As a kid growing up in the 80s, iconic movies that have stuck it out as movie greats have become the norm for my generation. Beginning really with the
Star Wars Trilogy in 1977, I grew up watching such classics as Back to the Future, The Indiana Jones series, Topgun, Predator, Alien and Aliens (the
rest was just filler IMO), and of course the classic Terminator, Arnold’s first big role. There are many more of course, which even today I can sit
down and watch time and again, and their appeal and pizzaz never fade.
Unfortunately the dream has, in part, died for me recently. One of my favourite cult classics growing up was the Highlander movies, mainly parts one
and two. With a fairly impressive cast, lots of sword fighting, the movie was a favourite of mine growing up.
So it was with great anticipation I recently was delivered a copy of both Highlander and Highlander 2: The Quickening. I set myself down for an
entertaining night getting acquainted with my childhood.
Or so I thought.
Approximately 2 hours later, the movie ended. And I was left with this odd feeling. A feeling that went something like, “What the hell was I
Perhaps the illusion of impressionable youth had coloured my glasses rose, but Highlander was terrible. Poorly acted first off, considering the talent
involved in the movie, especially the role of Sean Connery. An Egyptian with a thick Scottish accent? Really?
Even worse were the visual effects. Now I know we were hardly at the peak of visual greatness way back in 1986, but honestly it looked like the
special effects were done on a Commodore 64, by an amatuer.
By comparison to the classics of the age, Highlander should have been everything I had hoped for, yet managed to fall so far short of my expectations
as an adult. I have similarly watched endless cartoons that have wowed me as a child, yet as an adult, I can see the poorness in their quality and
scripting. These are cartoons however, and are expected to be lost in the translation of growing up.
So, to perhaps assauge my fears, I decided to watch the second half only a day ago. Somehow, it not only didn’t get any better, it somehow got
worse. Now we were introduced to the Highlanders as space aliens from another world, and Micheal Ironside, perhaps one of my favourite actors, think
Topgun and Total Recall, trying to reprise the role of the bad guy from the original Highlander almost word for word. I’ll admit, he was funnier
than the Kurgan in the first one, but still the premise of the story was ridiculous, even more than the first one. I shudder to think there are three
more movies and a TV series attached to this idea. One can only wonder how darkly downward the remainder spirals. I for one, will not be taking
So, I invite others to share in their own experience of pain at a childhood favourite being an utter disappointment in their own adulthood. Have you
had a cult classic that has wowed you in your youth, yet has fallen miserably short later on in life? And of course, not just my own 2 cents regarding
the Highlander movies, but anything you may have seen that dazzled at first, then later fizzled.
For now, I need to go back and watch Mortal Kombat to see Christopher Lambert in a role I truthfully admired him for, and of course Sean Connery, in
his masterpiece as Henry Jones Senior. And of course, relegate the Highlander movies to their true place.
edit on 23-4-2012 by 74Templar because: added text