By Carl Kozlowski
Armed with its seemingly endless array of dick jokes, fart gags and profanity, Your Highness is an elaborate attempt at a comedy that also weaves in elements of knighthood, fantasy and science fiction spectacles and adventure films. Featuring newly minted Best Actress Oscar winner Natalie Portman and her fellow Oscar nominee James Franco in what were supposed to be bawdily humorous roles, the film actually centers on a lazy loser of a knight played by Danny McBride (HBO’s East Bound and Down).
Your Highness follows a knight named Thadeous (McBride) as he embarks on a quest to rescue the bride (Zooey Deschanel) of his brother Fabious (Franco) from the clutches of an evil warlock after she’s kidnapped at their wedding. They and their men wind up meeting Isabel (Portman), a ravishing beauty who also happens to be an ass-kicking adventurer herself, and team up with her on their quest. But Highness almost exclusively relies on potty humor and foul language in inappropriate settings to score its relatively meager laughs.
Mixed with elaborate cinematography, great locations, colorful costumes and a terrific score, the film had the chance to get everything right and become a genre-smashing comedy classic. But instead it serves as a prime example of the fact that even if you throw mountains of money to dress a film up, it will still do poorly when the writing doesn’t deliver.