It’s this waffle boy’s humble opinion that smart is way, WAY overrated. Mortgaged backed securities, land wars in Asia, and the Hindenburg were all the products of some of the smartest people walking the face of the Earth having what at the time what were thought to be brilliant ideas, and what did we get for all of this concentrated smartness? Okay with the Hindenburg we got a flaming zeppelin, and the basis of the best Thanksgiving episode ever on TV (the Turkey giveaway on WKRP), so that doesn’t really help my argument. You know what? Forget about the Hindenburg, that’s a bad example, but generally speaking really smart ideas are the ones that have the highest potential for disaster. So that’s why I say, give me a dumb idea every time.
See what smart gets you?
Nobody ever gets into serious trouble with a truly dumb idea. For example nobody puts their entire 401k into Star War commemorative plates, they just buy maybe the first 20 (they’re great conversation starters and besides they tie my apartment together), and not only that, dumb ideas are highly entertaining. What’s that? Don’t believe me?
Well what if I asked you to believe that a guy a rrrrrrridiculous French accent was Scottish and a guy with a Scottish accent who had a Spanish name was actually Egyptian? You’d think that was a little silly, right? And not only that, but what if I told you a bunch of jokers were going to run around 1980′s New York having sword fights while Queen played in the background, and that whenever anyone got their head cut off it would cause enough sparks and lightning to make you feel like you were at a WWF match? I’m guessing you wouldn’t let me go outside without my helmet, right? Well I don’t blame you, these are all things that put the moron in moronic, but there also highly entertaining. Just sit down with the 1986 release, Highlander and see for yourself.
Okay, our movie starts in the birthplace of rational thought and intelligent discourse, a wrestling match. Just kidding. I mean about wrestling matches being the birth place of rational thought and intelligent discourse; wrestling matches are where brain cells go to die, but seriously the movie really does start at a wrestling match.
A guy in a trench coat is watching the match and seems to have a bad headache. We know this because he keeps closing his eyes and rubbing his head. By the way you can expect this level of crackerjack acting from Christopher Lambert throughout the rest of the movie. Anyway Chrissie has such a bad headache he leaves in the middle of the tag team match and goes to the garage to get his car.
I have to talk about how Christopher Lambert is dressed in this scene and a lot of the movie. He’s wearing a trench coat with jeans and tennis shoes. It’s sort of like Rick Springfield was his personal stylist in this movie.
While walking through the garage he’s confronted by a guy in a suit and mirrored sunglasses who kind of looks like a spy, or a guy who doesn’t want to be recognized going into an adult bookstore, or a spy who doesn’t want to be recognized going into an adult bookstore (ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!)
Anyway Pervy Spy whips out a sword and tells Christopher Lambert there can be only one. Christopher Lambert opens up his trench coat and whips out a bad ass samurai sword, and stops looking like Rick Springfield and starts looking like Rick Springfield with anger management issues.
CL and Pervy Spy proceed to have a pretty kickass sword fight, that includes sparks flying off of their swords, and Pervy Spy doing like 75 back flips in a row for no apparent reason. Still after about five minutes Christopher Lambert cuts off Pervy Spy’s head.
This isn’t any big deal, because this happens in movies all the time. Well, it happens all the time in the kind of movies I watch, but then something happens that you don’t see every day.
A whole bunch of sparks and lightening flow out of Pervy Spy’s body over to Christopher Lambert, and then he floats about three feet off the ground, and when his eyes roll back into his head all the windshields in the cars in the garage explode. Incidentally this movie is the main reason why I take public transportation to sporting events whenever possible.
After Christopher Lambert’s eyes roll back down and he stops hovering, he hides his bad ass samurai sword and hauls ass in his car out of the garage. Too bad the cops show up, and he gets
arrested for fashion crimes taken downtown for questioning.
We cut to a flashback. Actually there are about 75 flashbacks in this part of the movie, and they work pretty good, but I’m going to combine them all together to keep you from getting confused. Okay, to keep me from getting confused. Sorry, I get by on my looks.
Anyway, it’s 1536 in Scotland and everyone has turned out to watch Christopher Lambert and a bunch of other guys march off to fight some other guys. This shows you just what people had to do for entertainment before cable. Christopher Lambert’s girlfriend shows up and makes a big deal out of how everyone has to take care of CL because she luuuuvvvvs him so much.
