It's hard to make a fantasy movie whose central dark magic moment is called "the fuckening," and still manage to convey a sweet, schmaltzy message about love conquering all. And yet that's just what Your Highness does.
This flick has all the goofball friendliness of a classic stoner movie ala Cheech and Chong, combined with the lowbrow sex jokes of American Pie and frosted over with a great parody of movies like Highlander and Clash of the Titans (yep, there's a Bubo reference). Obviously if you don't like stoners and crass jokes, you won't like this film. But if you're like me and have a sense of humor that's still stuck in seventh grade, then Your Highness will have you repeating one-liners for days after. It actually has some fun special effects, too.
I am the kind of person who would actually get stoned and yell, "I'm going to use magic, motherfucker!" So it was with great pleasure that I discovered that Your Highness has a scene where pretty much that exact thing happens - except it was a wizard yelling about magic, and main character Thadeous (Danny McBride) who was stoned.
Dear readers, at this point I have a confession to make. I was going to be a good reviewer and watch this movie as it was intended by smoking a nice fat one on the way to the theater so I'd arrive in a perfect frame of mind. But unfortunately I had to work late, and I just didn't have time to run out and buy weed. Believe me, I was as shocked as you are that I would have to face this movie without cannabis. But you know what? It was STILL good! That's right. I watched this movie stone-cold sober and I liked it. Not only that, but I brought along my straight-edger friend who has never touched a leaf of pot in his life, and he liked it too!
So what I'm saying is that smoking up before this movie is purely optional. This is the kind of valuable information you need in a movie review, and I'm delivering, people.
The plot of the film is pretty simple. Every 100 years, roughly, an evil wizard tries to create an evil dragon by fucking a virgin - this is known as "the enfuckening." But he's always opposed by a band of good and true knights sworn "to stop all people who try to create dragons by fucking." This time around, the virgin is the betrothed of the good/handsome/noble Prince Fabious. When the wizard Lezaar kidnaps her, the King sends Fabious and his stoner brother Thadeous on a quest to find the kingdom's Princess-to-be. What's lovable about this film is that right away, even through all the dick and butt jokes, we see that Fabious truly loves both his ne'er-do-well brother and his bride. And for all his stoner slobbishness, Thadeous is basically a good guy who will rise to the occasion.
Also, just in case you were wondering whether the entire movie would be people getting stoned and trying to wave swords around - no, it isn't. In fact, Thadeous pretty much stops smoking weed fairly early in the journey as he starts to take more responsibility for the quest. After Fabious' men betray the two brothers, they're left on their own with Thadeous' man Courtney (Rasmus Hardiker, the movie's secret gem) - and a mysterious warrior they meet on the road named Isabel (Natalie Portman, doing a great job playing it straight against Thadeous' complete weirdo). Together, they deal with a perverted wise muppet, fight a scary multiheaded serpent, brave the lusty attentions of a minotaur, and head for a completely batshit insane showdown with Lezaar and his three witch mothers.
The jokes don't rise much above the belt, but there is never a hint that Isabel's chickhood makes her any less of a buddy to our main characters. She's as good a warrior as Fabious, and Thadeous is completely smitten with her because she never takes any crap from him. It's great to see a bromance where women get to join in the bonding. I will say, however, that one unfortunate side-effect of all the bromantic dick-waving is that there are a lot of gay jokes, which are mostly benign but may send you into "c'mon guys fuck off with the homophobia" territory a couple of times.
Your Highness is not destined to be a classic comedy like Princess Bride, but it's still damn good fun. There's an almost kiddie-movie level of sweetness to this movie, where villains eat fish sticks and heroes never take themselves very seriously. Plus, as I said earlier, there's a genuine kindness at the core of this foul-mouthed tale, that proverbial heart of gold inside the dick. There may be a lot of slapstick but there's pretty much no snark at all.
Anybody who has spent their life gorging on cheesy fantasy flicks will revel in the many hat-tips to our favorite franchises in Your Highness. If you're just looking for a seriously lowbrow, crass good time, this movie should be your weekend pick.