Highlander (1986)

Rating: ****
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Music: Queen
Cast: Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Clancy Brown, Roxanne Hart

A superbly crafted science fantasy tale about a race of immortals who have been secretly living among the human race for centuries. They are driven to fight each other for a prize that will be bestowed upon the last surviving immortal (oh, by the way, you can kill an immortal by cutting off his head). The film follows the various lives of Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert in his finest role/performance to date) throughout the last five hundred years preparing for the final battle he must wage against the villainous Kurgen (Clancy Brown in his finest role/performance to date). Another immortal (Sean Connery) trains Connor in the art of sword fighting, but falls victim to the evil Kurgen shortly afterward. Modern day New York is the battlefield for the two remaining fighters, and their showdown is awesome. The story, characters, dialog, acting, direction, action, and cinematography are top notch, and music video director Russell Mulcahy takes full advantage of cutting edge filmmaking techniques to propel the non-linear flashback driven film. The nature of the prize and the origins of the immortals is never explored, but that helps make the story mystical and interesting. Brilliant stuff.

Notes on the director's cut: The director's cut of the film restores about twelve minutes of footage that was cut from the American release of the movie. The footage further explores and explains Rachel (MacLeod's secretary), and fills in some of the continuity holes. But not all of the restored stuff is good. There are a couple of sequences that seem pointless and some additional lame dialog is thrown in. Personally, I prefer the domestic cut of the film, but it's nice to have the extra knowledge that the director's cut provides.