The battle starts and Christopher Lambert gets a headache like he got at the wrestling match when he sees this huge guy on a horse with lightening shooting off around him. Everyone is having a great time in the battle hacking each other to bits. Well everyone but Christopher Lambert because no one will fight him. At first CL wonders if the reason no one will fight him is because he has BO, but he realizes this is Scotland and everyone has BO.
It turns out the reason no one will fight with Christopher Lambert is that the big guy on the horse who gave him a migraine turns out to be this guy called The Kurgan (Clancy Brown) has a deal where he’ll fight in the battle but only if he gets to kill Christopher Lambert. So Chris survives his hygiene scare. Sadly he doesn’t survive The Kurgan who turns him into his own personal shish kabob.
The Kurgan is all set to cut off CL’s head muttering “there can be only one,” but the battle starts going against his side and he has to leave. He tells Christopher Lambert they’ll meet again, which is kind of strange thing to say to a dead guy.
We cut to the next scene and Christopher Lambert’s body is in this hut and he is dead, dead, poke-him-with-a-stick-he-doesn’t-move-dead. C’s friends and girlfriend are all pretty broke up about this, especially Chris’s girlfriend because she luuuvvs him just so darn much.
Everyone goes to another hut to morn the dead (translation, get blotto) and they are pretty freaked out when Christopher Lambert shows up. Personally I think if someone pulls a Lazarus act for happy hour, it might be time for an intervention, and Chrissie’s friends think so too. Well actually they think Christopher Lambert is a witch and want to burn him at the stake.
Granted rising from the dead is a little strange, but you know what else is strange? How someone living in 16th century Scotland named Connor MacLeod could speak with an almost impenetrable French accent, that’s a little odd in my book, but CL’s friends and family don’t seem to have a problem with it. They do have a problem with the idea of him being in Satan’s calling circle and get all set to turn Christopher Lambert into a human smore.
Luckily for the rest of the movie, Christopher Lambert’s cousin steps in and decides to banish Chrissie instead of toasting him on a spit. Christopher Lambert’s girlfriend, the one who luuuved him so much? She’s about as happy with this plan as the family cat is with a bubble bath. She wants him dead, dead, dead, and generally carries on like Christopher Lambert showed up on their anniversary with a dust buster for her present. (I would like to take this time to point out that I didn’t get that particular ex-girlfriend a Dust Buster. It was a Dust Buster Plus, with attachments for cleaning
my her car.)
Luckily for Christopher Lambert, his cousin must have gone the Dust Buster route too because he gets banished to wander the world for the rest of his days never to return.
We cut back to the present day (okay, the 1985 present day when this movie was shot), and the cops are going over the crime scene. Well there sending out for coffee and Danish, but they are doing it at the crime scene which has to count for something, right?
Just then plucky forensic scientist Brenda Wyatt (Roxanne Hart) shows up and starts making with state of the art 1985 CSI procedures.
If you even flipped the channel over CBS you’ve seen one of about a squidgillion CSI shows, and you probably have an idea what a crime technician should do when gathering evidence. You’re probably guessing that she takes pictures, dust for prints and scoops up every loose microbe she can. Hey, slow down there cowboy. This is 1985. She starts looking under parked cars. (Apparently if CSI had been on in 1985 there would have been an episode entitled “Finding My Keys”)
Anyway, She looks under a car and finds Pervy Spy’s sword, which is lucky, because she just so happens to be an expert on swords so she is able to identify it as a Toledo Salamanca, an antique sword worth about a million bucks. The other cops are pretty excited and head back to the station to carry out a 1985 state of the art police interrogation.
Judging by what we see in this movie a 1985 state of the art interrogation involved smacking someone around, asking them if they were gay, and finishing the suspect off by asking the prep if he did it. Christopher Lambert’s answers are in the following order: ow, maybe if we go someplace nice for dinner and there’s dancing later, and nope not this Frenchman, err Scotsman.
You know after checking out state of the art from 1985, I’ve got to say I’m confused. I was around in 1985 and I don’t remember everyone living in caves. Well the cops are stumped and have to turn Christopher Lambert loose.
