Sunday, November 26, 2006
Ok, the title of the post is a bit much. Anyway. When I was in high school I remember the guys all talking about the movie Highlander. It was kind of a big deal to these guys and I couldn't figure out what the heck they were talking about until I finally saw it for myself. It wasn't the best movie in the world, but the idea is what makes it such a great cult classic. If you haven't seen the movie then I'll fill you in on the basics. The main character in the movie is Connor MacLeod, aka The Highlander, played by Christopher Lambert. He is an immortal man who can only be killed if he is decapitated. He is one among a small group of immortals who all vie to be that last man standing. The immortals in this movie duel with swords and whenever they kill another immortal, they absorb their power. The last immortal alive is supposed to then have great power and influence world events. The movie also stars Sean Connery as an immortal who is a mentor to MacLeod. As the story begins the time of The Gathering is approaching and all the immortals will be drawn to a particular place, in this case New York, for the final battle. The movie starts with a sword battle in a New York parking garage and when Connor finally wins the battle we see him absorb the power from the other immortal. It appears to be almost as if lightening is striking him and we later learn it is called The Quickening. The movie kind of reminds me of the first Terminator movie. It's dark and grainy and you get the feeling it was filmed on a fairly low budget. And at times it can be confusing. But I still liked it. In fact, so many people liked it they ended up making four movies, two TV series, one animated series, not to mention all the books that have been written. The first TV series starred Adrian Paul as Duncan MacLeod, who is a clansman of Connor MacLeod. (not to mention rather easy on the eyes...ahem) I really liked the TV series with Adrian Paul, and not just for obvious reasons. I thought it was rather well done. It showed the conflicts many immortals had with a virtually never ending life span and what happens when you find yourself forced to face personal demons that come from such a long life. And ultimately I think that's what appeals to viewers, the idea of immortality. Don't you wonder what you would do if you could live forever? It's something to ponder anyway. Or maybe like the Queen song that asks "who wants to live forever?" Or better yet, who wants to watch their loved one's die over and over? This is a concept that is dealt with in both the movie and the TV series. Essentially I liked how the story developed over time, except maybe for the concept of the Watchers. The Watchers were basically a group of mortals who watched and kept track of the immortals but didn't interfere; or they weren't supposed to anyway. The Watcher's always seemed forced to me. Basically it was used as a device to introduce other characters into the show and used as a means to give us a historical background on certain characters. But I think I could have lived without the whole Watchers element. My other small gripe is that I don't think the movies were done as well as the TV series. I haven't even seen the third one because I heard it was so bad and frankly didn't realize there was a fourth one until I wrote this. Oops! I do plan on renting the fourth one though, after all, it does include Adrian Paul. ;) I also haven't really figured out how they have reconciled the fact that Connor MacLeod was supposed to be the last immortal at the end of the movie, but somehow the story was continued with Duncan MacLeod and several cameo appearances by Connor in the TV series. I'm hoping the fourth movie will answer that for me. Shhh, don't spoil it.