Here's a quick synopsis for "Your Highness": a combination of "Lord of the Rings," "Krull," and "Half Baked."
Danny McBride and James Franco take the lead in the new medieval fantasy stoner film, playing Prince brothers Thaddeus and Fabious, respectively. Franco is the valiant crown prince, a hero who rescues a maiden in distress and intends to marry her. And McBride is his jealous, lazy, masturbation-happy stoner brother, whose main adventures involve having sex with the queen of the dwarves.
When Fabious' virgin bride, played by Zooey Deschanel, is stolen by an evil wizard looking to create a dragon spawn, the two brothers set out to rescue her. There, they find themselves betrayed by their companions, seeking out a child molesting puppet wizard and battling erect minotaurs. Along the way, they cross paths with warrior Natalie Portman, who plays it straight and kicks some tail.
"Your Highness" is truly a vehicle for McBride; his film school friends David Gordon Green directed the flick and Ben Best co-wrote the script with McBride.
The film, somewhat predictably, hasn't been well received by critics, who have been disapproving of its sophomoric humor. Of course, if you like that sort of thing, and want to see how it works with a well done fantasy film, "Your Highness" is the film to see this weekend.
Here are two opposing reviews.
If it isn't clear already, Highness earns its R for language, nudity and some mild gore. Though many scenes are not for the easily offended, rest assured these are well-told gags. The film might be deranged when it comes to sex and violence but the script never relies on easy fart and poop jokes. Most important of all, it earns all its laughs. And there are many.
Manohla Dargis, The New York Times:
It may be that "Your Highness," a self-conscious, sometimes overly self-satisfied goof about ye olde high times, may be better enjoyed in an herb-enhanced condition. Getting stoned is, after all, a running joke in this comedy, which is as thin as rolling paper and just as ephemeral. Certainly its milieu -- a fantasy past filled with mythical beasts, a dwarf kingdom and bare-breasted wild women smeared in white who look as if they stepped off the cover of a classic punk album by the Slits -- seems to have been hatched in an altered state. Conjoined laughing and groaning is often the point when jokes are calibrated to go up (or down) with smoke.