Meanwhile PFSBW (plucky forensic scientist Brenda Wyatt) gets some results from tests on Pervy Spy’s body and she can’t believe the results, so she goes back to the crime scene. When she gets there she has a metal detector to look for sword fragments and maybe any spare change because being a plucky forensic scientist didn’t pay that much in 1985. It just so happens that Christopher Lambert is at the garage too. He came back to pick up his bad ass samurai sword and makes some noise leaving the building.
PFSBW squeaks out a “who’s there?” You know if this move took place in 2009 and David Caruso heard a noise, he’d whip off his sunglasses and say something that would annoy the ever loving shit out of me. God I miss 1985.
PFSBW handles this scare by going to the nearest bar and getting a Big Gulp of cognac, and guess who happens to show up right after her? What? No not Mr. T, Jesus you’re not even trying. It’s our old friend Christopher Lambert. He stops in for a scotch, because he’s Scottish (stop laughing), and to ask PFBSW if he can walk her home. PFSBW takes a pass because the last thing she needs is some creepy French, I mean Scottish, a totally 100% hoot man Scottish creep hitting on her. Seeing as she sucked down her cognac in less time then it takes to win a gold medal in the 50 meter dash, she walks out of the bar.
Next we see Christopher Lambert walking down the street, but he ducks in an ally, and who should be coming behind him in hot pursuit, but good old PFBSW. She’s in full on Nancy Drew mode, an acme of detecting skills, and yet still manages to be totally shocked when Chrissie pulls her into the ally.
She gets kind of bent out of shape when Christopher Lambert tells her it’s dangerous and she needs to go home, and he’s right because just then The Kurgan shows up with his big ass sword and starts swinging on CL like he’s a piÃ±ata and the Kurgan is jonsing for Chiclets.
What happens next isn’t really a sword fight because Christopher Lambert doesn’t have a sword. It’s more an extended guy trying not to get chopped up into itty bitty pieces scene, but it works for me. Mainly because The Kurgan is dressed in what is supposed to be sort of a punk heavy metal outfit, but it comes off more like he’s an extra from the Love is Battlefield video who wandered off the set.
Just when it looks like The Kurgan is about to start making with the decapitating and give us a nice 30 minute movie, a NYPD helicopter shows up and shines a spotlight on him and Christopher Lambert. The Kurgan runs away and the guy in the helicopter responds by yelling, “Hey, come back!” It’s just my opinion but this scene gives us at least a couple of clues as to why crime was so high in New York City in the 80′s.
Christopher Lambert sees The Kurgan run away and he does too. Because that’s how it starts, first they’re running away, and then they’re smoking but not getting cancer because they’re immortal, and then the next thing you now they’re cutting each others’ heads off. Well, only here they started with decapitation and work backwards. Not that that matters, because Christopher Lambert has to get home to catch up on his flashbacking.
We’re back in Scotland and it’s a few years later and Christopher Lambert is living in this big sort of castle place with his wife Heather who is a big step up over his Dust Buster hating first girlfriend. He and Heather are perfectly content and well on they’re way to happily ever after. All of this comes to a crashing halt when Sean Connery shows up dressed like Magic Don Juan’s cousin and tries to get the plot moving forward again.
Their tailors were separated at birth
I just have to say Connery is good in this movie (as he pretty much always is), but he does make it hard to enjoy the movie. You see usually by this time in the movie I can accept how Christopher Lambert talks, but when Sean Connery shows up and I hear an actual Scottish accent, the fact that Chrissie is painfully French comes crashing down on me all over again. Anyway it’s not the worst thing in the world, and the producers are going to do a couple of other dumb things to distract my attention in the next five minutes so I can live with it.
It turns out Sean Connery is Juan SÃ¡nchez Villa-Lobos RamÃrez , only that’s not his real name which is good because it would be really silly for Sean Connery to play a Spanish guy. Yeah, it turns out Sean Connery is actually a 2400 year old Egyptian. Egyptian? It is right at this point that it becomes official that the screenwriter is f*ing with us, big time.
Anyway, Sean Connery tells Christopher Lambert that he is an Immortal and Sean Connery is here to teach him all the important Immortal type stuff he needs to know. Why? Dude, he’s 2400 years old and it’s the 16th century. There is no jumble, no Larry King and no early bird dinner specials, what else is there for a senior to do?
