Highlander was actually one of the more interesting science fiction television series during the 90s. It may not have enjoyed the popularity that other fantasy series of its time have enjoyed but it has its following. And who can blame these people. The series has a pretty decent plot and its action scenes are not to be overlooked as well. This is why when the series was made into a movie, not a few people expected great things. When the movie came out though, most of these people became disappointed. Highlander III: The Sorcerer, as you can tell from the title of the film, is the third movie installation of the franchise. Is it any better or worse than its predecessors? This review will try to answer that question.
If you are reading this review then you are probably familiar with the Highlander story. So no introduction is needed and this article will go straight to what I think about the film. First of all, I believe Christopher Lambert does a commendable job of portraying the lead character of the immortal Duncan MacLeod. He is particularly terrific in the action scenes. You can tell that Lambert prepared for his role well. With the way he handles his sword, you would think that he has been fighting with swords all his life. If you are a fan of movies with great sword fighting sequences then the action scenes from the Highlander III alone are probably sufficient for you to enjoy the movie. The only problem with Lambert is that he cannot seem to master the Scottish accent. This is quite understandable though because he is French.
The other actors did an OK job as well. Some may find Mario Van Peebles’ acting as exaggerated but it is probably what the director of the film wants anyway. Another thing that the movie – of the franchise for that matter – can improve on is to provide a better motivation for the villains to hate the main characters other than the fact that they have been trying to kill them for centuries. A better back story would have helped. But I guess the writers of the film just can’t wait for the fight scenes to commence. Hence, the seemingly hurried pace of the film. But to devoid the film of an engaging back story is to insult the minds of its followers. For sure, these people can appreciate fight as much as the next guy but the producers and directors must keep in mind that they are trying to attract people who are into sci-fi and fantasy books and films. These are the people who knows a good story when they see one.
In terms of the plot of the film, one does not have to be a genius to be able to predict what the ending would be. Yes, it is that predictable. This is your classic bad guy versus good guy kind of film and I’m sure you know who wins in those kinds of stories. This is not to say though that the movie is not enjoyable and engaging. Even if you know the outcome of the movie half-way through, you would still want to finish the movie if only to get the satisfaction of seeing the villain fall in the hands of the main character. Needless to say, this movie is not for people who give more weight to substance over form. If you are looking for a movie worthy of an Oscar, you will surely be disappointed.
Of course, Highlander fanatics should not miss this film. If you have seen parts 1 and 2 of the series, then don’t give up now. If you have lived through the first two films then there is no reason for you not to survive or even have fun with this one. Don’t mind the thin plot or even the inaccurate historical research in the flashbacks of the film. If you will keep your expectations low in this film then for sure, your time and money will be worth it. If the movie was a student trying to survive middles school then it deserves at least a passing grade for it to move on. And hopefully the franchise will move on. Needless to say, the critics and the fans probably will not be as generous next time around.
I’ll be moving Monday, so I might not post a new review for a few days. But I will give a shout out to the folks at NW Window Tinting! They helped me choose the right window tinting Vancouver when I needed it!