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April 9, 2011 | 1:02 p.m. CST
Audiences can take a walk in the woods with a slob of a prince as he tries to become a hero in a medieval kingdom. Or they can stay home and not pay for a film that was more phoned in than James Franco at the Oscars. Either way, Your Highness won’t leave much of an impression, except for disgust.
This ghastly excuse for a film opens with Prince Fabious (James Franco) as the shining star of the kingdom and his father’s favorite, while his worthless brother Thadeous (Danny McBride) is more content to get high and drink rather than slay knaves. But when Fabious’ bride-to-be is kidnapped by the wizard Leezar, Thadeous must join his brother on the quest to save her. Along the way, the two are betrayed by their crew of elite knights and joined by a woman warrior named Isabel (Natalie Portman) who has major beef with the evil wizard.
The plot is as ludicrous and forgettable as it sounds. And while it is at times mindlessly entertaining, Your Highness fails to live up to its star power. McBride’s is at times hilarious, but the Eastbound & Down actor makes a much better down-on-his-luck baseball star than a pathetic prince. Although Portman is phenomenal, as always, and enlivens a somewhat slow and mindless romp through the kingdom with her acting, Franco is entirely forgettable.
Your Highness opens promising audiences to “prepare thyself for one twisted tale,” and this film is definitely twisted—though not in a good way. Audiences will find themselves more disgusted than entertained with some of the gags in this film, which include Thadeous wearing the penis of a minotaur that he slew as a trophy.
For all that went wrong with this film, it certainly had the potential to be funny considering it was billed as a medieval Pineapple Express. But the director relied on stoner humor to make an entire film redeemable and he ended up making the stoner equivalent of Gigli.