MOVIE REVIEW: Your Highness


This reviewer (hopefully like many other incorrigible men of his age too) has always wondered what would happen if you were to take today's pervasive culture of sex, drugs, and profanity and mixed it with very traditional, old-fashioned, and pre-censorship stories, movies, and settings.  That doesn't mean redubbing them with funny voiceovers on viral video websites or even the old-school sarcasm from the front row of Mystery Science Theater 3000.  What if old-school movies were actually made that way with all of the sex, drugs, and profanity possible?

What if Deborah Kerr was nude mounting Burt Lancaster on that Hawaii beach in From Here to Eternity instead of just rolling around in the surf?  What if Clark Gable told Scarlet O'Hara his best Cee-Lo line instead of "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" at the end of Gone With the Wind?  What if "The Force" and seeing those glowing dead Jedi masters in Star Wars could only be achieved through hallucinogenic drugs?  Well, if you've ever been crazy (or high) enough to wonder what it would be like, then Your Highness is the movie for you.

Your Highness, from the director of The Pineapple Express, David Gordon Green, takes a premise right out of medieval legend or J.R.R. Tolkien and gives it the R-rated treatment from top to bottom. Violence, modern swearing, sexual language, nudity, and vulgarity are all here.  Stars Danny McBride (TV's Eastbound and Down) and (gulp) Academy Award nominee James Franco attempt to speak with an English accent, but a lot of French comes out in between.

McBride plays Thadeous, the fat and lazy younger son to the king who would rather fornicate and live the good life than trouble himself with the heroics and quests of his older brother and heir to the throne, Fabious (Franco).   When Fabious returns victorious from his latest quest with a new fiance, Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel from 500 Days of Summer and Elf), by his side, that too is added to the resume of royal disapproval for Thadeous.  However, he, along with his trusty servant Courtney (newcomer Rasmus Hardiker), is thrust into his first quest when Fabious's fiance is kidnapped for her vital virginity by the evil wizard Leezar (Hollywood screenwriter Justin Theroux, throwing his hat into the acting ring).

Leezar's plan is to breed a mythical dragon from Belladonna's virginity on the night when the two moons cross over each other.  The brothers' quest is to seek out the one weapon that can defeat Leezar's magic and get to his evil cliff-set seaside tower in time.  Things are complicated along the way when they meet, the fierce and stunning warrior Isabel, played by (double gulp) recent Black Swan Academy Award winner Natalie Portman.

Once again, if you're into this sick sort of thing, you're in for a good time. Your Highness truly is harmless humor and action, even if it is vulgar.  On the other hand, if you've rolled your eyes more than twice while reading this review, save this one for DVD, Blu-ray, or Netflix at home.  Funny or Die website James Franco fans and dedicated "Kenny Powers" Danny McBride followers will be right at home.  World of Warcraft players, this may be your dream movie, if you actually took the time off the mouse after seeing a brief pop-up ad, whiffed the Comic-Con teases, put down the Mountain Dew, and drooled over Portman's thong-clad ass in the highly-seen and hyped restricted red-band trailer.  You won't be disappointed either, other than the time away from the game.

LESSON #1:  THE TOUGH ROAD OF THE LITTLE BROTHER-- We've seen it, time and time again, how big brother constantly overshadows little brother.  Little brother can never measure up to big brother and their life sucks.  Well, boo-f'in-hoo!  Wipe your tears and make something of yourself.  Don't make the excuse that you're not in a position to do so.  You are your own man, little brother.

LESSON #2:  EVERYONE HAS A QUEST-- Alright, so your quest might not be as noble, extravagant, magical, challenging, swashbuckling, or as archaic as the quest of the Your Highness boys, but know that your quest is out there.  It's out there waiting for you to find and slay.  Everyone has a goal, a treasure, or a mate they seek and also the matching competition, consequences, and evil that stand in their way (even if that evil is soap scum, bad traffic, or putting clothes on ornery toddlers).

LESSON #3:  THERE ARE RULES TO EVERY QUEST-- Apparently, Thadeous isn't the only one who didn't read the Core Rulebook, Player's Handbook, and other manuals.  You don't trust those you don't know.  You don't run your mouth about the details of your quest to everyone.  You don't hit on random chicks and you always have a escape route.  Respect the rules and do your homework, fat and high warrior.