Thursday, December 1, 2011

Movie Reviewed - Highlander

There can be only one.

For whatever else you might think of it, Highlander gave us one of the all time great lines in movie history. And there are plenty of reasons to either love or hate Highlander, depending on your ability and/or willingness to suspend reality, and put aside some completely over-the-top acting.

The story is interesting enough, as it attempts to incorporate a medieval fantasy story into modern times. It's clearly written by a young man, but as I've got the maturity level of a pimply 15-year-old, I can appreciate it. Connor McLeod (Christopher Lambert) is a Scottish highlander who discovers that he's one of a select few Immortals, destined to live forever until decapitated by another Immortal, culminating at an epic battle in New York City (I told you, it was clearly written by a young man).

The fight scenes are good. They're not the insane fight scenes that you get in a lot of new movies, but that almost makes them more believable. They're angry and loud, and while they don't give you the "oh shit!" moments that modern action scenes do, they seem to fit into the story perfectly.

The actual story progression is fairly slow, though, and outside of Sean Connery, the acting is gratuitous. While the concept of the story is interesting, the execution of it, particularly the modern portions in New York, are bland and uninspired. I think it'd be better served by spending more time following the many lifetimes of the various Immortals. It's possible that some of the sequels or the subsequent television show go into this, which is why I'll probably end up checking them out at some point.

There are a few well-placed Queen songs in the movie, and the villain is well-cast and, though he's a little much sometimes, well-acted. The love story is a little far-fetched, but in a world with people who live forever, some irrational acts by a woman don't seem so unreasonable. And in the end, you do find yourself rooting for the hero, which is kind of mandatory for any solid action flick. I think it's a film that gets over-appreciated sometimes, under-appreciated other times, and the reality is that it resides somewhere in the middle. Overall, I liked it as a time-killer, and am glad that I finally got around to watching it.

The Last Word: A neat concept along with plenty of Queen songs and some intense swordfights make for a decent enough movie, which is how I'd classify Highlander: decent enough.

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