Highlander (1986)

Article 3359 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-11-2010
Posting Date: 10-25-2010
Directed by Russell Mulcahy
Featuring Christopher Lambert, Roxanne Hart, Clancy Brown
Country: USA / UK
What it is: Action fantasy

An immortal (who can only die by decapitation) from the Scottish highlands must face off with an ancient foe for the Prize, a gift that will be bestowed on the last surviving immortal.

The opening music features a song by Queen at its most bombastically overbearing (and, as a fan, I need to point out that I don’t think the group’s music is always that way) and the opening scene is a wrestling match. These two items pretty much set up the type of movie that follows; a subtlety-deficient over-the-top action fantasy with lots of sword-wielding violence, warrior philosophy, and mystical/religious overtones. I’m not surprised that the plot and the concept seem a little threadbare, or that the main villain becomes more and more cartoonish as the movie proceeds; after all, the movie’s primary reason for existence is the action sequences, and the reason to make the characters immortals is so they can really make mincemeat of each other and come back for more. It’s no surprise that the emotional component of the story (the relationship between male immortals and female mortals) is lost in the mix. In the final analysis, I’d say the movie is a success; it does what it sets out to do; whether you like it depends on if you like what it sets out to do. Hint: If you like the opening Queen song and the wrestling scene, this movie will suit you just fine.

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