Your Highness


By Adam Frazier

As two princes on a daring mission to save their land, they must rescue the heir apparent’s fiancĂ©e before their kingdom is destroyed. Thadeous (Danny McBride) has spent his life watching his perfect older brother Fabious (James Franco) embark upon valiant journeys and win the hearts of his people. Tired of being passed over for adventure, adoration and the throne, he’s settled for a life of wizard’s weed, hard booze and easy maidens. But when Fabious’ bride-to-be, Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), gets kidnapped by the evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux) — Universal Pictures

Director David Gordon Green’s new film, ”Your Highness”, is filled with valiant knights, cunning warriors and damsels in distress… and a few dick jokes. A send-up of fantasy adventure epics and stoner comedies, Green’s follow-up to 2008’s ”Pineapple Express” has a surprising mix of crude humor and heart.

Perhaps the most amazing aspect of ”Your Highness” is that it’s actually a damn good fantasy film. Instead of filling the cast with your typical roster of comedic actors, Green and writers Danny McBride and Ben Best locked down some big names with serious chops: Charles Dance, Toby Jones, Damian Lewis and the dramatic duo of James Franco and Natalie Portman.

If you’ve seen such classic ’80s adventure films as ”The Beastmaster”, ”Excalibur”, ”Dragonslayer” and ”Willow”, then you’ve got an idea of the world created by Green, McBride and Best. What’s an awesome fantasy film without swords, monsters, magic and muppets? ”Your Highness” features some great swashbuckling action, fantastical special effects and of course, a collection of monsters (computer generated and practical puppets) to bring the adventure full circle.

And dare I say, this movie has the greatest Minotaur I’ve ever seen on screen – that is, until it gets an erection and tries to fuck Thadeous’ loyal servant, Courtney. Minotaur dick aside, I had a blast watching ”Your Highness” – it took me back to the days of watching ”Willow” and ”The Dark Crystal” and daydreaming of castles and crypts and ancient beasts that lived in dark forests.

Rotten Tomatoes, a popular review aggregator site, has given ”Your Highness” a freshness rating of 25%, stating “Big budgets and costumes in service of scatalogical jokes may seem funny on paper, but in execution this is a highly monotonous romp that registers only occasional laughs.”

Obviously the majority of film critics out there didn’t spend their time in college getting high and playing Balder’s Gate: Dark Alliance, or else they might feel some kinship to Green’s film – which I think is one of those great comedies you just don’t see anymore – a fantasy film played entirely straight that’s filled with ridiculously crude and absurd humor.

I can’t wait to see a balls-out crazy Unrated Edition of ”Your Highness” on Blu-Ray – where I can get properly fucked up and watch Natalie Portman fight giant monsters. Go ahead and indulge in your favorite vice, whether it be drink or drug-induced, and go to your local cineplex to see ”Your Highness” – it’s a great way to spend an hour and a half with a smile on your face.

I’m sick and tired of Rotten Tomatoes and review aggregator sites. I mean seriously, how fucking difficult is it to read a movie review? Why do we need a website that takes 200+ reviews and gives an aggregate score – a score that honestly has very little to do with the words written in the review itself. Why do critics even bother writing 500-1000 words on a movie anymore? No one reads a review – they only look for that Certified Fresh seal of approval or an approval rating of over 80 percent.

Much like the world of video game journalism, there is a growing stigma that if a film averages under 80 percent it is no longer “Good” or “Above Average” but rather, THE WORST MOVIE EVER MADE. I find it hard to believe that Rotten Tomatoes helps anyone make an informed decision on whether they should see a movie or not, and honestly, I’m not so sure that’s the point of a movie review to begin with.

I don’t want to write for Consumer Reports. I want to write about movies and the way they make me feel – the way I connect to them. I don’t read movie reviews – I consider myself extremely knowledgeable about filmmakers and upcoming projects and when I see a preview for a movie, I do some research – if it interests me, I see it for myself and form my own opinion on it. I don’t need 250 other internet film critics to give me an aggregate score that seldom reflects the actual quality or level of enjoyment of a movie experience.

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