Your Highness – Review
It’s possible my score for this movie is a bit harsh. I’ve never been much of a fan of crass humor, and drug humor in particular has never been funny to me. Maybe it’s because I have no drug experience to relate it to, but even so, I can’t imagine even people who like their jokes dumb and loud will enjoy much about this movie.
Your Highness is, ostensibly, about two princes in a medieval kingdom. They are brothers–one slacker and one valiant–and must go on a quest to rescue the good brother’s betrothed, while the slacker brother is more dragged along against his will. In reality, the plot is just an excuse to make crude jokes in an unusual setting, so they would seem more out of place and (theoretically) funnier.
I occasionally do like base humor, when it has cleverness or at least good intentions behind it. See Dumb & Dumber for maybe my favorite example of dumb humor. This movie has neither of those. There’s nothing clever about most of the jokes. Pick any cliche frat house topic, and it’s well covered. Penises? Check. Gay jokes? Check. Smoking pot? Yep. Masturbation? You got it. You see these jokes coming as they set them up, so by the time the punchline arrives, you’ve already heard it in your head, and it’s not funny anymore.
The slacker brother (and co-writer) is Danny McBride. I have never found him funny. He’s got an HBO show I’ve never seen that is popular, called Eastbound and Down. Maybe he plays a different character in that, but his small roles in various movies are the same. He’s an utterly unlikeable character in this movie, and you never root for him, and (possibly more detrimental) you don’t believe it when he comes around and starts to be an upstanding knight.
James Franco plays the good brother, and I’ve got no problem with him. He’s the straight man to McBride’s lout, and is mostly above the level of the rest of the movie. Natalie Portman is in a similar situation, but her character serves virtually no purpose, except motivation for McBride’s character to become a better person. But she doesn’t add much.
There are a few good things about this, all unrelated to the script. The costumes and sets are nice. I’m a sucker for anything medieval, and I liked the forest “arena” they find themselves in, and the labyrinth is cool too. This was shot on location in Ireland and the exteriors all look great. Congratulations, Your Highness, you made Ireland look good on camera. What an accomplishment. And there are some nearly naked forest women. That never hurts.
But overall, this movie is a giant waste of time. It’s not funny, unoriginal, crude for the sake of shock, except it never shocks because it’s so predictable. Perhaps it is much better if you watch it while you’re high, but I wouldn’t know, and that doesn’t excuse it from being bad for the majority of us.