I have always had a bit of an issue watching and fully enjoying period piece movies that take place in “medieval” times. The dialogue has always seemed somewhat silly to me even if the movie is trying to be taken seriously. So for YOUR HIGHNESS my hope was that since it was a stoner comedy that the film being goofy would cancel out my complaints since it in no way could be taken seriously- I was wrong. On the outside the film has a winning formula, a cast of people I really like, some decent jokes and even some fantasy elements with decent special effects but I really struggled watching YOUR HIGHNESS all the way to the end.
Danny McBride is a stoned slacker forced to go on his first heroic quest, James Franco is his brother and his new bride Zooey Deschanel has been kidnapped by an evil wizard and then for some reason Natalie Portman joined the ranks to accompany the brothers. It’s much easier for me to just refer to the actors by their names because to be honest I barely remember the characters names, mostly because this film can be forgotten immediately after it’s over. I don’t fault the actors because they all give it their best it’s just that almost every word out of their mouth is laughable and not in an enjoyable way. There are some jokes here and there that gave me a chuckle but there wasn’t a single joke that had me bursting out into a decent laugh.
The special effects are kind of cool but are ruined by a lot of the terrible characters such as the weird baby looking goon that sticks his hand into a pot of what looks like mustard and a five headed hand snake bursts out of the ground. The snake was very cool but the baby looking goon and his voice was absolutely awful and extremely awkward.
I think the worst part of the whole thing is that there is a lot of great production value on display with the sets and special effects complimented by a fantastic cast and it all feels wasted. You would think it’d be funny to hear the refined language that they use in the medieval times get tainted by lots of f-bombs and crude sex jokes- which I did expect but the deeper into the movie I got the more I realized how dead wrong I was. I did laugh a few times but it was never anything more than a quiet “haha” that I almost immediately regretted and watch for the next few minutes ashamed of myself. I will say that if there was one saving grace is that while I loathed the dialogue for the most part, Danny McBride is probably the best thing the movie has going for it- that and the extremely out of nowhere graphic violence within the action scenes.
I like Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel, James Franco and Danny McBride but to be perfectly honest if not for a few minor chuckles I would have all out hated this movie. The good things the film has going such as the cast and the obvious visual talent working on this film winds up wasted by sophomoric humor which I would enjoy in a film that utilizes it well enough which I don’t think YOUR HIGHNESS does. I do believe without a doubt however, that if I was a stoner and got high out of my mind before watching YOUR HIGHNESS I would have my mind blown every time. If you’re bored and riding a huge high then YOUR HIGHNESS is a munchie bag full of all your favorite treats- till you sober up and realize you just ate a handful of horsesh*t.