Your Highness

Your Highness

**1/2

 

Warning: This is not a comedy.

The guys who made the 2008 stoner classic “Pineapple Express” have created a new genre of film.

Like “Pineapple Express,” “Your Highness” is a wild, R-rated adventure with a lot of violence and a lot of cursing.

Strangely, though, neither film is actually a comedy. I don’t know. Maybe you need to smoke as much weed as the characters in “Your Highness” do to find it funny. Because I sure didn’t.

The complete void of humor is particularly confusing because “Your Highness” was made by wonderfully talented people.

Oscar nominee/host James Franco and Oscar winner Natalie Portman headline an amazing cast of actors who are smart enough to recognize what’s funny and what isn’t.

Even “Black Swan” had a couple of big laughs (I cracked up when Portman’s character bit the ballet director when he tried to kiss her). “Your Highness” has zero.

The star and co-writer of “Your Highness” is the up and coming comedian Danny McBride. There is a good chance that you’ve seen his face or heard his voice. He had small parts in “Tropic Thunder,” “Due Date,” “Up in the Air,” and “Despicable Me.”

You probably haven’t seen his HBO series “Eastbound & Down.” But you should. McBride plays Kenny Powers: a washed up Major League pitcher who still has the gigantic ego of a star even though he is now a pathetic has-been.

There have been some delightfully obnoxious blowhards on TV: Carroll O’Connor in “All in the Family,” Steve Carrel in “The Office,” Larry David in “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Danny DeVito in…basically everything he has ever done.

But Danny McBride takes the cake. Kenny Powers is the most selfish, self-important, self-serving, self-destructive jerk in the history of television. I think he’s great.

It is almost an impressive feat to assemble this much comedy talent in “Your Highness” and have it be so unfunny. What is more impressive is that I kind of liked the movie, anyway.

Franco and McBride play a pair of medieval princes who team up with a butt-kicking warrior (Portman) and embark on a dangerous quest to rescue Franco’s bride from an evil sorcerer.

Our heroes stumble into one perilous and ridiculous predicament after another.

They must find their way through a labyrinth to obtain the Sword of Unicorn. They are tricked by a tribe of topless sirens and forced into gladiatorial combat. They seek the council of a trusted sage, who turns out to be a pot-smoking puppet who may or may not be a child molester.

“Your Highness” is a bad movie. But it is a silly, diverting adventure that kept me entertained from start to finish. I don’t recommend it, but I did enjoy it.

 

Advertisements