Thirty years ago was a different time. Shoulder pads were large, hair was larger, and all our favourite family film adventures were made. Music was electronic pop and neon rampaged in fashion whilst television greatness was also crafted and created. There was a bunch of brilliance, a whole heap of rubbish, and actual original movies that fragrant ourtheatres before the rise of online, downloads, and piracy.
Oh, and there were immortals romping around.
Ok. Maybe not in real life but certainly across cinemas everywhere in the cult classic Highlander. Now fast forward to our era and the movie is getting another release to celebrate thirty years of head-chopping action.
Does it stand the test of time? Well…
Starring, Sean Connery, Christopher Lambert, Clancy Brown, and featuring music by Queen, Highlander tells the saga of a group of people called Immortals, who cannot be killed except for beheading by another Immortal, whereupon the victor absorbs the loser’s strength. This sets all the immortals against each other as they try to be the “only one” who has the most power and rules the world. In 1985, the remaining Immortals gather in New York City for the final battle with the sole survivor claiming “The Prize.”
Thirty years is a very long time. Heck, I’m not even thirty. All those years gone by can certainly downgrade the best of movies and the same can be said for Highlander. Now, a lot of movies do stand the test of time due to wet-eyed nostalgia or the fact they are beyond masterpieces. But Highlander struggles to find a footing in this modern setting and its appeal relies in the ridiculousness. The likes of Lambert, Connery, and Brown literally frolicking over New York and the rolling hills of Scotland is silly and fantastical, brooding and brilliant. Watching the immortals try to dispose their heads from necks is beyond stupid and, therefore, makes it appealing. Imagine all those childish games you played when you were young and how ludicrous they would be now and you have a sense of the kind of adventure you are expecting here.
The reason it is dated is because there is a backdrop of misogyny and garish uncouth jokes. The film revolves around several men trying to secure dominance and therefore, everything they say must be revolting or cheesy. The dialogue is atrocious and forced, feeling wooden in the tongues of actors who – lets be fair – aren’t seasoned thespians. And then they, of course, have to sleep around and treat women horrendously. It’s just… no one talks like this anymore and the horrendous insults they throw at one another could be found in a teenage boy’s diary….from the eighties. It sticks out, it’s garish, and completely dulls what would be a prancing good time, best left in the era that it came from.
So immortal Highlander isn’t but it’s a riotous good time. If you can put the issues aside then you can immerse yourselves into a whole world of sword-flinging hoopla. Or, you can watch it purely for the intensely brilliant soundtrack composed entirely by Queen. Who Wants to Live Forever is one of the greatest songs of all time. There. That’s what Highlander birthed and the soundtrack is truly what lasts the test of time…
Thirty years to be more precise…
HIGHLANDER IS OUT ON DVD AND BLU-RAY NOW!