Your Highness (15)

1.00

Starring: James Franco, Danny McBride, Natalie Portman, Toby Jones

"Best. Quest. Ever."

Thus runs the tagline of this sword'n'sorcery spoof in which mullet-haired comic du jour Danny McBride plays Prince Thadeous, a spoilt, petulant layabout who resents his handsome, beloved brother, Fabious (James Franco). When the latter's fiancée (Zooey Deschanel) is kidnapped by an evil wizard who threatens to impregnate her (he doesn't put it like that), the royal brothers undertake a mission to rescue her, with a late-arriving Natalie Portman helping to kick medieval ass.

Just as in Bob Hope's Paleface films, the comedy is supposed to reside in the incongruous gap between the old verities – courage and duty – and the absolute lack of same in the supposed hero. But Danny McBride's cowardly lecher is no Bob Hope, and Ben Best's screenplay is woefully short of wit: his basic comic manoeuvre is to scatter lots of swearing in among the medieval dialogue and "funny" English accents, adding plentiful references to oral sex and masturbation. It almost made me think better of the Martin Lawrence romp Black Knight. Almost. How the filmmakers managed to line up an A-list cast is baffling, because they've been handed the Lamest. Gags. Ever.

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