Your Highness starts with a wedding, the prodigal son of the King (Charles Dance) has returned from yet another successful quest in this ancient and magical land – where ye old dialogue is only interrupted by as many ‘motherfuckers’ and ‘cocksuckers’ as painfully unfunny Danny McBride can bleed out of a bic.
Fabius is the apple of his father’s eye and the pride of the kingdom. Not only has he returned victorious, but he and his small band of fearless heroic warriors have also brought back Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), a beautiful princess who is to be Fabius’ bride.
But Fabius is more than an ideal son and all round nice guy, noble, brave and much adored by all, he is also the older brother of a lazy, crass slob named Thaddeus (Danny McBride).
Thaddeus resents the justifiable adulation bestowed upon his more deserving older brother, so as an olive branch of peace Fabius asks that Thaddeus be his Best Man at the impending nuptials.
However, at the lavish ceremony the following day Thaddeus is nowhere to be seen, skipping the ceremony to get stoned and chase sheep with a half goat, half man.
Yes, it is that kind of film…
Unfortunately for all involved the evil wizard Leezar shows up and plucks Belladonna for himself, as he needs a virginal beauty as one of the primary ingredients of his own prophecy.
A despondent Fabius immediately decides that a new quest must be embarked upon, one to save his bride to be, only this time the King suggests Thaddeus go along and prove himself a man. The suggestion is made all the more serious for Thaddeus when he learns he will be banished from the kingdom and disowned by his father if he disobeys.
And so off Fabius and his brave offsiders, and Thaddeus and his toadying offsider Courtney go, into inhospitable territory with danger at every turn, but not really.
Along the way they deal with magical puppets with possible pedophilic tendencies, mythical creatures of varying sizes and topless warrior women. They face betrayal, peril and a dangerous and determined young woman named Isobel (Natalie Portman) on a quest of her own.
Might I point out here that *YES* Portman partially disrobes for precious little reason aside from providing eye candy, and *YES* this totally worthwhile. But aside from the brief glimpse of her g-stringed glory Portman is essentially the straight woman to Thaddeus’ degenerate childishness. In fact aside from the heaving cleavage and strip down scene she isn’t called upon to do much of anything.
The supposed humour in Your Highness arrives in the form of frequent vulgarity, homoeroticism – both mistaken and genuine – surprising gory moments and grown men talking and reacting like children aged between 4 and 12 years of age.
The 4 Y.O. material arrives when Thaddeus threatens to ‘dob to his father’, the 12 Y.O. when the crew see boobies and practically giggle like well… 12 year olds.
And in between is the constant profanity, profanity designed to provoke laughter but in reality just showing that perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised at the level of comedy throughout this tripe.
McBride proved to me in The Foot-Fist Way that he didn’t deserve the accolades from Will Ferrel and co. He proved once again in Pineapple Express and Tropic Thunder that he is barely capable of playing a third or even fourth string banana in a comedy. Your Highness proves that Natalie Portman is willing to show skin with little justification, that James Franco is willing to help out a friend regardless of the damage to his reputation and that perhaps Charles Dance is a worse saver than you might think.
Final Rating – 5 / 10. Also the ‘Your Highness’ is obviously a nod to pot smokers worldwide, but it has little to do with this film. They might as well have called it Lord of the Smoke Rings. Better yet they could have tried to make a decent film. Shit title. Shit film.