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Your Highness

YOUR HIGHNESS Your Highness plays like a dirty-joke blooper reel made by the cast of a junky sword-and-sorcery epic, streaked with carelessly contemporary-sounding blue humor, blunt profanity replacing the naughty-naughty, tankard-sloshing, heaving-bosom ribaldry that goes with the period setting. The scene: a generic medieval realm from an EverQuest or Forgotten Realms module. Prince Thadeous (Danny McBride) resigns himself to live in the shadow of his firstborn brother, Fabious (James Franco, strapping straight man), until wicked wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux) kidnaps Fabious' beloved Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), and Fabious drags reluctant Thadeous along on a rescue quest. The fantasy setting is selected less for genre send-up — though there is obvious relish in putting dumpy McBride into Boris Vallejo landscapes — than to license anything-goes liberation. The movie's improvisatory recklessness, however, often settles for stock, fallback comedy: scenes lazily punch-lined on four-letter words, pot slang and gay jokes offensive only in their lack of originality. The constant raunch spoofs on the horny confusion of the adolescent audience to whom fantasy art has traditionally catered. In the film's opening credits, Prince Valiant–style illustrations of the characters are graffiti'd with drawn-on dicks, tits and lit joints — like the vandalized movie posters in the subway, which make the advertised products seem much more entertaining than they could ever possibly be. So through autodefacement does Your Highness restore the heroic saga. (Nick Pinkerton) (Citywide)


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