I had low expectations for Your Highness. My tolerance threshold for fart and dick jokes is lower than one might expect and everything that I saw about the film screamed ‘this is full of fart and dick jokes’. So it might come as a surprise to read the I actually rather enjoyed, in a guilty sort of way, the two hours that I spent watching Danny McBride chew up screen time whilst arsing about with his friends. There are many problems with the film, not least the overlong action sequences that fall into the hinterland between exciting and satirical, but all in all this was one of the brighter comedy experiences of the year so far.
Unfortunately James Franco, he of dismal Oscar hosting fame, rarely gets the material here to properly work your funny bone and Natalie Portman, she of No Strings Attached and some indie film about swans fame, doesn’t quite have the comedic timing of her co-stars. But let that not deter you too badly because Danny McBride and his minstrel Rasmus Hardiker (the stoner boyfriend from Lead Balloon) are funny for the vast majority of their time onscreen. I’ll admit that McBride’s terrible English accent made me chuckle every time I heard it
What I didn’t enjoy (and indeed found to be a frustrating pace changer) was the action sequences which were pure fantasy in the mold of Season of the Witch. On and on they went before finally delivering a punch line but not after spending thousands of dollars on special effects. But for every action sequence that didn’t work there was a severed minotaur penis of perverted puppet that did and when it begun to flounder a carefully deployed curse word mixed in with medieval jargon was a sure fire winner.
Not the best comedy film of the year but some solid laughs redeem its overblown fantasy pretensions.