In a magical time long ago, there was a Kingdom where two brothers, both princes, lived very different lives. The first born, and in line to become King, Fabious, was the hero of the land, always taking up his sword in the next quest against evil whilst his brother, Thadeus, sat around all day drinking, smoking weed and getting into trouble. But when Fabious’ bride to be is kidnapped by a wizard both brothers must quest together for a magical blade that can kill him before he unleashes the power of an ancient prophecy.
Ever since SUPERBAD blew the lid off edgier mainstream comedy there have been countless R rated comedies to suit the needs of those who enjoy a more crude approach to the game. Now SUPERBAD didn’t start this trend (not even close), personally I’d say it started with Eddie Murphy (at least for me it did) and then got carried down by Chris Rock, Chris Tucker and so many others. Personally I enjoy this type of humour and truly covet this style of comedy, it’s how I roll and though there aren’t as many good ones as I’d like to see, I’m glad there are still big named actors who are easy going enough and willing to take part in this kind of adventure. I’m not sure if this was the image director David Gordon Green was trying to paint but for me this was exactly what PINEAPPLE EXPRESS would have been like had it taken place in a fantasy setting and in the words of George Jefferson, “there ain’t nothin wrong with that!”
Some people might want to call this film a fantasy spoof and on some levels I wouldn’t blame them as there are a vast number of films this one pays homage to. There are the obvious ones like EXCALABER, CLASH OF THE TITANS, WILLOW, LABYRINTH, CONAN, THE LORD OF THE RINGS and trust me there are many more. I instead enjoyed these references for what they were; simple guidelines, winks and nods to help with the laughter. Did it work? You bet it did and I’ll tell you why. The script for this film was there but the dialogue was mostly improv written (mostly) by Danny McBride. Now as far as the dialogue goes, it’s very obvious that McBride was having fun here and again, there ain’t nothin wrong with that. If you’re a fan of McBride in any capacity you’ll know his brand of shtick like the back of your hand and feel very welcome here and since this film relies so heavily upon him I can’t see many people in the audience not familiar with him or his work.
You can also tell that a lot of money went into the special effects department because they’re dazzling to say the least. I was happy with the way Lezzar’s magic worked (loved his staff) as well as how the many mythical creatures turned out (it would be hard to forget the Minotaur, no pun intended). Even the sets were gorgeous, both castles as well as the labyrinth were stunning and very believable. I’m very glad they didn’t push this for 3D as it would have hurt the film’s integrity and ruined the overall experience for me. I’ll also go on record as saying that if I had to go, I’d prefer it to be at the hands of a group of topless woodland vixens like the ones these guys run into as that would be better than getting eaten by a dragon or burned alive by a wizard any day.
YOUR HIGHNESS was every bit as funny as I expected it to be but I will honestly say that if you’re not a fan of vulgar comedies this flick probably isn’t for you. As an example, Fabious always takes a trophy from his kills so when Thadeus kills the Minotaur and can’t seem to cut off one of his horns he instead cuts off the beast’s penis which wears as a necklace. This about sets the tone of the film rather nicely and if that sort of thing makes you feel uneasy or offended you may want to consider watching something else. However, if you think that would look about as funny as it sounds (and trust me, it’s a riot to see) then you’re in for quite a treat. McBride and Franco worked very well together here as did Natalie Portman whom I never used to like but have come around to as of late. I personally think they all deserve praise for being able to keep straight faces here because some of the ridiculousness herein would be hard not to laugh at. I also loved the ending and hope we get a sequel.