Movie Review: Your Highness

Normally a film like Your Highness would not be reviewed on The Deleted Scene; not because I feel this kind of film is too lowbrow, but rather because there usually is not too much to say. This is not the case with Your Highness not because of its quality, but because of the filmmaker, David Gordon Green.

Anyone who has followed my blogs knows that Green is one of my favourite filmmakers, in fact he is one of the directors whose films inspired me to want to become a filmmaker.

Green became famous after his debut George Washington was a major critical success. His next two follow-ups, All The Real Girls and Undertow confirmed his talent, some even going so far as to call him the next Terrence Malick. The name David Gordon Green became known for beautiful, subtle and personal films-words that cannot be used to describe his latest picture.

To describe Your Highness as a silly, vulgar pot comedy would be an understatement. The film follows two brothers, Thadeous and Fabious, played by Danny McBride and James Franco, who are sent on a quest to rescue Fabious’ fiancée from an evil wizard. To more accurately describe the tone of the film let us just say that one of the characters carries the genitalia of a Minotaur around his neck for a large part of the film. Sadly, this is not the most juvenile joke in the film, not by a long shot. And while I may be critical now, I did find myself laughing throughout.

This is not a great film, in fact it is by far Green’s worst film to date. That being said, considering each one of his films, including Pineapple Express, accomplish exactly what they were setting out to do, this is not an insult. While Your Highness does seem to accomplish what it was setting out to, the issue is Green set the bar too low. Having read the script, it is quite clear that Green was not exaggerating when he spoke in interviews about the lack of use of the script. The amount of improvisation is obvious throughout and the film feels loose and often messy.

It seems strange to defend this film, as I did not love it and I felt quite disappointed. Yet, I still feel a need to defend it somewhat as the absolutely hyperbolic hate being thrown at this film seems a little over the top. Too often now when a film is disappointing, reviewers seem to go to the extreme calling it one of the worst films of all time. Your Highness may not work on every level, yet it was still fun and most of all funny. And once again, Tim Orr, proves himself to be the best cinematographer working in comedies, as the film looks beautiful.

There are positives about this film, and while it may not work as well as Pineapple Express, it is still a worthy comedic effort. Unfortunately, Green’s next film, which is already finished, is another drug comedy. He has stated his interest in leaving the comedy genre, and hopefully he will return to the promise he has shown with his earlier works.

Your Highness is a misstep, not a disaster. I just hope we see Green’s use his talent for more worthy material in the future.

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2 Responses to Movie Review: Your Highness

  1. David says:

    So I can believe this is a funny film in instances, as I discovered the equally panned “Bewitched” could also muster several laughs from me (caught it on TV while eating pancakes). However, I can help but say that after having watched DGG’s dramas, and then comparing them to my viewing experience of Pineapple Express, I think he could do so much better in the comedy genre. He has the sense of direction, and camera (with Tim Orr’s amazing work) and sense of character that given a smart script, he could create the next “The Apartment” or “Stalag 17.” Only, I imagine DGG is not an accomplished screenwriter like the great Billy Wilder, who is my favorite director.

    However, if filmschoolreject’s review can be believed, in conjunction with Ebert’s review, this is a movie I may never waste my time on. I hope his next film can at least muster an audience AND laughs from me, as PE was not able.

  2. CMrok93 says:

    It’s not as funny as you would expect, and some critics have made it out to be, but I must say that I did have an enjoyable time with this. Good Review!

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