THE HIGHLANDER: THE FINAL
DIRECTOR: ANDY MORAHAN
CINEMATOGRAPHY: STEVEN CHIVERS
MUSIC: J. PETER ROBINSON
CAST: Christopher Lambert (Connor MacLeod), Mario Van Peebles, Deborah Unger (Sarah).
SUPER FEATURES: The effects and a nice story.
The Highlander series has gained the eye of this reviewer and film lover. Not because of any one thing in specific, but because it does what many science fiction stories can not do very well. And that is mix different cultures, into a hybrid style with unusual consequences, and of course, a story.
But there is one thing that this series does, like others which can not. It knows how to connect its main characters, and their past history which was shown in various other films.
Conner MacLeod has been a part of a group of fighters that have been chosen for specific reasons, by a higher order of intelligence, something that even the four century-old MacLeod can not even understand, but has come to grips with. And each time, there is someone else that has come to claim his crown, if there is such a thing. While MacLeod has always displayed the spiritual ability in the previous films, none display it as clearly as this one here. Here he is seen learning it in the first place by a Japanese master. And the master is well known, and also is being chased by an outsider, or being whose interests could be questionable. What MacLeod has in the martial arts, he lacks in the arts of illusion, which his enemy has mastered and may have stolen from the master teacher.
And in modern day Japan, a private company is doing research in an area that has been known to be connected to those days of the shogun fighter, and their master instructors. And MacLeod's enemy has made it through the illusion of time, to the present day, to claim his share of the crown, if there is such a thing. And finally tracks him down to force a confrontation.
What I specially like in these films, is not the swordsmanship (always very good, by the way), or even the antagonistic enemies. It is that the films have adhered to a history of sorts of the characters and their connections. As such, it always appears that they are nothing but re-incarnations of the same soul, doomed to make sure that their entity is preserved, and that their roles are fulfilled. Where the enemies fit in this plan, seems to be the question, but at least one that is, no doubt, parallel to MacLeod's. For whatever reason, they all have to meet sooner or later and resolve their differences.
But the challenging displays of fortitude, seem to require, each time out, a bit more of the internal spirit. The incredible power surge gets bigger, and now it has become destructive.
This time around, MacLeod in the middle of his path to finding his enemy, comes across a reporter and researcher that just seems to fit the bill as the re-incarnation of his one love
Sarah, in at least one or two previous lifetimes. These are lifetimes for you and I folk, no to the Highlander, who has made the mistake of marrying a mortal. The new Sarah and he
connect, and it helps, for she has found the one thing that he needs to win his battle. A piece of steel that has the strength to fight this powerful entity.
With some really nice effects, specially surrounding the evil character, played by Mario Van Peebles, and some absolutely stunning moments, this is a very nice film, very enjoyable,
and deserving of a better mention. The music used through out the film is excellent and very well designed, specially when the change goes from Japan to New York. Also deserving
of mention are the moments with the solo voice in the Coastal hills and rocks of Ireland.
Christopher Lambert continues his famous role, and Deborah Unger fits as the reporter, and the reincarnation in at least one other life, which she apparently recognizes. Mario Van Peebles is exceptional and very interesting as a modern day shogun warrior after making the adjustment to the modern days, and its styles.
This film is full of very nice touches, like the transfer of the ring from one age to the next, and many other small bits here and there.
Well directed. Extremely well thought out and carried likewise.
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