Medieval stoner comedy from the director of Pineapple Express with Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down) as an arrogant, lazy prince and James Franco as his heroic brother... Now playing nationwide, click here for movie times & the trailer.
The assorted scuzzy pleasures offered by this doggedly low brow comedy don’t add up to a heck of a lot, but it still manages to elicit a respectable number of chuckles.
Pineapple Express collaborators David Gordon Green, James Franco and Danny McBride (who co-wrote the screenplay with his Eastbound & Down co-writer Ben Best), clearly watched The Princess Bride one day, and decided there weren’t enough dick jokes and F-bombs.
That seems to be the thinking behind this phallic, F-word-filled folly, which mines most of its humour from locating McBride’s trademark offensive slob stylings in a medieval setting. So how much you enjoy this will depend on your tolerance/affection for his particular schtick. I happen to be a big fan, but even I was tiring slightly of the film by the time the finale rolled around.
The co-stars are all very game - Franco’s perfectly pompous and Natalie Portman’s pointedly perky while Justin Theroux (Louis’ cousin!) sinks his teeth into his villainous turn as a lecherous wizard.
The special effects and action set-pieces are mostly decent, but prepare yourself for the sight of a Minotaur raping McBride’s put-upon man-servant Courtney. It’s that kind of movie.
Less of a stoner comedy than the title and marketing suggested, but still impressively committed to being as offensive as possible, I found myself appreciating the depths this was willing to plumb.