Saturday, 11 July 2015

Highlander (1986)

A French man plays a Scottish highlander who is told that he is one of a race of immortals by a 1000 year old Spanish named Egyptian played by a Scot, and is hunted through the centuries by a Russian warlord played by an American.

Highlander is one of those films that really shouldn't work but somehow does. The effects are ropey, the sword-fights slow and laughable, and the dialogue cheesy. Even worse, the film has dated pretty badly displaying the lighting and editing of a eighties pop music video. Then why the hell did I enjoy it so much?

Told partially in flashbacks covering periods from sixteenth century Scotland to the battlefields of the Second World War, Highlander is a story of love, life, passion - it's a fucking opera! The mythos is interesting, although we are left thirsty for more of the background of the immortals. The characters are well rounded and come with histories that link the different time periods together quite nicely. Clancy Brown is suitably huge and menacing, Sean Connery is loud and foppish, and Christopher Lambert is roguish, but in my eyes Sheila Gish's character Rachel almost steals the film with the look she gives Connor; so full of love, regret and sadness. These are characters we become invested in.

Unlike Connor MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod, the years have not been kind and it doesn't quite have the impact it had back in the day but it's still a really fun film and, dare I say, ready for a reboot?

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