Your Highness (2011) – Review

Danny McBride stars as a failing Prince who must prove himself by undertaking a perilous quest before he loses the respect of his father in this action comedy...

Using the archetypal plotline of ‘the quest’ but with a rude, crude comical twist, Your Highness is 100 minutes filled with sexual innuendo, medieval euphemisms and a whole lot of energy. Forget the stuffy critics knocking Your Highness claiming it relies on expletives and immature, teenage toilet humour, go along and enjoy the laughs while the said critics sit on their high horses waiting for Citizen Kane 2 to be made.

Your Highness belongs to Danny McBride, whom not only stars in, but also wrote co-wrote the film. Starring as lazy, layabout Prince Thadeous, McBride is a tubby embarrassment to his father and the complete opposite to his brave, ever questing older brother, Fabious, played to perfection by James Franco who, coincidentally, is fast proving himself to be one of the most versatile Hollywood stars around. Character introductions out of the way, the action kicks off at the wedding of Fabious and Belladonna, a fair maiden rescued from the clutches of the evil antagonist Leezar. When Leezar returns and recaptures Belladonna, Fabious immediately sets about to rescue her. On this quest however, Fabious is to be accompanied by his incompetent coward of a brother who must quest or face banishment by his embarrassed father.

As the quest continues, so do the expletives and the crude jokes, but they are all in good fun. While the simple plot is obvious and nothing original it works and is helped hugely by its fantastic cast. If the audience does find themselves tiring of the princes and Courtney, Natalie Portman is thrown in as the beautiful action woman out to avenge her murdered family. It’s also worth pointing out that the film offers some very impressive effects and is as much an action film as it is a comedy. The action continues from start to finish, culminating in the heroic rescue of Fabious’s bride, helped massively by the now brave and bold Thadeous who is spurred on by a memento from a Minotaur.

Your Highness is a silly film that’s made well with a good budget and a great cast. No, it will not touch the lives of those who see it, nor will it rank highly in the gallery of artistic merit but, nevertheless, it is good fun and sometimes that is just what you want from a trip to the cinema.

Best performance: Danny McBride as Thadeous.
Best scene: When the Princes and Courtney uncover Julie as a traitor… A humorous surprise.
Best line: Thadeous – ‘No, never triangle face! I hate triangle face – it scares me!’
Watch this if you liked: Pineapple Express, The Princess Bride, Stardust.

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