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Friday, 5 August 2011

Review: Your Highness (15) ★★★★
When Prince Fabious's bride is kidnapped, he goes on a quest to rescue her... accompanied by his lazy useless brother Thadeous.

Your Highness had one of the most promising trailers that I'd seen in quite a while.
Mixing mythical, fantasy story telling with crude adult humour, brought to us by the makers of Pineapple Express and written by Danny McBride, it was a match made in heaven. The bigger question however was "Could the film deliver?".

In my eyes the answer is a resounding yes, however this does come with a slight caveat. The people who will thoroughly enjoy this film will be those that are familiar with the type of humour and directing style employed by the cast and crew. In short, if you enjoy anything with Danny McBride you'll enjoy this. Others will just be confused or repulsed,  probably both.

The story is pretty straight forward - Prince's on a quest to rescue a fair maiden from an evil wizard - It doesn't get as standard as that in the Fantasy genre but what drives the film is the dialogue and the characters. It'll take some viewers a little time to adapt to the constant crude nature and language that's used throughout the film but for me this makes it stand out on its own. It's rare you get masturbation jokes, Minotaur penis's and sexually aroused wizards in the main stream fantasy world, but your highness has them all.

For me the film works based on the directors method of shooting and using scripts. David Gordon Green, has admitted that he really isn't keen on remaining rigid to scripts and prefers a lot of the dialogue to be pretty much ad libbed. I guess it supposed to make the end product seem a lot more natural, which with comedy is something I fully agree with.

The result of this is that the camera lingers longer on the actors than you'd expect, with additional dialogue added after the 'script', and I use that term loosely, is supposed to have finished. It's like nudging the actor saying "come on, say something funny". Of course with this style of film making its then totally reliant upon the cast you have at your disposal to make this work. And make it work they do.

McBride as the stoner loser, younger brother to James Franco's heroic prince work brilliantly as a partnership. You then add in Justin Theroux as the evil wizard and you have a trio of actors that work effortlessly to bring the story to life. Even Natalie Portman as a plucky heroine and Zooey Deschannel get to show their comedic ability with the little screen time they have. Its a testament to the cast at Green's disposal that they've managed to pull all this together and get it to work.

I've a feeling this will divide people, but I also have a feeling this is something the filmakers may actually be happy with. I'd certainly recommend it, but I'd also understand if, after watching it, you completely disagreed with me. Its that sort of film.


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