We get a nice long stretch of movie where SC teaches CL how to sword fight and fills him in on all the important stuff he needs to now. Christopher Lambert is an immortal being called an Immortal and one day all the immortals are all going to gather together for The Gathering and the last guy who doesn’t get his head cut off gets a super special secret surprise.
Immortals are called Immortals, and a gathering is called The Gathering? Hmmmm, I’m guessing you don’t need a 1600 on your SAT’s to get your Immortal card.
Sean Connery also tells Christopher Lambert he should leave Heather even though she’d never burn him at the stake for bringing home a Dust Buster Plus, because she’s going to get all wrinkly and old and drop dead on Christopher Lambert. Oh and just to totally harsh on Chrissie’s mellow, SC lets him know they can’t have kids because apparently Immortals’ sperms don’t swim so good. Well this is pretty sucky news, guess it couldn’t get any worse, right?
Wrong-o. One night while Christopher Lambert is away doing something that will keep the plot moving, The Kurgan breaks into CL’s castle type place and has a big sword fight with Sean Connery. Sean Connery cuts The Kurgan’s throat, but because he’s immortal this just makes him cranky. This is a good sword fight. How good? Good enough to tear down the building. Although I have to say judging by this castle type place I don’t think the Scottish building code is all that strict, mainly because Styrofoam rocks and boards seem to be acceptable building materials over there.
Dear James Bond, Michael Jackson called and he wants his Captain EO suit back, love waffleboy
Finally, after a lot of sparks flying off the swords and some witty banter by Sean Connery; The Kurgan cuts off his head and we get to watch the lightening and leavating bit for The Kurgan. Then he decides to celebrate and performs various nasties on Heather because Sean Connery told him she was with him.
Christopher Lambert comes home and he and Heather pack up and leave, which makes perfect sense. I mean the building is a pile of rubble, so there is no way they are getting their cleaning deposit back now.
We go back to the present day and Christopher Lambert goes over to PFSBW’s place for a little dinner. She’s still getting ready, so he looks around her apartment and finds her police service revolver, and the tape recorder she is going to use to record their conversation over noodle kugel. When the PFSBW comes out, Christopher Lambert has brought her a gift. It’s a copy of a book she wrote and on the back cover it mentions she’s a cop. Bust-ED. She apologizes for not being 100% honest, but she wants to know what Christopher Lambert knows about an ancient samurai sword someone used to kill Pervy Spy Guy. The conversation kind of peters out there and they never get to dig into that noodle kugel.
The next day Christopher Lambert is hanging out with a black guy in Central Park who’s wearing a bath robe, and getting zero looks from everyone around him. It turns out Bathrobe guy is another Immortal who’s in town for The Gathering and thinks they should have a big party before they whack each other’s heads off. Christopher Lambert reminds him the last time they had a party he got stabbed about 64 times and we get treated to a pretty funny flashback.
Meanwhile PFBSW is doing some investigating type stuff. She meets with this guy who’s gone over the building records on Christopher Lambert’s building and it turns out everyone who’s owned the building since the 1790′s has the same exact handwriting as Christopher Lambert. PFBSW is really troubled by this news, or she has cramps, for the life of me I can’t tell one way or the other.
Later that night this survivalist yahoo is driving around New York looking for some crime to get all vigilante on, when he finds Bathrobe Guy and The Kurgan fighting in a back ally. After The Kurgan cut’s off Bathrobe Guy’s head off the survivalist yahoo shoots him about a jillion times with an Uzi. Too bad he didn’t shoot The Kurgan in the head, so we aren’t too surprised when he pops back up like a jack in the box and runs his sword through the Survivalist Yahoo. Luckily for the Survivalist Yahoo a crowd of hookers, drug dealers, and for some reason an elderly couple in a Cadillac have gathered, so The Kurgan decides to call it a night. Well first he steals the old couple’s car and the last we see of the old lady she’s riding on the hood of the car like that chick at the end of Death Proof.
PFSBW catches up with Christopher Lambert and tells him she knows he’s like super-duper old and wants to know just what the hell is going on, so he tells her the truth. His real name is Connor MacLeod, he was born in Scotland in 1516, and he and a bunch of his other immortal buddies are in town to cut each others’ noggins off because there can be only one.
