Dopey take on Men in Tights

TO be fair, unless you are a hard-core Natalie Portman fan it is unlikely that anyone who raced to the flicks to see surreal-ballet drama Black Swan, would also be chomping at the bit to see a slapstick medieval comedy starring the same actress.

But those who do, will find Oscar-winning Miss Portman taking something of a swan-dive from the lofty pedestal on which film-fans might have placed her.

While on paper the premise looks good, unless you like Monty Python-style madness, combined with American accents and a cast who seem to be, ahem, high on life, this might not be for you.

Prince Thadeous (Danny McBride) is an un-charming, dope smoking, prince. His effeminate brother Prince Fabious (Franco) is about to get married to Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), but she is stolen by an evil warlock (Justin Theroux) who is bent on evil intent.

Suddenly Thadeous finds people have expectations of him to act all princely by saving Belladonna and the day.

He, Fabious and valet Courtney (Rasmus Hardiker), team up with fearsome warrior Isabel (Portman) to seek an end that is happy ever after.

Unfortunately the pot holes in the script are numerous. Be it the dopey-smoke the cast seem to be permanently enjoying, combined with an adolescent love of swearing, lame jokes and a half-baked story-line, the only people who might really adore this film are too young to be allowed into the cinema.

Portman is one of several well-regarded actors who manages not to take herself too seriously and, due to the fact she can act, is pretty funny to boot. But you have to wonder, has she made a pact with herself to accept any old film script which comes her way, because surely she could let her lighter side shine in something much cleverer and funnier than this?

Crude, lewd and a bit of a plodder, this film would attract the eye for all the wrong reasons if it were honestly described in a dating ad.

If it were a bus passenger it would be an adolescent boy making his mates titter by gassing a lone female commuter with his own emissions.

One to watch if you are said teenager and friends, probably one to avoid if you are more like the target of their hilarity.