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The special effects now look dated but I still enjoyed the story and had forgotten how darn funny and visually interesting it is. Yes you can still see the wires holding up Christopher Lambert at the end (the film predated digital wire removal) but the final silhouetted sword fighting scene with big camera tracking shots is still as awesome as ever (and much copied – I’m thinking of Skyfall and Kill Bill. But I guess there’s some Japanese films and a few pop videos that used the idea before Highlander) and the bit where he says “there can be only one” directly into camera in his funny accent just before the windows 'pop' is as awesome as ever.
Talking pop, I didn’t realize that the director, Russel Mulcahy, started out doing Duran Duran videos (‘Wild Boys’ for instance) and that Highlander was only his second film. Mulcahy pulls quite a few excellent scene-changing tricks such as moving up ‘through’ a car park ceiling to behind a wall in medieval Scotland to reveal (the now much filmed) Eilean Donan castle on its tidal island and later moving up from an aquarium in Nash’s modern New York apartment to the surface of a loch where Ramirez is teaching the young Connor Macleod to balance in a rowing boat.
For me the film is helped immensely by Sean Connery’s role as mentor to Macleod and Clancy Brown’s turn as The Kurgan which mixes comedy and evilness to great effect. I was recently delighted to recognize him in the film Homefront. The Kurgan of course got the best lines and these were used a bit on Queen’s A Kind of Magic album that contained the songs from the film. Roxanne Hart’s character was unfortunately rather two-dimensional and I would rather had seen more of Heather Macleod or the enigmatic Rachel who Macleod rescues from the ‘master race’ in an excellent WWII scene.
Christopher Lambert plays the highlander of the title "Connor Macloud" whose Scottish accent has become the stuff of folklore its so bad. Sean Connery (a Scotsman playing an Egyptian ?!) is his guide who trys to prepare him for the conflict that will inevitably come his way. The supporting cast is full of great character actors; Clancy Brown, Hugh Quarshie, Christopher Malcom, James Cosmo to name only a few.
This Version has the flashback scenes intact which are great to see as they track Macloud through the ages up to the present day. The sound quality isnt the best, but Queens superb soundtrack still packs a punch.
A great adventure that has everything.
Every bit as good as I remembered (if you ignore the colourful language, the macho nonsense and the low-level homophobia).
Then I ruined myself by trying the second film on DVD - I won't bother with the third or fourth!
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