PFBSW handles this news the way any rational person would. She strips down to her birthday suit so she and Chrissie can start making the sweet, sweet love. Okay she handles the news the way anyone who was in an R rated action movie that had a love song from Queen would handle this news.
The next day she and Chrissie go to the zoo. Huh, what who? Yeah apparently Immortals aren’t big on the whole concept of breakfast so a trip to IHOP is totally out of the question. The one good thing about this trip is it gives The Kurgan a chance to see the couple together which gives him an idea.
Christopher Lambert goes to church to light a candle because Heather made him promise to do that and think of her every year on her birthday. I would have held out for diction lessons, but that’s just me.
The Kurgan shows up because let’s face it, if you’re a giant douche no place gives you the chance to show it off like a church. The Kurgan sits down and in the course of letting CL know just what a complete loser The Kurgan thinks he is, it slips out that he raped Heather all those years ago. Oh no he di’int! Oh yes he dint! Oh it is so on now.
Before it was just about getting shot with lightening and winning fabulous prizes, but now Chrissie is ready to throw down hard. Too bad they’re in a church and can’t fight on Holy Ground. They’ll just have to wait until later, ideally at night so those sparks on their swords will look super bad ass.
When Christopher Lambert gets out of Church he finds out not only did The Kurgan rape his wife all those years ago, but he kidnapped PFSBW just to make sure he had Chrissie’s complete attention. Well he’s got it, because Christopher Lambert hauls ass to the building where The Kurgan has PFSBW chained to this big neon sign on the roof.
The fight starts and it’s a great one. CL and The Kurgan whack that big neon sign into itty bitty pieces and there are more sparks and mayhem then you could find in an entire Kiss tour. Finally the two guys fall though a skylight and fight in this big empty warehouse. It’s a pretty good fight, but Christopher Lambert really just isn’t in The Kurgan’s league and he ends up on the floor about to get his head cut off, and right at the final moment, Donk!
PFSBW conks The Kurgan on the head with a handy piece of pipe. It doesn’t really hurt him, but it gets the big lug’s attention and he gets all set to cut her head off, but when he swings his big ass broadsword Chrissie blocks it with his bad ass samurai sword. Christopher Lambert then says something cool to PFSBW and opens up the big can of Le Whoopass for his big buddy The Kurgan.
(You know after giving Christopher Lambert a Cloverfield sized ration of shit in this movie I really do have to admit he has a natural charisma that most actors would kill for and he did a really good job in this movie. I just really wish he hadn’t talked like Maurice Chevalier. Okay, done, back to the mocking!)
A Cavalcade of Famous Scotsmen
Chrissie and The Kurgan start fighting again, but now it’s all CL. He cuts The Kurgan about three times and then they have that one last charge at each other where they both swing and it looks like they both missed. Only while The Kurgan is smiling his head falls off his neck. Man I hate when that happens. Then his body vomits out all this special effects lightening and state of the art 1985 animation which surrounds Christopher Lambert and lifts him like eight feet off the floor. Not only that but Christopher Lambert is screaming that he knows everything and is everything. (Fun fact, take away the special effects lightening and the animation, and this is the exact way Kanye West starts every morning.) Finally he collapses to the floor and PFSBW comes over and gives him a hug for winning the big decapitation contest.
For the final scene we cut to Christopher Lambert going home, to
Paris Scotland. He and PFSBW are sitting in a field and he’s explaining to her and us just exactly what the big prize was that he won. He knows what every living thing in the world is thinking and feeling and he can use this to make the world a better place. Oh and he can now have kids and grow old. Oh and have a tract house with two mortgages on it, and have to drive a minivan because it’s sensible and get to deal with the fact that some day his prostate is going to swell up to the size of a bagel, and…wait, refresh my memory what was the prize for 2nd place again? Anyway he and PFSBW kiss, The End.
There you have it 116 minutes full of important life lessons. Like how even though Dust Busters are very practical and useful they maybe aren’t your first gift choice for every occasion. Or that men who dress like pimps often have valuable tips on your chosen profession, even when it doesn’t involve being a pimp. And most importantly, that any issues concerning common sense and even simple logic can be overcome with decapitations and lightening. If you haven’t seen this movie, you should and if you haven’t seen it in awhile you might want to check it out again.