Monthly Archives: April 2011

Review: Your Highness

© Universal Pictures / E1 Entertainment

There’s a strange air of familiarity surrounding Your Highness – the latest attempt to do justice to an epic tale of American actors pretending to be British, swanning around with occasionally questionable accents.  As per usual, arguably more talented Brits are left to gather up the crumbs of what’s left in the script for them to devour, with scenery-chewing aplomb.  Yet perhaps because of this familiarity, the end result is sometimes stronger than many of those it is parodying.

It’s true that in order to really appreciate the film, you need to have a firm tick in the ‘Danny McBride Tickles My Funny Bone’ box.  If you liked his washed up loser pyrotechnic maniac character in Tropic Thunder, or his washed up loser tour guide out of his depth in Land Of The Lost, then you’ll absolutely love this ego massaging medieval fantasy quest written by, produced by and starring McBride as washed up loser younger brother Prince Thadeos.  If you found both of those films lacking in the laughs department, the chances are you’re onto a loser with this one.

Fortunately, I was in the former camp already – and the inclusion of Simon Farnaby as a character known only as Manious The Bold, and a strong ensemble cast featuring Natalie Portman, James Franco, Toby Jones, Damien Lewis, Charles Dance, Zooey Deschanel and Tropic Thunder screenwriter Justin Theroux swayed me further.  Sure, the trailers made it look like Robin Hood: Men In Tights with cruder dick-jokes… but with all that talent on display, surely there must be more to it than that?

The truth is there is a bit more to it than that, but not much, and the end result is one that won’t please everybody.  It’s certainly crude – though oddly restrained considering the various possibilities to ramp up the yuck-factor.  It’s also got a wafer thin plot that you can see coming after five minutes, while the jokes don’t always come thick and fast either at first, with the early scenes tending to sag more than a little.  So much money seems to have been spent getting the period look right and the effects to look sensational, but not enough time has been focused on just getting a quickfire round of gags in where it counts the most. Read the rest of this entry