That’s “Your Highness” in a nutshell (pun not intended): an utterly juvenile comedy flooded with jokes of anal rape, masturbation and other acts that involve this part and that part, but not in service to any story. “Pineapple Express” director David Gordon Green re-teams with Danny McBride, who also co-wrote this film, for a limp spoof (?) of medieval adventures, complete with a mechanical bird, a chastity belt, a cyclops head, weed smoking and quite possibly an undercurrent of homophobia.
I have a theory that McBride is best taken in small doses, which is why his HBO half-hour series, “Eastbound & Down,” is hilarious, and why “Your Highness” feels like a task. “Eastbound” also tells an actual story with characters that are well-developed among the explicit situations; with “Highness,” I didn’t laugh once — and that’s even in watching the DVD’s unrated version, which adds three minutes of potential.
In support of McBride’s spoiled, lazy character are James Franco and Natalie Portman, who should be embarrassed. Only Justin Theroux (“Zoolander”), as the piece’s sorcerer villain, squeezes any juice out of what he’s given, but he’s not enough to save this royal mess. —Rod Lott