Trying to compare “Your Highness” to any other movie made in the past few years is nearly impossible. It is the first of its genre: a medieval stoner comedy, and a very odd one at that.
Starring James Franco, Danny McBride and Natalie Portman, this film is full of vulgar jokes, drug references and cringe-worthy scenes that are disgusting at times. In saying this, though, the movie is funny.
The film takes place in a fictional medieval kingdom in which Fabious (Franco) and Thaddeus (McBride) are the two princes who can’t be any more different from each other.
Thaddeus is a marijuana-smoking, hard-drink-loving hound dog who is seen as a buffoon to the other knights and royals.
On the other hand, Fabious is a strong, courageous knight who often goes on epic quests for the kingdom. On one of his quests he brings back his soon-to-be bride Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), who was locked in the tower of the evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux). Leezar returns to interrupt the wedding of Fabious and Belladonna to steal her back in order to impregnate her with a dragon and fulfill an evil prophecy.
Fabious and Thaddeus end up going on a quest to save Belladonna with Thaddeus’ servant Courtney (Rasmus Hardiker) as their help. From here they encounter a perverted old wizard, who looks like a jellyfish crossed with a muppet, a kingdom filled with women who wear nothing but skirts and a labyrinth complete with a horny minotaur and the Sword of Unicorn.
They meet Isabel (Portman) who is on the same quest as the prince—kill Leezar.
The plot was incredibly predictable. It follows the mold of any other epic quest—save the girl, run into a bunch obstacles, come back heroes.
However, where this film differs from those is how it seemed to infuse modern day colloquialisms into a medieval setting that feels forced only a few times.
McBride as Thaddeus was easily the funniest character in the film, taking some of the mannerisms and humor from his character, Kenny Powers, on HBO’s “Eastbound and Down.”
Franco looked like he was still hosting the Oscar’s, with a glazed over look that makes him appear as if he had just come off of a 10-day drunk.
Portman gave the strongest acting performance of the film but might have taken the role a bit too seriously for a goofball comedy like this one.
Does this film compare to “Pineapple Express,” the last film McBride and Franco both starred in and the last film of the director David Gordon Green? Definitely not. Was it odd at times and hilarious at others? Absolutely.
So if you are a fan of these actors and the director, go see this film—you will enjoy it. If you are not, avoid it like a medieval plague.