Discover more from (All (Parentheses))
Time Out New York Project: Issue #807, April 7-13, 2011
Dir. David Gordon Green. 2011. R. 102mins. Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel.
Lazybones medieval knight Thadeous (McBride) would rather be getting high on primo herb than going out on Cyclops-killing quests like his bodacious brother, Fabious (Franco). But then the evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux) kidnaps Fabious’s fiancée (Deschanel) to perform a not-so-nice ritual know as “the fuckening.” Egads, wenches, it’s time to end the motherfucker! Well…eventually.
David Gordon Green’s hard-R comedy is an ambler’s delight, never content to race so much as to linger on its crude yet benign misadventures. Despite the rescue-the-princess plot, the only thing that seems to be at stake is whether bow-and-arrow wielding warrior Isabel (Portman) will show off he perky bazoombas (only her G-string-clad badonkadonk gets some air time). Otherwise, it’s all strung-together comic vignettes — nicely photographed in widescreen by Green’s usual cinematographer, Tim Orr — that miss as much as they hit.
There are only so many ways an actor can punctuate faux-archaic dialect with righteous modern slang (“N-i-i-i-ce!” drawls Fabious just as the action-packed special-effects climax gets underway) before the wheels noticeably start to spin. But the belly laughs do come, many of them courtesy of the mechanical bird companion who recalls Bubo from Clash of the Titans or the hookah-smoking wise man who’s like a creature from The Dark Crystal crossed with Chester the Molester. It’s often the peripheral sights in Your Highness that tickle the funny bone as opposed to the too-easygoing ensemble — almost as if Green and his collaborators fully designed an off-kilter world, but let the people inhabiting it just wander around. Still, name another movie that can claim this world record: Most Guffaws Achieve with a Severed Minotaur Cock.—Keith Uhlich
Thanks for reading (All (Parentheses))! To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.