Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99

Review: 'Your Highness' will harsh your mellow

** (out of four)

Heroic Prince Fabious (James Franco) can do no wrong. His younger brother Thadeous (Danny McBride, who co-wrote the script) can do no right, and would rather get high than change his ways. They team up with a revenge-seeking warrior (Natalie Portman) to slay a mighty wizard (Justin Theroux) and rescue Fabious' busty virgin bride (Zooey Deschanel).

The buzz: McBride’s last big-screen writing effort was the horribly mean-spirited “The Foot Fist Way.” Perhaps director David Gordon Green (the lovely “Snow Angels” and underrated “Pineapple Express”) can keep the vibes friendlier and closer to a “Princess Bride”-style fairy tale, only funnier.

The verdict: Wow, I did not expect this to be so bloody. Or that more than half the jokes, if you can call them that, are merely the surprising use of profanity. Franco and Portman are life-savers here; McBride’s character is the movie’s dead weight, an obnoxious, insensitive coward who would be irritating in a comedy but is downright awful in a plodding adventure that takes its gruesome action far too seriously. Stoners may freak out, sober viewers should grow restless, and no one will laugh much.

Did you know? At one point Thadeous and Fabious meet an herb-smoking wizard monster who apparently molested Fabious when he was a boy. “Your Highness” is very amused by the notion of rape, which is not funny.

Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Fridays at 7 a.m. on WCIU, the U

mpais@tribune.com

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Shrug-worthy new movies
    Shrug-worthy new movies

    'True Story,' 'Ex Machina,' 'Desert Dancer,' 'Furious 7,' '5 to 7,' 'Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief,' 'Danny Collins,' 'The Gunman,' ''71,' 'Maps to the Stars,' 'Bluebird,' 'The DUFF,' 'Kingsman: The Secret Service,' 'The Rewrite,' 'Black or White,' 'Black Sea,' 'Song One,' 'Cake,'...

  • Best new movies
    Best new movies

    Reviews of recent favorites like 'Clouds of Sils Maria,' 'While We're Young,' 'Woman in Gold,' 'Insurgent,' 'It Follows,' 'The Hunting Ground,' 'Focus,' 'What We Do in the Shadows,' 4-star 'The Last Five Years,' 'McFarland, USA,' 'Girlhood,' 'Mommy,' 4-star 'A Most Violent Year,' 'American Sniper,'...

  • Worst new movies
    Worst new movies

    The recent awfulness we've seen, like 'The Squeeze,' 'The Longest Ride,' 'Get Hard,' 'Serena,' 'Cinderella,' 'Run All Night,' 'The Lazarus Effect,' 'Hot Tub Time Machine 2,' 'Fifty Shades of Grey,' 'Jupiter Ascending,' 'Seventh Son,' 'The Boy Next Door,' 'Blackhat,' 'Predestination,' 'Into the...

  • Good movies to rent now
    Good movies to rent now

    See what recent DVD releases are worth your time and money. Don't rent? Check out the newest movies to stream here.Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page. 

  • Hot Hollywood interviews
    Hot Hollywood interviews

    The most memorable quotes from our latest movie Q&As, including Michiel Huisman, Freida Pinto, Dan Savage, Joel McHale, Noah Baumbach, Veronica Roth, Margot Robbie, Bella Heathcote, Kevin Costner/Anthony Mackie, Sienna Miller, Emily Ratajkowski, David Oyelowo/Ava DuVernay, Eddie Redmayne, Jon Stewart/Maziar...

  • Friends, neighbors say Gray was a well-liked jokester known to police
    Friends, neighbors say Gray was a well-liked jokester known to police

    As stubborn clouds hung low over the Gilmor Homes on Monday, those who knew Freddie Gray sat on stoops or stood in close circles, shaking their heads at the death of another young black man while in police custody.

  • Baltimore police focus on van ride in investigation of arrestee's death
    Baltimore police focus on van ride in investigation of arrestee's death

    Baltimore police said Monday that Freddie Gray asked for medical attention repeatedly while officers shuttled him in the back of a prisoner transport van, but they didn't call for paramedics until they found him critically injured and unresponsive at the end of the ride.

  • Gray's spinal injury suggests 'forceful trauma,' doctors say
    Gray's spinal injury suggests 'forceful trauma,' doctors say

    Spinal injuries such as those that led to Freddie Gray's death while in police custody require "significant force" akin to the impact from a car accident and can fatally impair the body's ability to regulate blood flow and breathing, according to medical experts.

Comments
Loading

59°