one you choose.


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Anonymous said...

Franco has been known to do the serious role from time to time. His work on General Hospital proves how compelling he is as a villain. The team up with Danny McBride tends to ensure his offbeat roles are cemented in the minds of viewers.

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