This might be very obvious, but pretty much this entire movie banks on whether or not you find Danny McBride funny. Because there’s not that much else to offer.
I happen to find his vulgar one-liners to be hilarious, so I thought Your Highness was at the very least a decent comedy, but not great. It does deliver on its premise though; a cast of straight-faced actors behaving for the most part as if they are in an actual fantasy/action movie, interacting with a ridiculously profane Danny McBride character. While the vulgarity often falls into modern slang (usually to great comic effect), McBride doesn’t ever act like he’s a modern character, so Your Highness never strays into Martin Lawrence Black Knight territory.
Overall, though, this could have been a lot funnier. And I’m not sure why it wasn’t. It goes by the Eastbound & Down formula I know and love, having Danny McBride being a degenerate loser who has an even lowlier lackey he can boss around to inflate his undeserved ego. Maybe it was the mix of comedy and serious action that weighed down on it all, ruining the overall comedic pacing of the film. In a way I liked that the action scenes were often legitimately good from a fantasy film perspective, but it also inflated the running time of a stoner comedy film that probably should have been much shorter.
It has its laugh out loud moments; like the encounter with the perverted wise man, the minotaur scene, and couple scenes with Justin Theroux as the evil wizard. But they are few and far between. Most of the movie just results in smiles and small chuckles. They do a good job of keeping the likes of Natalie Portman and James Franco as straight-faced normal characters so that by the end of the film when they say a ridiculous comment also in straight face, it gets a good laugh, almost being a Leslie Nielsen-type delivery. Zooey D is also surprisingly funny in a small role as a naive damsel in distress.
Fans of Eastbound & Down (like myself) should at least get a kick out of Your Highness, and find it moderately funny. Everyone else should probably steer clear of this one.
7 out of 10