In a future, private underground prison/Fortress, the inmates are computer controlled with CCTV, dream readers and devices that can cause pain or death. John and his illegally pregnant wife are inside but want to escape before birth.
In New York City, 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 fatally 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, who 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 prize 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 found fragments of an ancient Katana and follows Russell. But the also ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Clancy Brown improvised the line in which he poignantly addresses the sparse congregation and clergy in the church, "I have something to say! It's better to burn out... Than to fade away!!!" "It's better to burn out than to fade away" were also lyrics to the Neil Young song " Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)" released on his 1979 album "Rust Never Sleeps", and the Def Leppard song "Rock of Ages", released on their "Pyromania" album in 1983. See more »
Immortals are blessed with healing powers, yet the Kurgan keeps the throat scar after Ramirez cuts him that should have healed. See more »
Versions shown on the Sci-Fi Channel and USA Networks are heavily cut, and not just because of the head-chopping sequences. Many parts of the movie were removed for airing on these networks, including much of the Ramirez training sequence, most of the "Who Wants to Live Forever" sequence, all of the flashback to 1783, and other various pieces of scenes and their dialogue, making for an extremely chopped-up movie. See more »
Largely panned by the critics, but surprisingly a good, ingenious sci-fi offering.
Highlander is an ingenious and very entertaining science fiction film which has come in for rather a lot of (unwarranted) scathing criticism. Although the plot jumps around with reckless abandon, the scripters Gregory Widen, Larry Ferguson and Peter Bellwood manage to pull in all the loose ends by the climax. The word "confusing" has been used to describe the film quite often as well, but if you stick with it the confusing moments are explained quite cleverly towards the closing reels. This is, in fact, not a bad film at all. I'd venture to say it's a pretty good one.
The opening sequence has Russell Nash (Christopher Lambert) at a wrestling match in New York's Madison Square Gardens. He leaves early, and while walking through the underground car park is confronted by a man with a sword. Nash is not perturbed by this - he merely brandishes a sword of his own, and the pair of them fight to the death, resulting in the decapitation of Nash's opponent. Slowly, we learn (via flashbacks) that Nash is an immortal swordsman who has spent centuries duelling with like immortals. The only way they can die is by decapitation at the hands of one of their counterparts. Each swordsman has spent the whole of history pursuing the others, hoping to be the last one alive whereupon he will gain mortality, virility and vast knowledge.
The film is very energetic (what would you expect from a former music video director?) with dazzling camera work and a pounding, Flash Gordon-style soundtrack by Queen. Sean Connery has a pleasant supporting role as an immortal who teaches Lambert the art of swordplay, and Alan North has a funny part as a bewildered cop who can't figure out why headless corpses keep turning up in his city. The film's intentionally muddled structure is slightly irritating on the first viewing, but with repeated viewings it becomes more comprehensible, even clever. Highlander is a good, inventive piece of hokum.... and it's a real shame that those very same critics who are always grumbling about the lack of cinematic imagination these days didn't give it some merit when it was first released.
119 of 137 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this