In the beginning, one kind of wishes the Wayans Bros. were helming this fantasy spoof. As the journey progressed, the writing of star Danny McBride and Ben Best will slowly charm you with timely F-bombs and sexual innuendos. By the time the flick climaxes, the audience will have been showered with dazzling CGI and set pieces. And somehow, this quest (a.k.a walking into the theater) ended up being worth the risk.
The 102 minute Your Highness is a comedic-epic that travels through a plethora of movie genres. Using a storytelling pattern found in all epics such as Clash of the Titans and/or Lord of the Rings as a foundation; the story decides to negate the seriousness with a hearty blend of R-rated dialogue found in a Beverly Hills Cop installment; all while keeping the characters in a playful medieval atmosphere. An atmosphere by the way, that is visually appealing for the fantasy genre. One isn’t sure how, but it magically makes them feel that they’re on a somewhat important odyssey. Which consistently gets them to laugh more as the journey moves forward.
Prince Thadeous (Danny McBride) is the youngest of two siblings in a Camelot type kingdom. While his older brother – and heir to throne – Prince Fabious (James Franco) is off on another heroic quest, he spends the days being lazy and drunk, much to the chagrin of their father King Tallious (Charles Dance). As Fabious returns home a heralded hero once again, the entire kingdom rejoices. This time, he saved a young woman by the name of Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel) from the horny clutches of a warlock named Leezar (Justin Theroux). Fabious immediately wants to celebrate with his beloved brother, yet Thadeous isn’t in the mood, for he is jealous that his older bro will get to wear the crown over him.
Well all that jealously has to be put aside, for Leezar kidnaps Belladonna in the hope of fulfilling a century old prophecy known as ’The Fuckening.’ King Tallious orders Thadeous to finally become a man and join his brother on this quest to save the damsel. During the journey, betrayal within the ranks thwarts the sibling’s efforts. Leaving them on their own in facing mythical creatures and Leezar’s army. Fortunately, they meet a someone whose agenda matches their own. With the help of the elegant warrior in Isabel (Natalie Portman), the group marches through faraway lands of mountains and labyrinths to Leezar’s dark tower.
The tone of this flick could be described as the fornication of Willow with the above mentioned spoofing found in the Scary Movie franchise. Believe it or not, the story has purpose besides just making the audience laugh at stoner-level and/or teen sex-comedy paraphernalia. The plot and special-effects are straight-forward, but what gets inserted via the dialogue, is what puts a different spin on this perverted tale. By having a character like Thadeous, who is anything but noble, shakes this script up just enough to playfully entertain open-minded audiences. But don’t get me wrong, this could easily be the most worthless flick of the year as well.
Like all good fantasy epics, there’s monsters, magic, swordplay (in more ways than one), castles, topless female warriors, a sex addict Muppet, a man with no genitals, hot dwarfs, and Natalie Portman in a thong. Add in the stereotypical story, surprisingly decent special-effects and acting levels found in films like The Three Amigos; and presto! What else does one need? How about a penis medallion?
Overall, Your Highness sprays modern day vulgarity and sexual references found in a Judd Apatow flick, onto a screenplay encompassing all the clichéd epic fantasy adventure staples. It’s Army of Darkness with out the cheesiness. Or dare I say Black Knight with a budget. Either way, combining all these powers – even though they beat a decent amount jokes to death – enables this grand-scaled story to entertain at least fifty-percent of the legions that enter this realm.
RATING: 3.5 out of 5