In New York, the owner of a sophisticated antique shop Russell Edwin Nash is challenged to a sword fight in the parking lot of the Madison Square Garden by a man called Iman Fasil that is beheaded by Russell. He hides his sword and is arrested by the police while leaving the stadium. Russell recalls his life in the Sixteenth Century in Scotland, when he is Connor MacLeod and is deadly wounded in a battle against another Clan. However he surprisingly survives and his Clan believes he has a pact with the devil and expels him from their lands. Then he meets Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez that explains that he is immortal unless he is beheaded. Further, the immortals dispute a game killing each other and in the end only one survives receiving a price with the power of the other immortals. Russell is released by the police, but the snoopy forensic agent Brenda J. Wyatt is attracted by the case since she founds fragments of an ancient Katana and follows Russell. But the also immortal ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I can honestly say that Highlander is one of the most original and affecting stories I have ever had the pleasure of viewing, although sadly not in the cinema. The film has its flaws but the cumulative effect of all the various elements make this a film that is really like no other, and often imitated. There are many elements in the film that were experimental at the time, especially for a genre film. The editing style is much more painterly and nonlinear than what one normally expects. The integration of modern songs in a period setting was handled brilliantly, with the crowning achievement of the film being the "who wants to live forever?" montage, which is an absolutely heartbreaking scene. Anyone who has ever truly loved someone will understand when you see it. One of the refreshing aspects of Highlander is that the movie is not just set up with an interesting concept and becomes a mindless action film from there, but that it actually comments on the questions posed by immortality. With Connor Macleod we are given a fantastic character who is brilliantly realized through Chrisopher Lambert's complex performance. The change he goes through from young, innocent Scotsman to a sad, world weary antiques dealer is a wonderful achievement. I actually feel through his performance how lonely the life of an immortal must be, and how he keeps people at a distance whereas to not get too deeply involved. This film has it's heart in the right place because it comments on the fact that when people lose everything they hold dear, in this case because Macleod will outlive everyone he cares about, they travel inward, cutting themselves off from the world in hopes that they will be spared the pain of seeing the ones they love die. From a story standpoint alone, this is a truly magnificent film, which isn't to say it is lacking in other areas. The camera angles are very inventive and some of the transitions between time frames are jaw-dropping. The musical score by Michael Kamen is lush and romantic, while at the same time allowing for an integration with the songs by Queen that is a tremendously successful idea that in theory you'd never think would work right, but strangely it does so extremely well. There is a wide range of performance in the film ranging from Lambert's subtle, understated interpretation of Connor, to Clancy Brown's flamboyantly theatrical portrayal of the main Villain. Sean Connery also makes quite an impression as Connor's mentor. He is both hilarious and charming, powerful and poignant. The female character's are also handled very well with Conner's first wife Heather being the standout. Highlander has a very odd sense of humor that seems to have come from improvisation from the actors. The entire film has a spontaneous energy that works very well because you never quite know what is going to happen next. This is not a perfect film, and sometimes it tends to fall back on genre stereotypes but the overall effect of the film more than makes up for it. Highlander is one of the more original films ever made, and sadly none of the sequels ever built on that. As far as the Highlander series goes; There can be only one, and this is it.
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