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Your Highness
  • Composed by Steve Jablonsky
  • Varèse Sarabande / 2011 / 60:14

A comedic medieval adventure story, Your Highness is about the lazy younger brother of a noble knight and their attempts to rescue Natalie Portman.  Full of swashbuckling fun, I’m sure.  If this had been a serious film then, given that it’s 2011, we’d have got a mix of Gladiator and King Arthur and all that stuff written by a Remote Control composer (see the recently-reviewed Ironclad to see how badly that would probably have turned out).  Since it’s a silly film then we get one of the few things which is actually less appealing even than that, and that’s an extremely silly version of those scores.  Yes, even sillier than the King Arthur score – hard to imagine, I know, but true.

The Zimmer-style action music (Zimmer of a few years ago) is beyond hideous; it’s cheap-sounding junk, which would likely get graded an F if submitted by an elementary school student in a music project.  As with many comedy scores, this one does veer around all over the place, and fortunately it does go via some far more palatable places en route on its madcap journey.  Most surprisingly, there’s a bit of seemingly straight-laced Goldsmithian orchestral action music.  Steve Jablonsky, if you can compose like this – please do.  Ditch the stupid cheap RC sound, it’s garbage – write like this.  Such a shame there’s only a few minutes of that in the score.  The other highlight is a lovely theme, heard with the added attraction of Lisbeth Scott vocals in the second cue, “Isabel the Strong” – again, genuinely good.  So frustrating that the bulk of the album is so poor when the composer is evidently capable of writing music so much better.  **

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  1. André (Reply) on Sunday 12 August, 2012 at 14:14

    Some critics refused to star-rate this movie as it was so awful. I sat through it to listen to Jablonsky’s score – and loved it. The opening sequence with its stylised Middle-Ages influence cross-fading into a chanting male chorus & exquisite love theme, is masterful. The ‘muscular’ action music is energetic if, at times, repetitive while the sorcery cues embellish the visuals with their mix of dramedy. The CD release, with its stunning audio quality, is a favourite.