11 January 2004 | bob the moo
Flashy direction for an enjoyable but average movie
When he is fatally wounded in a battle but yet survives with no visible marks, Connor MacLeod is expelled from his village. When he is visited by Rameriz he learns that he is immortal and together they train for the eventual day when the immortals will battle to find the only one. Centuries later, beheadings are the top crime of the day in New York as the final gathering approaches with the evil Kurgan looking to destroy all before him. Meanwhile journalist Brenda Wyatt begins looking into the story around an ancient sword that was used in one of the beheadings.
Beginning a series that really should have stuck with it's own catchphrase and only made one, this film is easily the best of the lot. The plot sees the film jumping around between times without too much in the way of structure - some scenes allowing comedy, others drama. It doesn't all totally work but it is still quite a fun film to watch anyway. While the plot fails to really engage, the film moves fast enough to be enjoyable - with the first half having the better structure as a learning experience for Connor and, hence, for the audience. It is fun if a little silly. It is the skips forward in time that are the problem.
They demand a little more structure and a greater degree of character development - neither of which really are forthcoming. In fairness it still manages to look good and be entertaining nonetheless. The sword fights are pretty basic but still stylishly directed and have a slick music video feel to them. It's the romantic interest that is the biggest difference between the times: in Scotland the aging of Connor's wife is emotional, in New York the love interest is just an excuse for a bit of blue-lit rumpy-pumpy!
A big reason for the first half being good is the hamming of Connery as Rameriz. He is lively and amusing and it's a shame his involvement was cut short. Lambert is pretty good - although now his trademark laugh is more annoying than endearing! He doesn't manage to bring out the loss and suffering of his character very well at all to be honest. Brown is a much better character - it doesn't require a lot of acting skill but he is enjoying himself playing it up and he really looks the part; where Lambert is a bit dry Brown is like a real spice for the film. Hart is just a bit dippy and not that good in the role.
Overall this is a pretty enjoyable, yet average, fantasy movie. I don't see how this one film managed to spawn as much as it did, and in a way I wish it hadn't, but it is worth seeing once. The soundtrack by Queen and fun performances from Connery and Brown are possible highlights.