1986 USA, UK Directed by Russell Mulcahy
Starring Christopher Lambert
This is the movie for the men, by the men.
Mammalian males are basically designed to fight with rivals for obtaining a spouse, and after obtaining posterity, to fight for protecting its wife and children, and then to die if its tasks end.
The same is true of the human race.
You can say that to die a martyr to something is nothing but a man's long-cherished desire.
However, if such fighter's nature got eternal youth and life, what would happen?
Though it is paradoxical, the man's desire as a fighter and the loneliness as a human are conspicuous. He is not allowed to sacrifice himself to something and to die any more. The battle will continue forever till one person is left...
Highlander is a rock fantasy which draws such a nonsensical setup with the image full of a poetic sentiment and the sound of Queen.
In Scotland in the 16th century, a Highlander Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) loses his life in a battle, but then he revives. Called as one of the league with Lucifer and banished by the clan, Connor then live the peaceful retired life with his sweetheart Heather.
There enters Ramirez (Sean Connery), a metallurgist from Spain, who teach him that they are supermen with eternal life, never die unless his head is cut, and have the fate in which they have to keep fighting until only one survives. Ramirez and Connor spend some time together as the best friends and teachers and students of swords.
However, peaceful time doesn't last. During Connor's absence, Kurgan, the strongest black knight in supermen, appears and attacks Ramirez and Heather.
Connor, who lost Ramirez and saw old Heather die, wanders every place and every era with a Japanese sword that is his teacher's keepsake with.
And it is in the present day, in New York. The battle in which Connor must fight with his old enemy Kurgan to survive as the last one is about to start...
The story is not told in order of time sequence, and goes back and forth between the present and the past through Connor's recollection. Its tempo, the huge scale of the images, the skill of composition and the charm of sequencing cuts are the kind of work that suits Russell Mulcahy, who won fame for MTV videos. The method of the composition had big influence on my comics.
And when talking about Highlander, the excellent songs performed by the British rock band Queen are indispensable. Their album A Kind Of Magic, based on the soundtrack to the film, also includes the leaflet of the lyrics with Japanese translation (*for Japan Edition) and I guarantee you will be moved more when you read them along with the film.
In spite of its ending that can't be succeed to a sequel, they made the sequels by force such as Highlander II: The Quickening, which made the original work ruined, Highlander III: The Final Dimension, which tried to go back to the starting point, and even the supplementary-biographic TV series. In my opinion, however, they don't deserve the name of "Highlander."
In addition, the commercial broadcasting TV stations (*in Japan) aired the film several times, but they cut some important depiction of details off drastically. It is not too much to say that the true charm of Highlander is not its story but the depiction of details, so I could say the TV version of the film didn't deserve the name either.
If you unluckily watched those sequels or the TV version before seeing the original film and were disappointed, I strongly recommend you to watch the video or DVD of the film.