Monday, April 25, 2011

Movie Review: Your Highness

Rating: * (1 out of 5 stars)

Starring: James Franco, Danny McBride, Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel, Justin Theroux
Director: David Gordon Green

First off, I thought I would list the director and actors of the film to make this review look more professional while simultaneously reminding myself why I went to see this movie. Yes, it's from the people who brought you Pineapple Express (minus Rogen, Goldberg, and Apatow), but don't be fooled - this film is nowhere near as entertaining. I realize that the trio of McBride, Green, and Ben Best (co-writer with McBride) didn't set out to make an award winning film, but they did set out to make a comedy and they ultimately failed. Despite that, I have to admit that I was a little surprised by the film. Following McBride and Best's previous work, I expected something similar to East Bound and Down (which I hated) or The Foot Fist Way (which I loved). I expected Danny's character to be a cocky asshole who's pissed off ninety-nine percent of the time. I guess if Jody Hill wrote the script that probably would've been the case. I'd hate to see Danny typecast that way because I do feel he has more range. He was hilarious as Red in Pineapple Express and didn't remotely remind me of Kenny Powers. So in that regard, I was pleasantly surprised with this film.

But that's as positive as this review gets. The writing was terrible and the jokes were stale. Many critics note the fact that all of the jokes in the film rely on the use of modern curse words in a medieval setting...and they're not wrong - 98% of the punchlines involve the words "shit," and "fuck." That's just lazy writing and it shows throughout the film. It's not as if I was shocked to discover all of this, though. The reason I saw the film was because some of my favorite people are in it. James Franco is cool as hell and I love his work - same with Justin Theroux. Zooey Deschanel is one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen and I love her music. So with that in mind, watching this film was like watching a bad movie that all of your friends are in. You feel a little bad for hating it so much, but at the same time, it's no big thing and we'll all just move on. So that's what I'll do in this case. I'll let this one slide and just wait for the next project that any of these people are in (Franco in Rise of the Planet of the Apes might put that to the test). We'll see.

Oh, and a bit of a shout out to Rasmus Hardiker, who plays Courtney (Danny McBride's lackey). Had this been a better movie, he probably would be talked about as having a break-out performance. He just seems like he has some real comedic chops.

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