Throughout history, tales of chivalry have burnished the legends of brave, handsome knights who rescue fair damsels, slay dragons and conquer evil. But behind many a hero is a good-for-nothing younger brother trying just to stay out of the way of those dragons, evil and trouble in general. Thadeous has spent his life watching his perfect older brother Fabious embark upon valiant journeys and win the hearts of his people. Tired of being passed over for adventure, adoration and the throne, he’s settled for a life of wizard’s weed, hard booze and easy maidens. But when Fabious’ bride-to-be, Belladonna, gets kidnapped by the evil wizard Leezar, the king gives his deadbeat son an ultimatum: Man up and help rescue her or get cut off.
David Gordon Green, director of 2008’s ‘Pineapple Express’ brings us ‘Your Highness’, the latest in a trend of comedies that go beyond the safer confines of a PG rating bringing a crude and somewhat abrasive film to cinemas. Continuing a collaboration with Danny McBride which includes ‘Pineapple Express’ and several episodes of ‘Eastbound and Down’, ‘Your Highness’ brings a tone of comedy very familiar to those who have seen their previous works.
With McBride taking a writing role behind the scenes, the film’s comedic aspects are generally a raw and funny style relying mostly on vulgarity and good performances to deliver the laughs. The script is very consistent delivering gags pretty evenly throughout the entire film generally achieving a good balance of gags and plot elements which keep things moving along.
Aside from the comedy ‘Your Highness’ delivers something of an action adventure as well, which blends with this style of comedy well and brings no shortage of bloody violence with it.
James Franco’s performance is pitched perfectly as he takes on the role of a chivalrous knight, with Danny McBride delivering his familiar sense of comedy the pair display a good chemistry on film. Justin Theroux also deserves much credit as his facial expressions, timing and delivery of dialogue proves to deliver some of the best laughs in the film. Unfortunately Zooey Deschanel is somewhat under utilised in the film, mostly restricted to short scenes playing the damsel in distress.
Production values of ‘Your Highness’ are of a high quality, the nature of the story demands a decent amount of visual effects shots, elaborate sets and expansive landscapes all of which are delivered allowing the fantastical elements of the film to take over when needed.
Given the tone and style of the trailers for the film, there may be some criticisms as the final product doesn’t quite deliver what you might expect, it’s not the light hearted comedy that the trailer gives the impression of, with the adventure questing side of the film taking priority for large portions of the running time.
Overall ‘Your Highness’ is a sound entry into the MA15+ or R rated comedy genre, it’s unlikely to make any new fans for Danny McBride however existing fans should enjoy the films raw side, and overall immature comedic sensibilities.
I’m giving ‘Your Highness’ 3 out of 5 stars, it’s released in cinemas around Australia from Thursday 12th May.