It’s not unprecedented. I mean, look— Tom Hanks has Forrest Gump and Philadelphia, but he’s also got The Ladykillers. Even The Godfather himself has The Island of Dr. Moreau on his resume. Bad films happen to good actors.
Fresh off two of the most incredible performances of the year, Natalie Portman (who won the Oscar, Golden Globe, and SAG award for Black Swan) and James Franco (who was nominated and could have very easily won the Oscar for 127 Hours) are back on screen in Your Highness.
Apparently, either they owe someone a lot of money, are all in on a huge practical joke (at our expense), or they’re making good on a alcohol-induced dare.
There’s no other reason for them to be in any way associated with this insanely vulgar, unfunny, overblown mess.
In a mythical faraway land, in a faraway time, Danny McBride is Thadeous, the resentful younger brother of the king-to-be Fabious (Franco). When Fabious’ fiancée Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel) is kidnapped by the awful(ly silly-looking) wizard Lezarr (Justin Theroux), Fabious and Thadeous set out on an effing quest to find the effing wizard, rescue the effing girl (though not really ‘effing’, I suppose—a lot is made of the fact that she’s a virgin), and save the effing day. Along the way, they meet fellow quest-er Isabel (Portman), who is effing hot.
I’ll be the first to admit that profanity is fairly ubiquitous these days, especially in movies. And, sure, there are some people out there to whom a sentence just doesn’t feel complete unless there’s a bit of vulgarity tossed in for no reason. But I’m pretty sure even those people would wonder what the eff is going on with this movie.
It’s as if a bunch of high school kids discovered a book called World’s Best Euphemisms for Sex, Male Gentalia, Masturbation, and Breasts, and then decided to use as many as they could, as often as they could, in a bizarre mash-up of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a Saturday Night Live skit, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (yes, there’s even a musical number or two).
David Gordon Green, apparently still high from his 2008 film Pineapple Express, does do a nice job with several of the action sequences, fight scenes, and the occasional chase, but overall he just couldn’t seem to figure out what kind of movie he was making. Comedy? Sweeping epic? Period action piece? Drama? All of the above? Who knows?
But it is McBride, who also executive produced Your Highness along with co-writing the script (which was largely ignored in favor of ad-libbing), who is primarily the one to blame here. Apparently there’s nothing funnier to him than the word ‘penis’, nothing more beautiful than a woman’s bare chest, and no situation wherein the f-word can’t be used.
Remember those stories about dads who caught their kids smoking and then made them knock off an entire pack in one sitting, just to get it out of their system? Well, you may never again feel the need to drop the f-bomb after seeing Your Highness—other than one final one to tell people how ‘effing’ bad this movie was.