What a right royal romp this is. When I saw the trailer I didn’t blink twice. When I saw the cast I perturbed if not a little intrigued as to why two recently oscar nominated young actors an indie film chick and a British thespian were playing support roles to a man I recognised but couldn’t quiet place but knew had probably appeared in some sort of SNL skit/frat pack/judd Apatow/buddy movie comedy but hasn’t quiet hit it off like his peers.When I saw Justin Theroux I wasn’t surprised (man is a little odd with his film roles).
I am of course talking of James Franco, Natalie Portman Zooey Deschanel and Charles Dance in the unanticipated hollywood comedy movie of the year, perhaps, ‘Your Highness‘.Yes…wait what? exactly. It all happened in a blur but somehow I found myself watching it, and far from being as awful as it looked in the posters and trailers it was every bit as rude, crude and just plain silliness for 90 minutes. I dont know what I was expecting (probably nothing) but I did enjoy actually find myself cringing and laughing in all the right places. The best thing is that all aforementioned actors barring professional silly man lead Danny McBride (also co penning the film) were clearly enjoying the break away from the intensity of their usual roles. In fact if you think about it all four Franco, Portman, Deschanel (fleeting but satisfying appearance) and Dance are perhaps some of the most versatile actors around. All three have credits that have flitted between the huge blockbuster conventional to the art house serious with a few independent kookiness thrown in for good measure. So maybe it shouldn’t have been a surprise to see both Franco and Portman, especially, having probably had their future Oscar nominated movies in production around the same time, doing over the top and under performances to release whatever tension they were undoubtedly exorcising from their other films. That is definitely one of the winning factors of ‘Your Highness’.
The other is Justin Theroux, seriously the man is crazy, I don’t think I’ve seen him in a film where he isn’t. The other is undoubtedly McBride who’s ridiculous faux English accent and hair is reminiscent of the retarded endearing Stiller in Zoolander. No I’m not comparing this to that but McBride’s Prince Fabious is so deluded and unaware of his ridiculous self that its funny and I loved him for it. One critic aptly described it as “an oddly charming stoner comedy set in medieval times”
Its a tale of sibling rivalry under the guise of foil like Knight armour, painted moats in the background and modern bad language. James Franco stars as Prince Fabious the charming prince and fearless knight to his lazy and petulant brother Prince Thadeous’ (Danny McBride)
Fabious returns from a quest with new trophy and bride to be, Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), who is crazy in love with her prince charming much to the disdain of Thadeous. When she is abducted by the evil wizard Leezar ( fabulous turn from Justin Theroux), Fabious vows to rescue her once again, only this time Thadeous is to go along, such are the conditions set by the King if he wants to remain at court.
A series of betrayals, sword fights and inappropriate nakedness follows before the brothers and Thadeous’ companion Courtney – a never ageing Rasmus Hardiker who, alongside Charles Dance, Toby Jones and Damien Lewis provides the authentic British accents – encounter the feisty and mysterious Isobel (Natalie Portman), also on the war path to defeat and kill Leezar to avenge her brothers’ deaths. So, in short, its nothing special, it’s not even that funny, but if you pay enough attention it will make you smile.