I Don’t Care If It’s Fantasy, It Still Has to Make Sense

October 8, 2016


Back spasm results in a lot of hours on the couch with a heating pad, and when my eyeballs get tired of reading, it’s movie time.

Tech Support and I tried to watch Highlander (1986), a fantasy about a group of immortal beings locked in a fight to the death. Sean Connery, we figured. 7.2 on IMDB, we figured. How bad can it be?

That angsty look will not fill these plot holes, buddy.

That angsty look will not fill these plot holes, buddy.

BAD, is the answer. So, SO bad. Not only does this movie suffer from the slowest, most boring sword fights ever filmed, it makes absolutely no sense. Here are just a few of the questions that the first half of the movie failed to answer:

  • They’re immortal. Regular people can’t kill them, as evidenced by the way the titular character survived that sucking gut wound. And yet somehow they can kill each other?
  • They can’t have kids, so it’s not like the immortal gene gets passed down through the generations. So how do regular blokes end up “quickening” and becoming immortal? What makes them so lucky? Where do they come from in the first place?
  • WHY can there only be one? Why the heck are they all fighting each other in the first place? Is there some kind of prize for the sole survivor, because immortality sure doesn’t look like much of a prize.
  • And if, in fact, there can only be one, why on earth would Sean Connery bother training up some hapless jerk Highlander whom he will ultimately have to kill or be killed by?
  • Also, evil immortal dude tries to strangle the Highlander’s mortal girlfriend. And then somehow he’s gone and she’s dying of old age. AND WE HAVE NO IDEA WHO RESCUED HER, OR WHERE EVIL DUDE RAN OFF TO.

Needless to say, we did not finish this movie. And yes, OK, it’s fantasy. It does not have to play by the rules of our world (breaking those rules is kind of the point). But make believe worlds still have rules, and those rules have to make sense within the boundaries of the world.

I promise that my own fantasy novel will make sense. It’s way, way too annoying otherwise.

Have you seen Highlander? Am I missing some critical piece of data that somehow ties it all together? Any suggestions for other fantasy movies I should watch during my convalescence?



11 Comments on ‘I Don’t Care If It’s Fantasy, It Still Has to Make Sense’

  1. You couldn’t pay me to watch this. Okay, if you paid me like $1000 I’d watch it. Maybe. But, I know I’d not like it.

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    1. I think if we had watched it the way we watched Sharknado – with liquor and the full expectation of mocking it – we would have been OK. But we tried to take it seriously and just couldn’t.

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  2. The critical piece of information is: you have to be a tween when you watch it.

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    1. I suspected that might be the case. I can forgive a lot of flaws in movies I fell in love with as a kid. My standards are a lot higher now!

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  3. I’ve never seen the Highlander movie, but I did for ages watch the TV show….in which almost every episode ended with a beheading. It was a bit addictive due to interesting sidekicks…and villains. The usual “track down and behead” plot was simply like a repetitive mantra I ignored, more or less. It was several years ago. And frankly when your options are laundry and studying for grad classes with a babe in the crib beside you, a little silly eye candy and oddball characters makes that blithe suspension of reality easy to accept. Remember all successful drama is based on our very strong willing suspension of disbelief — dare I reference ‘The Walking Dead’ as a modern example? Supergirl? Scorpion? Numbers? Designated Survivor? Would you rather have been required to sit and watch Judge Judy or whoever’s in the show now?

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    1. Agree with you on the willing part of the suspension of disbelief. But the writers still have to give you reasons to go along with them. 🙂

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  4. Haha! Totally take your points. I don’t usually love stuff like Highlander (gory, supernatural) but my older boys and I loved Highlander. But only the first one. I will have to see if it stands up to the test of time! Also, suggest you watch it to the end 🙂 Great work by Clancy Brown.

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    1. I do think there are a lot of things from the 80s that you could only fall in love with in the 80s!

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  5. I adore Highlander, in part *because* nothing in it makes sense. It’s just ridiculous all over, and I love that about it.

    Also, if you thought a Sci Fi movie would have to be good just because it had Sean Connery in it, clearly you haven’t seen Zardoz (one of the funniest terrible movies of all time).

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    1. Ridiculous definitely has its place, and if I’d gone into it expecting that, I probably would have had a better reaction! Perhaps I will have to watch Zardoz with that in mind. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

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