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Your Highness

A movie directed by David Gordon Green

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I Will Not Bow to You

  • Apr 13, 2011
Star Rating:

According to Wikipedia, the wrap party for Your Highness was held in Belfast at the Harland & Wolff Shipyard. Harland & Wolff, as you may know, oversaw the construction of the Titanic – and wouldn’t you know it, the wrap party took place in a part of the Shipyard known as the Titanic Quarter. Did director David Gordon Green forget what happened to the Titanic? There are some omens you just can’t ignore. Like the Bubonic Plague, Your Highness is a pestilence upon this land. Here is a movie so monumentally unfunny that its distinction as a comedy is insulting; it’s an unrewarding excursion into the depths of immaturity, where swearing and fornication gags exhaust 95% of the screenplay. The remaining percentage is devoted to a plot that’s neither understandable nor interesting. And pot jokes. You can’t forget the pot jokes.
Set during medieval times, it stars Danny McBride (also one of the writers) and James Franco as brothers Thadeous and Fabious, the sons of King Tallious (Charles Dance). Fabious, despite being cursed with a ridiculous name, is a dashing and brave warrior, and is the pride of his father’s kingdom. Thadeous, on the other hand, is a cowardly slacker and an embarrassment. Fabious returns from his latest quest with a war trophy – the severed head of a Cyclops – and a fiancée, a virgin named Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel). On the day of their wedding, Belladonna is kidnapped by the evil sorcerer Leezar (Justin Theroux), who he intends to impregnate in a twisted scheme to take control of Tallious’ kingdom. The child will apparently be a dragon. I don’t care to dwell on the logistics of such a pregnancy.

It is now Fabious’ quest to rescue his true love, who sits imprisoned at the top of a dark tower. He enlists Thadeous, Thadeous’ squire, Courtney (Rasmus Hardiker), and a band of knights. Their first stop is the lair of the Great Wise Wizard, a bizarre-looking purple puppet, who gives them a magical compass. The sole purpose of including this character, whatever the hell it is, had less to do with plot advancement and more to do with working in several awkward jokes about marijuana and molestation, the latter of which is apparently funny in the eyes of McBride and his co-writer Ben Best. On the basis of the Belladonna character, so too is rape. I’m surprised neither one of them thought to go all out and work in jokes about the Holocaust. Oh, how the audience would have howled with laughter!
As Fabious and Thadeous continue their journey, they encounter Isabel (Natalie Portman), a beautiful and skilled warrior. She’s on her own quest to avenge the deaths of her father and brothers – and she needs the compass hanging around Thadeous’ neck. When she and Thadeous finally join forces, they enter a labyrinth and seek a magical sword with a unicorn horn for a handle. The scene culminates with a battle between our heroes and a Minotaur; Thadeous cannot claim one of its horns as a war trophy, so he instead opts for its penis, which he attaches on a string and proudly wears as a necklace. I’m desperately wracking my brain for a reason as to why this is funny. So far, nothing. I’m also at a loss to explain why it was deemed necessary for every line to contain at least one instance of the F-word. I’m not a prude with an aversion to swear words, but when the filmmakers are essentially beating you over the head with them, it kind of stop being amusing.

It’s hard to imagine a movie this bad costing in excess of $50 million. Alas, the film is in part a display of visual effects – mostly lightning bolts and force fields that emanate from Leezar’s magical hands. Or maybe they came from his cane. I honestly don’t remember. With that much money invested in CGI, you’d think someone somewhere would have made more of an effort to make them look convincing. When I say “convincing,” I mean relative to, say, a video game, which typically doesn’t require the best graphics in order to be effective. The special effects in this movie look like digital explosions copied from a video game and pasted into a frame of live action.
I haven’t even gotten to the acting yet. Acting? Is that the word I should be using? The only halfway engaging performance is given by Portman, and even then there’s no accounting for the clichéd nature of her character. I’ll give her this much: Her British accent is hardly flawless, but it’s a far cry from what she delivered in Star Wars: Episode I. Lord knows twelve years is enough time to work on it. Franco has been good if not great in other films, including Milk, 127 Hours, and even Spider-Man; here, he proves he’s just as bad at medieval comedies as he is at hosting the Oscars. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen a more joyless performance all year. McBride is just plain goofy, but then again, I expected nothing less. Your Highness is a waste of talent, money, and celluloid – it deserves to be drawn and quartered.


