Monday, April 25, 2011

Your Highness Review

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon, and I didn't really have anything to do, so I decided to risk some of my hard earned capital on David Gordon Green's Your Highness. We typically go for matinĂ©es on Sundays, so money really wasn't a concern, and I have to admit that I went in with a fairly limited level of expectation. I do enjoy a good portion of Danny McBride's work, and I figured that it would be a stupid movie to help wear away an afternoon.

I was correct on the fact that this is stupid and lowbrow comedy, but that is what Green and McBride seem to specialize in. I can't help but to think that if you went into Your Highness looking for a "smart" comedy, and you were disappointed, then part of the fault lies on you. That would be like going to see a Will Ferrel movie and expecting to see something on par with Dr. Strangelove. It just won't happen. The fact that Danny McBride wrote it, and David Gordon Green (the same guy who directed Pineapple Express) directed it should give you a slight idea of what to expect.

Many of the jokes are plays on language, and by that I mean the characters often place swear words and current slang in the dialog while continuing to try to maintain the feel of the Medieval setting. Personally, I found it to be somewhat comical, and it managed to keep me grinning throughout the film.  However, I will admit that it does get somewhat predictable the more that this device is used. Also, marijuana jokes and the usual "dick jokes" that plague many of today's comedies are definitely present in Your Highness, but it really doesn't seem to be as annoying when Seth Rogan isn't on screen.

The sight gags were also good enough to make me chuckle from time to time. I must admit that in spite of myself, I found the wearing of the genitals of a minotaur around the neck as a trophy after it's defeat to be fairly comical. Perhaps some may be above such crude devices, but it honestly did come across as somewhat funny to me.

The actors themselves all seem to be having a good time, and all are able add something to the comedy. I even found some of Natalie Portman's lines to not be a complete waste of effort. I usually don't find her that funny, but her and the other cast members are able to play off of each other rather well. I believe that if somebody like Ashton Kutcher were to play opposite of Portman instead of McBride, the comedic ability that she does have would not have played very well. Your Highness just seemed to be a bunch of friends having a good time while making a movie.

The special effects were not bad, and though "shaky-cam" (a technique that I hate) was used during the action scenes, they didn't distract enough in this case to take me out of the adventure. Also, the CG wasn't too bad, though with a budget of close to $50 million I wouldn't expect The Assylum style visuals.

The evil wizard Leezar was probably my favorite character. He just seemed to be this loser who tried so hard come across as a hard-ass, but was really insecure. The corny picture that Leezar draws (with his embellished manhood) of his upcoming consummation night with the captured Belladonna is probably the funniest demonstration of his insecurities, as well as his overall excitement at the thought of being with an actual girl.

Overall, I thought that Your Highness was a funny movie, and I would recommend it for those that enjoy crude humor. It was much better than Pineapple Express because the audience isn't subjected to the dastardly Seth Rogan, and the pacing felt better. Just know that this is a stupid movie, and is really nothing more than a popcorn flick, and you should find it enjoyable. If you're terrified of crude humor, but are still curious to see it, then wait for a rental.


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