Volume 107, Issue 7 Entertainment
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Cousin It


Your Highness plummets to new levels of comedic dross

By Michael Doubek
posted April 20, 2011

Natalie Portman and James Franco, how could you? Somehow Your Highness, with an all-star cast of Danny McBride (Pineapple Express), Franco (127 Hours), Portman (Black Swan) and Zooey Deschanel ((500) Days of Summer), managed to create what felt like eight hours of great actors and actresses demeaning themselves. When viewing the film, it is quite obvious why it failed. Director David Gordon Green thought taking the plot of Monty Python, putting it on acid, and saying every expletive and genital joke in an old English accent would make it funny. It wasn’t. Imagine the language of McBride’s Eastbound and Down, mixed with Robin Hood, a dash of low-budget exploitation, and the special effects of Star Wars IV: A New Hope. Then shoot that film in the face and Your Highness is born. Perhaps this criticism is a bit rough, but watching such talented actors and actresses say such unhumorous things was a sick, sick joke on the audience.

Your Highness’ plot is essentially a rehashing of Pineapple Express, adapted for medieval times and stripped of the comedy. The story follows Thaddeus (McBride), a slacker Prince who is the younger brother of the heroic Fabious (Franco). While Fabious is the king-to-be, Thaddeus seems to be nothing more than a stoner-slacker, much like every single one of McBride’s past roles. After one quest, Fabious returns with a princess (Deschanel) whom he intends to marry. However, an evil wizard (Justin Theroux, American Psycho) needs her to complete a prophecy which states that the two will be together when the two moons align. They will then elope and parent a dragon. The wizard then kidnaps the princess. Fabious and Thaddeus must rescue her and Thaddeus must prove he is a real man in the process. The comedy in this movie, if it can even be called that, revolves around random expletives paired with Old English phrases as well as sexual innuendos. To sum it up, the film will be quoted shamelessly by seventh graders for years to come.

Your Highness was destined to be a flop and it is shocking that such experienced actors didn’t see it coming. The plot line is incredibly shallow and more closely resembles a game of Dungeons and Dragons than a comedy. From the get go, there is nothing to build humor off, which made the script dependent on sex jokes. While completely unfunny, Your Highness surprisingly makes for a half-way decent action-adventure film, so if it must be watched, turn the sound off. It is the kind of cinematic quality that one will most likely be able to come across running in the primetime slot of 1:30 a.m. on TBS six years from now.

To be frank, no one should ever have to see this sad excuse for a movie. In fact, it’s seemingly possible that it may actually be a WikiLeaked torture tape from Guantanamo. Featuring many well known and acclaimed actors, it is deceiving because one would think they would at least be able to get a somewhat decent film out there. Unfortunately for the people that collectively paid $11 million to produce it, these actors failed to do what they’re supposed to be good at. Franco over-acts and Portman, famous for her more serious roles in Black Swan and V for Vendetta, is just plain awkward. McBride, famous for Pineapple Express and Eastbound and Down, is right in his element, but unfortunately for him, jokes stop being funny eventually. It is advised that moviegoers take a hint from the men and women of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, who say long term exposure to Your Highness will take at least 11 years off your life (Not an actual statistic).

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