“Your Highness” sinks to lowest of lows
Published: Sunday, April 10, 2011
Updated: Sunday, April 10, 2011 17:04
"Your Highness" just might be the most offensive comedy of all time.
No, the movie does not achieve such a moniker on account of swearing, sex jokes, gratuitous nudity or gore (though there is a ton of all that). Rather, it offends in a more palpable, grating way: by not being funny—at all.
Watching the film is painful, as there is literally not a single laugh to be had throughout the whole thing. It is like watching a standup comic absolutely bomb, only without being able to boo them off stage.
The picture is essentially a formula medieval fantasy, only with wanton vulgarity strewn about. The problem is the filmmakers did not bother to throw any jokes in as well to make it a clever parody.
The whole movie is basically just a string of dirty words without any punch lines. Little children who snicker at four-letter words might giggle if they happen to get dragged along by older family members, but to everyone over the age of 12, it just comes off as boring and stupid.
As if it matters at this point, the story takes place in a magical faraway land and follows the escapades of two princes: the dashing Fabious (James Franco) and his bumbling brother Thadeous (Danny McBride). When the former's fiancé (Zooey Deschanel) is kidnapped by an evil wizard (Justin Theroux), the two go on a quest to rescue her.
Anyone expecting to see McBride channeling Kenny Powers from "Eastbound & Down" in a medieval setting will be sorely disappointed. Whether it is just the terrible writing that pervades the film or that he is playing it safe for a Hollywood production, McBride seems to be on a leash. There is a bit of the bumbling loudmouth aspect of the Kenny Powers persona, but none of the all-out gleeful, creatively appalling arrogance and cluelessness that makes him so hilarious.
The talented Franco somehow never manages to be funny either, nor do any of the supporting cast. Then there is Natalie Portman, who, as a brutal warrior woman, serves no purpose to the picture whatsoever. Her character seems to have been randomly thrown in at the last second for no reason, except for a short bathing scene shown in the trailers and is likely a major selling point.
The film really cannot be called a case of aesthetics over substance, because the film looks cheap and fake. The special effects are adequate, if nothing special, but the sets and costumes look like they were borrowed from a bottom-of-the-barrel amusement park.
Come to think of it, "bottom of the barrel" really is an apt description of "Your Highness" as a whole. It is hard to believe such talented people made something as unwatchable as this.
"Your Highness" receives a 0 out of 10.