This Week at the Movies: Your Highness


Will Hazzard

What’s awesome about fantasy movies? They have all the cool things we dreamt about as kids like magic, sword fights and hot chicks in skimpy outfits. Now what’s awesome about raunchy comedies? They make us laugh because there’s a 13-year-old in all of us that’s just waiting to burst. But the question remains, what happens when you mix all of these elements together into one film? Well, then you get Your Highness, directed by David Gordon Green and written by Danny McBride and Ben Best. It’s a drug-infused hybrid that may not be winning very many awards, and the humor may not be for everyone, but it has a surprisingly high amount of laughs.

Thadeous (Danny McBride) is a prince and the second born son. He’s foul-mouthed and has accomplished little in his life except engaging in explicit activities with dwarves. His older brother Fabious (James Franco) is an accomplished adventurer who fits the stereotype of the noble prince. After recently returning from his latest quest and finding his bride-to-be, she is stolen away by the evil wizard Leezar. The two must then go on a journey to save her. Along the way, they encounter a series of betrayals, join forces with a female warrior named Isabel (Natalie Portman), defeat the evil wizard and rescue the maiden.

It’s a pretty straightforward fantasy that works surprisingly well. It has a nice feeling of adventure and the creatures encountered along the way are original yet familiar enough to recognize within the fantasy archetypes. What really makes this movie different is the way the low­brow humor is mixed in. For one, there is the constant smok­ing of “magical herbs” that lead to fantastic realms. Then there are the naked wood nymphs and the overly exposed minotaur. It’s a good mesh that one wouldn’t normally see in a fantasy movie. It can definitely be a little much at times though and the dialogue can be a little bumpy in places. It’s a barrage of jokes about the male genitalia that isn’t exactly everyone’s type of humor. For those who do enjoy that style of humor, it’s a riot.

There is also a good amount of technical excellence. Prob­ably the most notable aspect of the film is the visual effects used to make the magic and monsters come to life. Warlocks shoot colorful bolts of energy that look very nice, especially coming from a movie that relies heavily on comedy for its entertain­ment value. Costumes and makeup are put together well and thought out to really bring the fantasy world to life, as well as the impressive shooting locations and expansive vistas.

There’s not much better than going to the movies and laughing the entire time and Your Highness is just the movie to do that. But more importantly, it does so in it’s own unique way that set’s it apart from most other comedies. The setting and story make it special yet thoroughly entertaining at the same time. Just keep in mind who you end up bringing to the movie with you. It’s certainly not an intellectually stimulating film that relies on strong techniques to deliver comedy. It’s offensive to some, a delight to others, but overall a good time.