Director: Russell Mulcahy
Cast: Christopher Lambert, Roxanne Hart, Clancy Brown, and… Sean Connery?
Have I Seen it Before: Never.
Did I Like It: God help me… Maybe?
I can’t be the first one to bring this up, but I’d be remiss if I completely avoided the issue.
A British spy. An Irish cop. A Russian submarine captain. Whatever the hell he played in Zardoz (1974). Connery has been—at least on paper—miscast more than any major movie star in history.
And then we come to Highlander. The movie about a Scottish immortal casts the frenchman as the Scot, and the most Scottish man who ever Scott’ed (and didn’t run a starship engine room) gets to play the Spaniard?
Oh. He’s an Egyptian. My mistake.
Truly bewildering decisions not withstanding, this opening entry in the inexplicable Highlander franchise is a wobbly hut built on the foundation of other, much better films. It plays out like a mixture of Terminator (1984) and The Duellists (1977), but clearly wasn’t made with any of the skill of either Ridley Scott or a James Cameron. I admire one of Mulcahy’s films, 1994’s The Shadow, but even that is a pillar of flaws with a few brief flourishes of watchability. This seems to be his M.O.
The fact that Christopher Lambert has enjoyed any manner of a career, while at the same time we collectively sneer at the very presence of Tommy Wiseau. They occupy the same real estate in moviedom. I don’t get it. Now that I think about it, has anyone seen Lambert and Wiseau in the same place at the same time?
And yet, it’s been almost a day since I watched the movie as I type this review, and Highlander hasn’t left my mind since. It’s almost gleefully bad, and, again, God help me, I’m morbidly intrigued to take in the experience that is Highlander II: The Quickening (1991), because apparently that is the truly inexplicably awful movie in this series. I can’t even imagine.