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Your Highness

2/10

Stars: Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel,
Damian Lewis, Charles Dance, Justin Theroux, Toby Jones, Rasmus Hardiker

Director: David Gordon Green

Imagine a bad modern-day Carry On film with lashings of bad language and deadeningly unfunny bad taste 'jokes' and you're half-way to grasping this medieval madness. That said, the performances of Sid James, Kenneth Williams and Co were far superior to most of those on display here. It's almost as if director Green had instructed his cast to act as unconvincingly as possible.

As princely brothers, one a dashing knight, the other a vulgar poltroon, Franco (channelling Jim Dale, badly) and TV comedian McBride vie for the year's Golden Raspberry as Worst Actor; it's a tie. No better is Oscar-winner Portman, collapsing under the weight of an English accent and such lines as 'I know that feeling. It's been burning in my beaver since I lost my brothers.'

And what reduced such distinguished UK players as Lewis, Dance and Jones to perform (badly) such ludicrous roles can only be imagined.

When his bride-to-be (Deschanel with the film's only passable performance) is kidnapped by an evil wizard (Theroux), Franco, reluctantly accompanied by McBride, and with the all-too-obviously-treacherous Lewis in tow, sets out to rescue her.

Special-effect monsters are variable, production design admirable, and a torrent of anachronistic four-letter words tossed willy-nilly into the script, presumably in the hope of getting some easy laughs. With wit and flair, this could have been fun - but the tired and sloppy treatment ruins any chance of that.

David Quinlan

USA 2010. UK Distributor: Entertainment-One (Universal). Technicolor.
101 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 3.

Review date: 08 Apr 2011