Thoughts on Your Highness
This past weekend, Monte and I went to see "Your Highness," the new fantasy adventure stoner comedy starring Danny McBride and James
Franco. Neither one of us had strong supposition that it would actually be
particularly good, but I thought that it would be a topic of conversation in
the broader gaming community, so I pressed us to go.
Yes, Monte, you can totally blame me, if you want.
Anyway, when it was all said and done, we stood in
the theater lobby feeling vaguely unsatisfied. (This was the third straight
movie I'd gone to that underperformed at least enough to pull the wind from my
sails.) After a few minutes, Monte looked at me and said, "The thing is, it was
better than both of the D&D movies ... but not as funny." And he was right.
The setting, costuming, characters, and even most of the writing created an
interesting fantasy world that I found engaging and even fairly immersive. (The
only real exceptions were a few characters they portrayed using Farscape-style puppets.)
And as the week has rolled on, I realized that I'm
not so much disappointed that "Your Highness" was a mediocre movie. I really
EXPECTED that. I'm disappointed that the best non-adaptation high-fantasy film
in years is a non-funny stoner comedy ... that no one who sets out to make a
good fantasy adventure film is able to create as cool, exciting, fantastic, and
gameable a setting as they did for this really stupid movie where the fantasy
elements really were supposed to be a backdrop for the fart jokes.
It's almost as if the director had a better vision
for the fantasy than for the comedy ... but that the only way he could get it
produced was to sell it as a comedy.
Really, I can't say that I recommend going out to
see "Your Highness" in the theater ... but it will certainly make a good
Netflix rental in a few months' time.