Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Your Highness [2011]

Director: David Gordon Green
Cast: James Franco, Danny McBride, Rasmus Hardiker, Justin Theroux, Zooey Deschanel, Natalie Portman ♥
Genre: Fantasy/Comedy
Rating: Adult
Comment: "A parody of the Swords & Sorcery genre that entertains some while alienating most..."

Envious of his overachiever brother, Thadeous (Danny McBride) spends most of his days being the medieval equivalent of a slacker while his brother Fabious (James Franco) spends his going on quests. All changes when Fabious brings home with him a rescued fair maiden, Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), who also happens to be a prisoner of great importance to evil wizard Lezar (Justin Theroux). Lezar proceeds with taking Belladonna back, prompting the two brothers to embark on another quest to rescue her.

What to Expect
1. Beautiful medieval setting
2. Decent action sequences
3. Occasional laughs

What NOT to Expect
1. A seamless mix of parody and high-brow comedy

I might have liked this movie a lot less if it weren't for three things; The medieval setting, Natalie Portman and James Franco. It's not bad, and it's definitely a hell of a lot better than those Jason Friedberg and Alan Seltzer "movies", if you even want to call them that. The only problem with this movie is that they can't seem to make up their mind whether to make a movie parodying the Swords & Sorcery genre, or if they would like to be taken seriously.

You can tell that they're tying to find that middle ground, but better luck next time, I'd say.

But I'll watch anything if they have Natalie Portman in it...
For instance, there aren't that many stock characters from the genre being used here. Sure, it's not a flaw, but you couldn't call something a parody if it took that extra effort to be original, wouldn't you say? So practically none of its humour came from spoofing the genre but more from dick and stoner jokes. A little jarring, I know. But I suppose that's what made it original in that aspect.

Needless to say, this movie would have also been less likable if it weren't for the star-studded cast. Sure, at some point I tilted my head to one side wondering what's Natalie Portman, James Franco and Charles Dance doing in a movie like this. But then again Robert DeNiro also starred in Little Fockers [2010], so I guess anything's possible.

Not that I'm complaining...
So remember what I said earlier? This is one of those movies that will entertain some while alienating most. It all depends on how much you enjoy jokes about masturbation, balls and penis. And none of them are subtle, mind you. The times I laughed were few and far in between, but I wouldn't call it a total loss by a long shot. Especially considering that I get to stare at Natalie Portman's tush.

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