Rating: 3 stars out of 5
You would know, even if you were stoned-out tipsy, that the guys behind Your Highness must’ve had big laughs at the high in the title.
Where else have you seen a wholesome little Disney-fied fairy plucked out of the air, crushed to bits, and then snorted like a dope joint?
That singularly has got to be one of funniest highs of this nutty Mad Med mess (that’s med for medieval) where thoroughly modern fellas – as hip-dude as Danny McBride and James Franco – prance about as knights of the round, sorry, clown table.
The two merry men are bros – McBride as fat Thadeous and Franco as fab Fabious – who are as different as a clunk and a hunk can get.
Thadeous is the second-born slob destined for nothing because he’s a lazy bum smelling “like the underside of a sheep’s scrotum”. Fabious, of course, is the first-born jock destined for everything since he’s a gung-ho nutcase with a pathological zest for the quest, any damn quest.
Intense sibling rivalry abounds as McBride’s Loser Thadeous complains to Franco”s Winner Fabious – “Everybody in the kingdom wants to suck your d**k. No one wants to suck mine.”
You know McBride? He’s the sort of comic who’d walk into any situation with the raunchiest language suggesting the dirtiest and zaniest sexual things, often with some personal rude-crude embitterment, that you can do publicly with your private parts.
Wouldn’t you feel romantic, he espouses to a maiden, with “the moon gleaming, and the cold air licking your t*ts?” Check out McBride in his Eastbound & Down on TV, and Pineapple Express where he cavorts in a happy stoned haze with Franco and director David Gordon Green.
Their combined wicked talent here is that they are able to turn a sloppy, empty saga into a likeable sloppy, empty saga with rude words, topless pale maidens and a lot of impalements (man, people really like things sticking out of their chests here).
With garments pilfered from Monty Python And The Holy Grail, the two bros embark on a quest to rescue Fabious’ damsel-in-distress fiancée, Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), a virgin-airhead who looks like she smoked her stash just two seconds ago.
The lass has been kidnapped by an evil wizard named Leezar (Justin Theroux) who likes to dazzle with his dork magic of zappy lights and three seriously decrepit witch-b***ches he calls Mother.
Think Norman Bates but kinda Psycho-ed three times over. We tell you, all this sounds really infectious, but Your Highness actually over-stumbles into Your Dryness.
It sputters out of steam into a comedy writer’s crevasse – McBride is co-writer here – of broad what-else-do-we-do gags until it’s rescued by two creatures with horns.
First, there’s a Minotaur with a hilarious contribution to the making of a manly necklace that will rank as a classic in cinema.
Second, there’s Natalie Portman suddenly popping up one-third into the movie with no indication that she ever won an Oscar. She is Isabel, a vengeful warrior-babe who shows horns in her warfare and horniness in her vocab. The gal is a totally homicidal psychopath.
“I must fight a band of thieves and make them burn one by one in a symphony of shrieks,” she describes her mission statement. It’s Oscar-class that way, and with a sprinkling of fakey magic dust, she grows simply hilarious.