Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, pervasive language, nudity, violence and some drug use.
Your Highness was a single-joke movie that wasn't even remotely funny.
Brothers Thadeous and Fabious are Princes in the royal family. Fabious is the good kid, the one who goes out on quests and saves the Kingdom time and time again. Thadeous is the screw-up who loves to sit around smoking weed and hitting on women. When Fabious returns from a quest and announces his intention to marry the beautiful maiden Belladonna, Thadeous is immediately jealous. And when Belladonna is kidnapped by the nefarious Leezar for use in a magic spell that will give him control of everything, it's up to Fabious and Thadeous to go rescue her. Along the way they run into Isabel, a girl who has her own reasons for killing Leezar. Together, the three end up on a wild adventure that may or may not have a happy ending.
Essentially, the joke in Your Highness is that we're in medieval times, but these guys are cursing like 20th century soldiers. Every single piece of humor comes from the idea of these Dungeons and Dragons-esque characters making rude and crude remarks. Once in a great while it hits the mark (I think I laughed twice, maybe three times) but for the most part it just falls completely flat. I don't for the life of me understand how two Academy Award nominated actors like James Franco and Natalie Portman got locked into this film. Yes, this was made before either of them were nominated, but they were still on that level of actor. Maybe it was because this was directed by the guy who did Pineapple Express so Franco immediately jumped on board and Portman said, hey, if he's doing this it must be good! Or maybe Danny McBride has naked pictures of both of them and threatened to make them public. All I know is, seeing the two of them force themselves to try and care about the material was painful. I know a lot of people are fans of McBride, but I don't really see it. Everyone has their own sense of humor so I suppose I could understand why someone might find his sense of humor funny, but he's not for me, especially on a big budget picture like this. He feels more suited for TV. This movie could have been something that showed up on the SyFy network, or as a made-for-HBO film but what amazed me is that the actual production was pretty good.
The costumes, sets and overall look of the movie was pretty good. I don't know what the budget was, but they did a really amazing job of making the movie look good, which made the lack of humor even more apparent. The special effects were even decent, when they were used, except for creepy smoking creature who liked to be molested. Still not sure what was up with him (it?). Natalie Portman looked absolutely stunning - arguably the best she's ever looked in a movie. And even the story wasn't bad. So the movie had everything going for it except it wasn't funny! The trailers didn't look very appealing but once I saw the red band trailer I understood why - they couldn't really show the true nature of the film on regular TV. Once I saw the red band trailer and realized why this was rated R, my hopes went up a little, but I was sorely disappointed in the final outcome. And don't start thinking that this was meant to be an adventure film with comedy mixed in. This was clearly a movie that was supposed to be funny first, and everything else second. When you try and get laughs multiple times out of a Minotaur penis, you know you're struggling. Having the characters swear in their medieval garb was humorous for the first couple of minutes and after that, there was nothing else for the movie to hold on to.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I didn't like Your Highness. The only reason I didn't give it an F is because visually it was a good film, and Natalie Portman looked amazing. But from a comedy standpoint I laugh more at T-Mobile commercials.