Your Highness (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner15/04/2011

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 102 mins

Less sword and sorcery than f-word and saucery, this is a frequently funny foul-mouthed fantasy adventure with a gleefully puerile script and strong comic performances from McBride and Franco.

What's it all about?
Directed by David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express), Your Highness stars Danny McBride as Thadeous, the slacker second son of King Tallious of Morne (Charles Dance), who's jealous of his handsome hero brother Fabious (James Franco). However, when Fabious' bride-to-be Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel) is kidnapped by the evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux), the King orders Thadeous to join his brother on his quest to defeat Leezar and get her back.

Accompanied by Fabious' fellow knights (including Damian Lewis and Simon Farnaby), Thadeous' loyal squire Courtney (Rasmus Hardiker) and fawning courtier Julie (Toby Jones), the pair soon encounter treachery within their own ranks and are lucky to escape with their lives. Along the way, they come across various beasts and warriors but help is at hand when they meet the feisty Isabel (Natalie Portman), who is seeking her own revenge on Leezar.

The Good
If you've seen the red band (i.e. adult rated) trailer for Your Highness then you'll know exactly what to expect: a frequently funny, relentlessly foul-mouthed fantasy adventure with more knob gags than seems humanly possible. Essentially that is the film's one joke (fantasy adventure with modern-day swearing) and your enjoyment of the film will largely depend on how funny you find deeply childish humour – this is not, repeat not, an attempt to be another Princess Bride.

On a similar note, McBride's comic persona is something of an acquired taste and won't work for everyone, though he's on fine form here, while Franco plays it admirably straight and even delivers a note-perfect English accent to boot. There's also strong comic support from Hardiker and Theroux, and Portman is wonderful as the fiery Isabel, though Deschanel is largely wasted as Belladonna and isn't given nearly enough to do.

The Great
Perhaps surprisingly, Green turns out to have quite the talent for action sequences – an early, beautifully shot and edited carriage chase scene is genuinely exciting and as good as anything in any recent action film. Similarly, the special effects on the monsters (a five-headed Hydra, a well-endowed Minotaur) are extremely good.

Worth seeing?
Your Highness is a frequently funny fantasy adventure in which no puerile joke is left unturned, thanks to strong comic performances from McBride and Franco and a gloriously rude script. That said, if you're averse to dick jokes and swearing, you might want to steer clear.

Film Trailer

Your Highness (15)
Your Highness has been reviewed by 1 users
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03 Far from the Madding Crowd (tbc)

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04 Chappie (tbc)

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05 A Most Violent Year (15)

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Content updated: 21/07/2018 20:37

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