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'Your Highness' a one-hit wonder

Article Published: Apr. 14, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
'Your Highness' a one-hit wonder

James Franco and Danny McBride star in 'Your Highness.'

"Your Highness" is the best in its genre.

That genre happens to be "medieval stoner-comedy," and it just might be the only one in there.
High on originality (amongst other things), it's a concept fresher than what Hollywood usually coughs up. But when the smoke clears, it's just not nearly as funny as it should've been.

Danny McBride (HBO's "Eastbound and Down") is Prince Thadeous, an oafish slacker who'd rather spend his time smoking wizard's weed with a satyr shepherd than embarking on heroic quests like his popular - and decidedly nobler - brother, Prince Fabious (James Franco, "Pineapple Express").

But when Fabious's bride-to-be, Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel, "(500) Days of Summer"), is kidnapped by evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux, "Mulholland Dr."), the King (Charles Dance, "Scoop") gives Thadeous an ultimatum: Join Fabious in his quest to rescue her, or be banished from the kingdom.

Thadeous reluctantly agrees, taking loyal manservant Courtney (Rasmus Hardiker, "Huge") and an ample supply of medieval Mary Jane to aid them in their quest.

Along the way, they encounter perverted wizards, mythical creatures, traitorous knights and the beautiful, but deadly, Isabel (Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"), whose lust for revenge - and blood - proves a powerful, and somewhat disturbing, ally. And it's fitting. "Your Highness" thrives on the disturbing, nonchalant in its vulgarity and graphic content - an arena in which McBride triumphs.

Though packed with sight gags (some of them cringe-inducing), chuckle-worthy dialogue and a surprising earnestness, "Your Highness" only has one joke at its heart: The juxtaposition of modern crassness in a medieval setting, which, in this case, is the equivalent of a couple stoners playing Dungeons & Dragons.

For "Your Highness," that happens to be director David Gordon Green ("Pineapple Express") and writers McBride and Ben Best ("Eastbound and Down").

Fans of either should find "Your Highness" mildly enjoyable at best, but others would be better advised to toke it or leave it.

"Your Highness," rated R for strong crude and sexual content, pervasive language, nudity, violence and some drug use, is playing at Regal Cinema 7 in Boone. For show times, see page 24 or visit

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