Movie Report: Highlander: The Final Dimension (1994)

Book coverIt seems like I just watched the first two films in this series, gentle reader, but I watched Highlander last January and Highlander II: The Quickening last May. And I watched the series of them in recent memory, recent being within the last decade. Seems I see them priced to move somewhere together and I buy another set of them, and I put them in my unwatched cabinet (or on it). You know, of all the media libraries, the VHS and DVD library is the smallest, so it has a slightly greater chance of being organized some day rather than the LPs, CDs, or books do, and I might learn how many copies of each of these films I own.

At any rate, this film ignores the contents of the second, rightfully so. In it, Connor MacLeod has traveled after his first wife dies in Scotland to Japan to study with another immortal, a Japanese sorceror played by Mako. The sorceror helps the Highlander to fashion his katana and to learn to fight with it. But Kane, a Mongolish looking immortal played by Mario Van Peebles arrives and kills the sorceror who tells MacLeod to run. Because he has booby trapped his lair so that when his head is taken, presumably by Kane, that it collapses, burying Kane and his fellow bad guy immortals.

In 1994, an industrial dig of some sort–the set is, of course, a generic industrial set–unearths the legendary cave of the sorceror and frees Kane. Of course, a beautiful archeologist played by Deborah Kara Unger is on hand to be a love interest after discovering the secret of MacLeod’s past. In northern Africa, the Highlander senses that another immortal is afoot and returns to New York, where Kane heads himself for the renewed Gathering. A couple of set pieces and cinematic sword fights later, Kane and MacLeod face off on another conveniently located generic industrial set of steam pipes and metal stairs and catwalks. Well, the last piece is set in New Jersey, so maybe it’s all like that.

So it’s a grand fun film to watch, especially Mario Van Peebles having the time of his life chewing up the scenery as the bad guy. The budget for these films must have been pretty low, as they didn’t spend a whole lot on set lighting or custom sets, but they’re still more fun to watch than modern action films costing hundreds of millions of dollars.

And in the Highlander film, I mentioned how both Roxanne Hart, as the then-modern Brenda, and Beatie Edney, as MacLeod’s first wife, were pretty. But, boy howdy, Deborah Kara Unger.

I don’t know, but she trips my hubba hubba meter. I think it’s the narrow eyes.

I have seen her previously in Payback–and will again, as I think I’ve got another copy of it on the unwatched cabinet–where she plays the wife, albeit fairly briefly, and I overlooked her at the time.

She has had a steady career including some bigger movies in the 1990s (Crash, The Hurricane, The Game) but has worked mostly in horror films. Which is why I haven’t seen much of her. But she’s a treat.

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