Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery star in this 1980’s fantasy adventure that has reached cult status to many. Highlander follows Connor Macleod (lambert), a 450 year old Scottish swordsman living in modern day New York under the name Russel Nash. He is one of few ‘immortals’ who will only die when their head is seperated from their body, and bound by a mysterious game to fight each other during the ‘gathering’ with the last one standing winning the fabeled ‘prize’.
Macloed’s story is told through time via flashbacks to his days as a simple man living with his wife in Scotland through to the present day. During his younger years, Connor goes into battle to defend his clan only to be mortally wounded. Being immortal though has its perks and Macloed recovers from his injury only to be banished by his family.
Along the way Conner crosses paths with Ramierz (Connery) another immortal who takes him under his wing and teaches him to harness his immortality and improve his swordsmanship. The immortals weapon of choice provide the catalyst for the story providing modern day warriors fighting with primitive weapons.
His adversary in battle known as the Kurgen (Clancy Brown) is a ruthless and brutal barbarian set on winning the prize for himself. While the Kurgen failed to kill Macloed in the middle ages he has survived for centuries to become one of the last immortals standing ready to duel macloead in the present day during the gathering. The Kurgen terrorises the citizens of the city and Connor waiting for his chance to finally duel Conner and claim the prize.
Where Highlander falls is due to it being a bit clunky in places. Sean Connery’s Ramierz is an Argentinian with a Scottish accent while Lamberts Macloead definitly doesnt sound like a Scotsman although both look the part they portraying. Clancy as the Kurgen is menacing and has some great lines to help the character stand out against Macloed.
The soundtrack is also high quality written and performed by rock gods Queen. While a complete Highlander OST has never been released the Queen’s ‘It’s a Kind of Magic’ features many of the songs from the film although under different arrangement. Queen wrote songs to match the mood of the scenes they were featured in, notably ‘who wants to live forever’ by Brian May.
Highlander is a little dated now and stands out as an 80’s movie though it has an original concept, one that has spawned multiple sequels and a TV series. Overall Highlander is an enjoyable film with sword fighting scenes backed up story to give the action fantasy movie style and substance as a true popcorn flick – too enjoyable to hate despite its shortcomings.