Film Review: Your Highness

The trailer for Your Highness makes the film look unappealing. Some trailers can be wildly misleading, but sadly this is not the case with David Gordon Green’s film.

Prince Thadeous is in the shadow of his brave and accomplished brother Fabious, heir to the throne. When Fabious’ bride is kidnapped by an evil warlock, Fabious embarks on a quest to rescue. Following their father orders, Thadeous reluctantly agrees to accompany him…

Ultimately, Your Highness fails because the script is so poor. The film hits all the wrong notes; plodding along while the audience desperately hopes that it will pick up. At very best, a few of the jokes are mildly amusing, yet these keep being repeated until any initial amusement has shrivelled up and died.

There is nothing wrong with a bit of crude humour now and again. It can be hilarious if done right. The problem with Your Highness is that it relies on staid humour. The jokes are not very funny in the first place, and grow tired quickly with the frequent repetition. There seems to be a lack of ideas from writers Danny McBride and Ben Best. Running with very limited jokes only works if the recurring jokes gets funnier, or are at least funny to begin with.

Your Highness may have been effective if it was a straightforward spoof of the sword and sorcery genre. There is ample material that the film could have referenced and derided, but instead the film merely replicates some situations from previous films in the genre. These influences are not made light of, but simply incorporated into the narrative. Your Highness is a standard sword and sorcery movie, but with swearing and lewdness.

The film’s production values are good. Locations appear appropriate given the setting, and costumes work well to produce the quasi-Medieval look. Special effects are also decent. The action scenes work reasonably well, but are at odds with the tone of the movie.

Your Highness boasts a great cast; it is a bit of a mystery as to why they all signed on to this project. Charles Dance plays it straight as King Tallious, and Rasmus Hardiker generates most of the amusement. Main cast members Danny McBride, James Franco and Natalie Portman are hammy. This seemingly is the intention, but grates after a while.

Your Highness may be funnier depending on inebriation levels; for going into the movie sober takes a man (or woman) braver than Franco’s Fabious.

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