I was totally ready to get my quest on. I've been looking forward to "Your Highness" ever since I saw the exclusive red-band trailer some time last summer. I figured it would be a medieval version of "Pineapple Express," which is one of the funniest movies in recent years. Obviously, I wasn't expecting Oscar-worthy acting or even a decent storyline. I was just expecting to laugh my ass off - and that didn't really happen. (In case you're wondering, I certainly "prepared" myself appropriately for this movie - and I still didn't find it very funny). I think that sums it up right there.
Thadeous (Danny McBride) and Fabious (James Franco) are princes in the kingdom of Mourne. When Fabious returns from a long and glorious quest, he arrives with his new bride-to-be, Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel). The evil warlock Leezar (Justin Theroux) intends to capture and impregnate Belladonna in order to create a powerful dragon, as foretold by the great prophecy. When his bride is snatched away, Fabious enlists the help of his men and his brother to once again go on a quest to rescue Belladonna. Thadeous is more of the prissy stay-at-home type, so with his loyal manservant Courtney (Rasmus Hardiker) by his side, he agrees to follow his brother. Along the way, we meet Isabel (Natalie Portman), a fellow quester who is on her way to Leezar's fortress to avenge the death of her comrades. Joining forces, the trio plus Courtney follow a magical compass that leads them to the Unicorn Sword, the only thing that will destroy Leezar.
The story sounds funny, the trailer was funny, but there was something seriously wrong with "Your Highness." Danny McBride was the only thing saving this movie from complete disaster. I must admit that I prefer to watch McBride as a more aggressive and ballsy character like Kenny Powers; the character of Thadeous didn't really suit him, even though he ended up working it out. I can't help but point out that James Franco was awful. In "Pineapple Express" as Saul, he's aloof and strange because he's a major pothead; in "Your Highness," Franco is aloof and strange because he's bored...? I don't know! It just seemed like he was half-assing it the whole time, like he forgot how to be funny. And don't even get me started on Natalie Portman - I am so tired of seeing her face on every movie poster. I get that she's got a sense of humor, with the videos on Funny or Die and the SNL sketches, but I'm getting really tired of her. She didn't do anything for the movie, and casting her was just a way to get overly-excited 14 year old boys into the theater.
Overall, the jokes were pretty lame. I laughed out loud maybe 4 or 5 times, but it was always because of Danny McBride. He's hilarious, and just the way he talks is enough to make a recycled joke laughable. The other thing that bothered me was how crappy the entire movie looked! I mean, the set pieces looked like they were made for an elementary school Easter recital. The costumes were very....costume-y. Do you know what I mean? I get that it's a spoof and that it's not supposed to be taken seriously, but c'mon! Put a little bit of effort into it, right? I just felt like David Gordon Green met up with Danny McBride and said, "Hey, do you feel like doing a movie just for whatever?" And as he lets out a huge puff of smoke, Danny replies, "Sure I can dig on that. Get Franco in here, he hasn't been out the house in a week."
Yeah, so, "Your Highness" was a buzzkill. There were definitely some golden moments, but not enough to encourage me to give it anything higher than a "C." Did you see it? What did you think?