Your Highness

David Gordon Green’s new medieval comedy-adventure “Your Highness” is unenjoyable trash, and a film that’s two notches below his previous comedy, “Pineapple Express,” which also starred the gifted James Franco.

 

It can happen only in Hollywood that two of our most estimable stars, Franco and Natalie Portman, both Oscar nominees this year (he for “127 Hours,” she winning for “Black Swan”) can go within a matter of weeks from a height of their careers to such a low point.

 

I regret to inform that Franco, Portman and the other talented actors (Zooey Deschanel, Toby Jones, Justin Theroux) of this mishmash of a movie are totally wasted.

 

Masquerading as a revisionist tale, “Your Highness” is a variation of numerous tales of chivalry that revolve around young, vibrant, handsome knights, called upon to rescue told fair and helpless damsels, and in the process get to slay dragons and conquer evil.

 

Danny McBride (of “Pineapple Express” and “Tropic Thunder”) and James Franco play two princes-brothers on a daring mission to rescue the heir’s fiancée before the Kingdom of Mourne falls into chaos.

 

As expected, there is sibling rivalry: Thadeous (McBride) suffers from inferiority complex, a result of spending most of his life in the shadow of his older, brighter brother, Fabious (Franco), the crown prince whose “epic” journeys have inspired the people of Mourne.

 

When Fabious’ fiancée, Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), gets kidnapped by the evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theorux) in order to fulfill some bogus ancient prophecy, their father gives his boozy son an ultimatum: Man up and help rescue her, or get cut off.

 

Quite begrudgingly and nervously Thadeous joins Fabious on what is clearly his first quest to trek across the perilous outlands in search of his brother’s true love.

 

They are joined by the mysterious Isabel (Natalie Portman), a warrior princess with a dark agenda of her own.

 

Along the way, the princes must vanquish horrific creatures and traitorous knights before they reach Belladonna and save her.

 

Early on there is some fun to be had in the interaction between masters and servants, Courtney (Rasmus Hardiker), Julie (Toby Jones), and Boremont (Damien Lewis).

 

Soon, the men realize that no one can be trusted, and our heroes must face and fight betrayal.  Thadeous know that if he can only find his inner hero, he’ll earn the respect of his brother and father and will also prevent the destruction of their land.

 

The original, but decidedly unfunny, screenplay is credited to actor by Danny R. McBride and Ben Best (who had scripted HBO’s Eastbound & Down and The Foot Fist Way).

 

“Your Highness” represents the worst of commercial cinema, a prankish movie based on a single premise, which once exposed, has nowhere to go.