Highlander

Bomb Rating: 

Sword fight? Queen song. Making love to his woman? Queen song. Indigestion? Queen song.

Frankly, the notion of Christopher Lambert as an action hero makes me laugh -- and it made me laugh back in 1986 when this film was released. In fact, the very idea of it made me laugh before it actually happened. While watching "Highlander," however, it made me cry, a sort of suicidal malaise that began right after I turned to a friend and asked, "What kind of screwed up accent is that?"

Lambert is MacLeod, a guy who discovers he's immortal in the middle of the 16th century, though nobody ever explains who birthed him or where his whole clan came from. Anyway, he discovers that this mean guy, Kurgan (Clancy Brown), is running around trying to kill all the immortals insisting that "there can be only one." Nobody ever gives an explanation of why there can't be two or three, other than Kurgan really seems to have his heart set on killing everyone.

MacLeod learns these facts, along with the art of sword fighting, from everybody's favorite Spaniard, Sean Connery. Sean plays the Spanish guy, Ramirez, with all the verve of an actor who's never learned how to do an accent other than Scottish, despite a long career of non-Scottish roles. Ramirez is eventually decapitated by Kurgan and becomes Obi-wan Kenobi to Lambert's Luke.

MacLeod makes it to the 20th century where virtually everything he does is accompanied by a Queen song. Sword fight? Queen song. Making love to his woman? Queen song. Indigestion? Queen song. Incidentally, after seeing the evolution of action films like "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Salami," the sword fighting in "Highlander" looks like it was done with sledge hammers. MacLeod can break for lunch while Kurgan is taking a swing at him. While some combat films age well, "Highlander" clearly isn't one of them.

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