Friday, 5 August 2011

Your Highness, dir. David Gordon Green, wr. Danny McBride, Ben Best, st. Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel, Justin Theroux, Charles Dance

Director David Gordon Green is apparently quoted as having said that the entire dialogue was improvised with only a bare-bones outline having been written by McBride and Best. Well that explains it then, for Your Highness is crass, dull and absolutely, terminally unfunny. True, what an individual concedes as 'funny' is entirely subjective, and what is supposed to be funny often divides and polarises opinion in a way no other art form does. In this case, the abrasion between the film's Noble Knight's Quest timeframe and profane frat-boy sex-speak is funny for about, oh the first minute or so, and then becomes tedious, before you're finally just filtering it out altogether, after which you're left with, well, not much really. It's the cinematic equivalent of finger-flicking the salmon off the top of your nigiri-zushi straight into the bin only to be left with boiled rice-mounds. Tasty. But the real shame is the talent on display being flushed away before our very eyes. Portman, about whom I admit with a heavy, yet still defiantly amorous heart, is the Empress of bad career moves, upsettingly comes off worse out of all this. Like her role in Don Roos' The Other Woman back in 2009, it's another spectacular misfire. And don't get me started on Charles Dance, who hams and bill-pays his way through his thankless turd of a role.