Director: Russell Mulcahy
Swordsman Connor McLeod is immortal. He has fought many battles over the years but his greatest one is upon him now in the year 1985 . It is the time of the gathering, an event where all the immortals seek each other out to do battle. The one left standing gets what they refer to as: The Prize. They’re can be only one…
"Here We Are, Born To Be Kings, We’re The Princes Of The Universe"…the second those classic lines are sung during the opening credits (by Queen no less) we know we are embarking on a special journey. Highlander is a film that has aged very well, a movie that was ahead of its time. All the ingredients of a classic are here: The sensitive, fearless hero, the ruthless villain, the mentor, the action, the romance, the mystery, the film has it all. What separates Highlander from other "action" movies (and its sequels) is that even though the situation is fantasy, the characters are draw very close to reality. Even the rambunctious Kurgan feels like a real human being (who’s nuts) and if you compare him to the villains in all three sequels, you’ll see what I mean. The bad dudes in the sequels are cartoon characters, unlike the Kurgan.
The film’s transitions between the present and the past are very well handled and all the time frames complement each other, therefore strengthening the story. The film is also very romantic, witnessing Connor’s love for his wife till the unavoidable end is heartbreaking. We get humor courtesy of the flamboyant Ramirez and The Kurgan also gets a few chuckles out of us thanks to his outrageousness.
My minor pet peeve about the film is the ending. I’m just not too hip to the cartoon demons but I got over it very quickly.
I recommend you see the Director’s Cut which fills in a plot hole that’s in the theatrical cut (how does Kurgan find Brenda in the end) and fleshes out the past between Rachel and Connor.
This is an action movie with heart. The scenes that take place in Scotland are sometimes overwhelming with emotion, helped by the powerful score. Add to that brilliant direction, groovy sword fights and Lambert at his prime and you get a film that is not unlike its title character…immortal…
Decapitated heads, bullet hits and The Kurgan’s nasty appearance. Not a very gory film but enough violence to satisfy.
Christopher Lambert (Connor) is at his charismatic best. With his somber eyes, his glowing laugh and his kool 6 o clock shadow, he commands the screen. He brings sadness and much humor to the part, humor that is very him. Roxanne Heart (Brenda) brings credible support as the love interest du jour. Clancy Brown (Kurgan) is very imposing as the villain. He kinda looks like The Terminator and he’s utterly badass. He has fun with the part without falling in the overacting trap. Sean Connery’s (Ramirez) presence lightens the tone of the film, he and Lambert have wonderful chemistry. Beatie Edney’s (Heather) beauty can speak for itself. A radiant glow emanates from her and she put a spell on me. She’s also a very sincere actress.
T & A
Roxanne Heart’s tatas make a light appearance and so does Lambert’s fit derriere.
One thing that I particularly love about this flick is the way Mulcahy transitions between the present and the past, very creative and effective. The camera moves a lot in this film sometimes very gracefully. Mulcahy’s music video background is apparent, the lighting is very in your face, lots of red and blue. In all this is a very tight film.
The score used for the Scotland scenes is beautiful and overwhelming. It makes the scenes so much more powerful. We hear a lot of "Queen" through out the flick but my fav song has to be the love ballad: "Want To Live Forever". For the present day we sometime get a typical 80’s keyboard score, it feels weak compared to the rest of the movie’s soundtrack.
Breathtaking scenery, real emotion, fun action and interesting characters make this a flick one to remember. The story is also very original and the direction very flashy for its time. Forget the sequels, forget the series, Highlander The Movie is the victor. They’re can be only one…
Christopher Lambert spent time with a dialogue coach, developing an accent which sounded non-specifically foreign.
Clancy Brown nearly turned down the role of Kurgan, concerned that his allergy to makeup would prevent him from wearing the prosthetics required late in the film.
MacLeod says "It's a kind of magic", which is the name of the Queen album which contains songs from the film. The Vietnam vet who tries to machine-gun Kurgan has the Queen song "Hammer to Fall" playing in his car.
The castle where Connor MacLeod lived is the same castle used for the interior shots for Monty Python And The Holy Grail.
Non-American versions of this film include a WWII flashback sequence showing MacLeod rescuing Rachael, where he tells her "It's a kind of magic".
Unused footage includes a sequence with Kurgan fighting an immortal security guard named Yung Dol Kim in an office building. Kim, tiring of his immortal life, yields to Kurgan, who takes his head.
The castle the McLeod’s leave in early scenes is Eilean Donnan, or MacRae castle. Above the door is a plaque which read "Whenever there is a MacRae inside there will never be a Fraser outside." And they are going to battle with the Frasers.