Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Your Highness – 102 min –R
I thought the AC was on in the theater because I felt a breeze. As it turns out the breeze was coming from all of the sucking from the screen. There is not enough red in the world to express how bad this movie was. I am a fan of at least two of the performers, so I thought if nothing else, I could see past all of the poor aspects of this film and focus on them. No, I couldn’t. I ended up feeling sorry for them and wondering what tragic series of events resulted in them performing in this movie. Perhaps they lost a bet. I typically try and say something good about a movie even if I did not like it. So, let me think. Hum. Oh, I have one; I never have to see this movie again.
The story takes place in a fantasy world where there are two princes: Fabious (James Franco), the classic hero-type and Thadeous (Danny McBride), his lazy, stoner brother are forced to quest together when Fabious’s bride, Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), is kidnapped by the evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux). On their journey they get some help from a fellow hero named Isabel (Natalie Portman). They stumble and bumble from one profane joke to the next without really doing anything. This film is one long string of vulgar jokes that focus on drugs, sex and other sophomoric hijinks.
This movie fails because of a poor concept. It all starts with the script, or stopped in this case. The ones to blame are Danny McBride and Ben Best. When writing crude humor it needs two parts, not just vulgarity but also cleverness. Giggling at your own fart jokes is not entertainment. The Director, David Gordon Green, has done some good stuff in All the Real Girls and George Washington. He has even worked with the stoner genre in Pineapple Express so it’s not like he is unfamiliar with this kind of subject matter, the only thing I can think of is that it’s the script. You can see from a production stand point where the cast and crew were really trying to make this work. The cast is giving it their all, but it’s hard to offset the complete lack of substance in the script.
I can see how this project got funding, if you add up the elements separately you might have a good product here. Some real named talent for the cast, a great crew in Tim Orr cinematographer, Craig Alpert for editing and Gary Freeman for art direction. So far so good we have a good crew and cast and having Gordon at the helm, looking good. Um, did anyone stop and read the script before setting off with the prize winning ensemble? I am guessing no.
I was only brought to this movie for Portman and Deschanel. I have liked their work in the past and looked forward to seeing what they do with this challenge. I ended up feeling bad for them. It was like watching someone tell a really bad joke and they are completely oblivious as to the depth of the embarrassment at its failure. They really had nothing to do in the film, each of them were nothing more than decoration for all they were given to do. What a shame. It’s like having a high performance sports car and never driving it, just park it and look at it.
I wonder sometimes as people are making movies do they see the train wreck they are on or are departments so compartmentalized that they don’t see the work adding up to failure? Or is it something that they can see but have no way of turning away from the enviable crash, so with no other option, they sell it for all they are worth. If you are going to Suck, SUCK BIG!!
This reviews question is around what your thoughts are on why this film failed? OR did you really like it? My apologies if you were unfortunate enough to have watched it. After we have talked about it let’s turn our back on this bad experience and never speak of it again.