Your Highness / Fast Five

A two-film Saturday night courtesy in a change of Gillian’s mum’s shifts. The two which fit nicely into our available timeslot were as follows:

Your Highness

“Quests suck!”

See it if you like: Dungeons & Dragons and drawing cocks on school text books.

Plot-in-a-nutshell: Useless prince has to help awesome brother on a quest to rescue a maiden from an evil wizard. While telling cock jokes.

Your Highness is a very silly film from the people who made Pineapple Express which I’ve not seen. I can see it being a very divisive film – you’ll enjoy it or you’ll think it’s awful. I doubt there will be any middle ground. I also think that watching it over a few beers would be best.

The story tells of Prince Thadeous (Danny McBride) and his squire Courtney (Rasmus Hardiker) who must help elder brother and all round superstar Fabious (James Franco) rescue his virginal bride-to-be Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel) from evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux). On the way they encounter tough-as-nuts questress Isabel (Natalie Portman).

There. That gets the cast out of the way. A cast, incidentally, who apparently improvised the majority of the dialogue. Impressive. Even if the dialogue is fairly basic and full of sexual innuendo. And sexism. And tasteless insults. As I said – best watched with beer.

The cast do carry things off very well, and it’s quite a surprise to see Portman in particular move from OSCAR nomination in Black Swan to such completely different fare. Franco overacts in just the right way while McBride and Hardiker pair off well as the useless slob prince and his aide who doesn’t realise what a dick he is.

For an admittedly low brow comedy, the production values are quite high and the special effects and action sequences aren’t badly done at all.

Definitely not one you’ll be taking the kids to see unless you want to start explaining about Minotaur penises and why a hand would be like a vagina. Let your inner schoolchild enjoy it and you’ll have a good time.

Fast Five

“One last job, then we disappear forever.”

See if it you like: the thought of Newton spinning in his grave

Plot-in-a-nutshell: Members of the casts from all four previous films get together to pull off one last huge job before the franchise retires.

The gang’s all here – and then some. Pulling in cast members from all the films, including the somewhat sideways jump of Tokyo Drift, Fast Five aims to finish the franchise with a bang (although there are rumours of a sixth…)

We watched the fourth instalment the other night in preparation and I realised how slow it was. Gillian really didn’t enjoy it either. A few action sequences held together with a rather dull plot. Definitely the weakest of the series so far after the novelty of the first, buddy/buddy laughs of the second and scenery change of the third.

Fast Five manages to take all the ridiculous madness of the previous four, shove them through a blender, syphon off anything to do with Newtonian physics and pour the mixture onto celluloid. My only regret about watching this film is that I didn’t see it on IMAX.

As I think I hinted at, I think the laws of physics **** themselves when this film hit the screens. It makes no sense whatsoever. On the other hand… who, seriously, cares? It’s got cars, babes, muscle-bound men, explosions, crashes, trains, dirt, guns, grenades, rocket launchers, laughs, spills, fights, romance…

OK, so the plot in brief. Brian (Paul Walker) and Dom (Vin Diesel) team up to pull a huge job in Rio, taking down a drug lord and making themselves massively rich. In a not-very-well-hidden nod to the likes of Ocean’s Eleven they require a group of specialists. This is where they raid the back-catalogue of characters.

The cast definitely seem on a high and there are some really funny moments and great dialogue as they bicker and cajole. This fleshes out the utterly mind-blowing action scenes. If you thought the opening stunts in the last few films were a little over-the-top, you’ve seen nothing yet.

And that’s nothing compared to the final sequence. Good – and indeed – grief. For those with as much as a Physics GCSE, kindly partition off that section of your brain (particularly the segment to do with friction, force, acceleration and so forth) otherwise you’ll just turn in to a gibbering Newtonian wreck. I opted to sit there and giggle at the incredible destruction and sheer ludicrousness of the entire thing.

I know it’s only April, but I can see this ranking as one of the best action films of the year by the time we hit Christmas. Like all the best shows it leaves the audience wanting more. Whether we’ll get that is anyone’s guess.

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