April 12, 2011 > Movie Review: Your Highness
Movie Review: Your Highness
By Jennifer Gau
In a fantasy world of dragons and evil wizards, there lives a king and his two sons. One is a hero and well beloved prince perfect in every way. Another has lived in his older brother's shadow his entire life. Fabious (James Franco) returns from a grand quest with a young and naive fiance. Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel) was an evil wizard's prisoner when Fabious had rescued her. After the evil wizard comes back and kidnaps Belladonna, Fabious invites his younger brother Thadeous (Danny McBride) on a quest to save her and the entire kingdom.
Director David Gordon Green creates a light-hearted crude comedy from a story that could end up really dark. Fabious sounds like "Fabulous." And Thadeous sounds like "Fatty-ous." Their characters live up to those names. Thadeous is tired of trying to be like his brother, so he fills his life with smoking and easy maidens. Franco and McBride do not look like brothers at all but it doesn't matter; the focus is on their big adventure and how Thadeous grows from the experience.
Costumes and settings throughout the movie help make it a convincing medieval epic; computer graphics help enhance a bit here and there. Big hair, accents, swords, and bloody gore are key props for the characters. On the brothers' quest for Belladonna, they meet Isabel (Natalie Portman) a mysterious warrior with a dangerous mission. Portman plays a fearless warrior really well with war yells and kick-butt moves.
The protagonists prance around in convincing costumes but the script makes the movie feel as if everything was thrown together; there is no flow and choppy cliched occurrences. Fabious rescues belladonna from the evil wizard reminiscent to the story of Rapunzel who was locked in a tower hidden from the evils of the world. However, every cliche has a special comedic twist as if McBride, one of the writers, thought of random "what if" situations to include in the movie.
Overall, "Your Highness" is a comedy adventure that can be saved for an evening with nothing else to do. The audience will notice similarities with medieval adventures such as "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" (1993). However, "Robin Hood" may have been appropriate for a younger audience while "Your Highness" definitely is not.
Runtime: 1 hour 42 minutes