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April 15, 2011
"he's just as bad at medieval comedies as he is at hosting the Oscars", love that line, great review.
April 15, 2011
I'll probably try to rent this one. Still interested despite its fatal flaws. Loved the review! Very funny!
April 15, 2011
Thanks. I suppose you could rent this. It can be fun watching a train wreck.
April 15, 2011
(laughs) True true!
April 14, 2011
heh. I had a feeling you would rate this as such. I dunno, I didn't hate it, but it certainly was something that I would need beer to maybe appreciate. Thanks!
April 14, 2011
Beer, or pot. Either way, you're right: Unless you're under the influence, it's hard to imagine how anyone could like this movie.
More Your Highness reviews
review by . April 10, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Get Your
Reviewer is biased.   Loves: Natalie Portman   Likes: Robin Hood Men In Tights                       Likes: Zooey Deschanel                       Enjoys: Spoofs and Parodies                     …
review by . November 19, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
* out of ****     It would seem that even a fine filmmaker such as David Gordon Green has succumbed to the demands and faults of Hollywood. This is most apparent in "Your Highness", his newest film; and it's also his first bad one. His last movie was "Pineapple Express", and it meant new horizons for the director; I thought it was a funny flick. But this is just plain juvenile, in every sense of the word. It isn't even playful in its stupidity; rendering it useless, boring, and …
review by . April 07, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'Your Highness' 'Two Jews On Film' Hath Different Views On This Fantasy Medievil Spoof (Video)
   'Your Highness' directed by David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) and written by Danny McBride and Ben Best is the story of two brothers Prince Fabious (James Franco) and Prince Thadeous (Danny McBride) who embark on a dangerous mission to save Fabious' bride-to-be, Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel).        The film opens with Prince Thadeus and his sidekick, Courtney (Rasmus Hardiker) about to be hung by a village of drawfs. Thadeous …
review by . April 08, 2011
   If you go into Your Highness thinking of it as lesson in modern-day cinema, you’ll leave with these three conclusions: 1) Danny McBride is still not much of a screenwriter 2) David Gordon Green still hasn’t found is stride directing “action comedies” and 3) Justin Theroux is an incredibly underrated comedic actor. It was evident that he (Theroux) could pen a script or two based off the success of Tropic Thunder and Iron Man 2, but who would have thought he would …
review by . April 07, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Total buzzkill.
YOUR HIGHNESS   Written by Danny McBride and Ben Best   Directed by David Gordon Green   Starring Danny McBride, James Franco, Zooey Deschanel, Justin Theroux and Natalie Portman       Isabel: It is my legacy to do anything to stop those who fuck to make dragons.       I don’t know about you but if I am going to get high, it’s because I want to laugh and have a good time. Apparently, when Danny McBride wants …
Quick Tip by . December 20, 2011
I recently saw the unrated cut of “Your Highness”. It is almost pretty much the same except for some extended scenes and the addition of blood and some gore on select fight scenes. I did feel that the theatrical cut was the better paced film, but the action and the added blood made the film much more entertaining in an action standpoint. Natalie Portman really saved this film for me.      The Bluray was also filled with good features. I had a ball watching the alternate …
review by . April 11, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I don’t smoke pot. I’ve never puffed the magic dragon, hung out with Cheech and Chong, or enjoyed the “wonders” of 420. That being said, I had no problem enjoying Your Highness, the newest stoner comedy by David Gordon Green, James Franco, and Danny McBride, alumni of one of my favorite comedies that’s also a big stoner comedy, Pineapple Express. Your Highness is obviously a pet project of Danny McBride’s and Green’s, containing elements any 13 year old …
About the reviewer
Chris Pandolfi ()
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … more
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About this movie


Your Highness is an upcoming fantasy comedy film set to be released April 8, 2011. Filming began in the summer of 2009 in Northern Ireland, and concluded in October 2009.
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Director: David Gordon Green
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Thriller
Release Date: 8 April 2011 (USA)
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Ben Best, Danny McBride
Runtime: 102 min
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