This Can’t Be Good: Highlander

Photo: © Cannon Films


On the surface, there is no reason why I should dislike Highlander as much as I do. I mean, I love swords. I love Queen. I love Sean Connery.

Everything in life that you love will eventually betray you. That’s the true lesson of Highlander.

I’ll start with a problem so obvious that they threw in a line to explain it: Christopher Lambert’s accent. Saying you’re from “lots of places” doesn’t even explain it away in the first place. None of the other immortals have that problem. I don’t buy it. He’s lived in the same house for 200 years. I start adopting people’s speech patterns if I see them more than twice in a week.

“But this isn’t a talking movie!” you say, you being one of those people who somehow gave this steaming pile a 68% on Rotten Tomatoes. “It’s a sword fighting movie!” And you are technically right, because they do fight with swords in the film. Technically. However, these fights move with a speed and fluidity comparable to a game of Mortal Kombat controlled by two 90-year-olds in a nursing home who have to keep asking which button does what. JUST MASH THE X BUTTON GERTRUDE, C’MON.

I would say that the movie is just dated, but it came out three years after Return of the Jedi and the duels in that movie hold up fine. This holds true for other aspects of the movie too. At first I thought that maybe in 1986 it was cool for the climax of your movie to be a man getting attacked by cartoon demons, but I think that was actually probably pretty stupid then too. Same for the scene where two grown men run on a beach.

And finally, the ending. We find out the “Prize” that everyone fought all their immortal lives for, which it turns out is losing their immortality in exchange for the ability to read the thoughts of every person on earth. This is, without question, the worst prize ever conceived. I don’t want to hear your busted-ass gross thoughts. I want to literally LIVE FOREVER. Plus now for the rest of his (mortal) life he’s gotta lie to his wife about how it’s cool he’s going to die.

Terrible deal, no thank you.

Don’t watch this movie.

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