Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Your Highness

It's every bit as juvenile as the trailers would have you believe. And a bit more; I don't think I've seen a movie with more dick jokes. Or pedophilia jokes. And it's more than a little homophobic.

If certain people are right about the general makeup of the computer gaming population, then this movie is for them, and if they find it, then Universal should make out like bandits at the box office. In general, however, I can't recommend it unless your fondest childhood memories involve cracking jokes after gym in the locker room in junior high.

However, I do have to give the production props in a number of areas. The cinematography is surprisingly good, as are the costumes, sets, and props. There are touches of painfully silly here and there, but I'd hold up all these areas against the second Conan flick or any of the Deathstalker movies. Sure, I expect special effects to look better, but set design and costumes?

The soundtrack is not bad, but it's clearly designed to invoke memories of music from computer games, with a heavily synthesized sound in parts that makes you think of the soundtrack to old 8-bit RPGs and such. It doesn't quite clash with the full-on orchestra and choral work we get at the more exciting moments, and those might be good for mining for game-time music; like the surprisingly good soundtrack for "Van Helsing," I'll bet it sets the right mood without invoking images from a movie most people won't remember much of a few years later. In its quieter moments it's clearly channeling Basil Poledouris' "Conan" soundtrack, and at other times, it's got some really solid action beats.

So yeah, maybe catch this one on the cheap as you can, or if you're really in the mood for what it's offering. You'll get a few laughs, and be reminded at least once of jokes or situations that came up around the table. And if that's what you want, it's spot-on.


The Hopeless Gamer said...

I appreciate you taking the hit on this one to see it and review it for the rest of us. It sounds exactly as horrible as it looked, which is a neat trick considering I like all three of the lead actors.

Anonymous said...

I guess it didn't find it's audience, as it's currently bombing at the box office.

Unknown said...

This is something I have never understood. The main audience for a fantasy movie are those people who enjoy the genre and embrace it. For everyone else a fantasy movie has no interest for them and they won't go.

So why make a movie in a genre when you belittle and degrade the genre? All you do is alienate your audience.

In reality this is not a fantasy movie, but rather one of those juvenile parody movies. I do not think it was ever intended to draw an audience that actually likes the fantasy genre.

Lagomorph Rex said...

I think I had a totally different take on it.. I thought it was quite good.. in spite of the needless raunch.

kathulhu said...

I wouldn't say it was good but I enjoyed it. I laughed the whole time & I foresee a lot of references made at our D&D table. I saw it with my gaming group & we all agree that the movie pretty much played out like one of our sillier game sessions. And then we realized that out of all of the guys, I probably make more crude jokes than anyone. So there you go! :)

trollsmyth said...

Hopeless: Yeah, if you don't like what you see in the trailers, don't go. Like "Sucker Punch," it's exactly what it says it is on the tin.

Callin: I never felt belittled or insulted, but I could see why some people would. Nor did I think they were doing that to the genre. It's a crude, juvenile comedy that happens to have fantasy trappings and themes. It does poke fun at fantasy conventions and movies (the way nobody wears armour, the gross trophies of the victorious warrior, the cute mechanical bird sidekick a la the Harryhausen "Clash of the Titans") but it's in no way worse in that than, say, "Holy Grail."

And I will say this: the one thing I was worried about going into it was that it would wallow in bitterness and spite. Nope, didn't go there. Didn't even flirt with it the way "Mystery Men" did.

Lagomorph Rex: Glad to hear it. :)

Kathulhu: Yeah, and going with the right group of friends is probably vital to your enjoyment of this flick. Audience reaction (especially in some of the minotaur scenes) is a lot of the fun.

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