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There Can Be Only One (Again)

This article was published on the original Sorry I’m Late.com on 24/09/09.

Luke Miksa's: The Negative Space Bar

Today in Hollywood, the terms remake, or even worse reimagining, are cause for derision from movie aficionado’s such as me. Nothing spoils a classic film or a childhood favourite more than a half-assed reboot. In spite of occasional box office successes, most of these dreaded reimagining’s are, for the most part, massive lumps of shit – despite the introduction of today’s superior CG effects and quite possibly larger budgets, they are missing depth – a certain charm – something which has made them such fondly remember pieces of celluloid to begin with.

Some future reimagining’s (I even hate typing that word) that are being talked about as future projects include such treasures as Gremlins, Robocop and it has even got to a point where director’s are digging up their own work – such as David Cronenberg with The Fly. But with all that being said, there is one reboot on the horizon that I cannot contend with. A cult classic from the 80’s, highly prized and definitely a personal favourite of mine – 1986’s urban sci-fi swashbuckler Highlander.

Before you get all up in my grill accusing me of blasphemy, first read what I have to say. As I said, Highlander is a personal favourite and a classic, no doubt. But there are just so many elements in the film, and the franchise as a whole, that starting from scratch could benefit from.

Due to its turbulent and storied production history, there are a ton of illogical continuity errors that are just plain confusing to a casual fan. Connor Macleod won The Prize at the end of the first film, killing The Kurgan, the last of the Immortals, granting him mortality and being “One with all living things”. But then the sequel came; Ramirez is back from the dead, and not only is Macleod Immortal once again, but the Immortals walk the Earth once more – Game on.

Oh, did I mention that The Immortals are actually aliens from the planet Zeist? Yeah, WTF happened there? Way to ruin your mythology, Highlander.

While I love the hokey cheap 80’s special effects from the original, I would really like to see Highlander with a better SFX budget behind it, as the story can lead to so many potential effects and action scenes of the kick-ass variety. For some reason in the original whenever a sword struck some kind of scenery, that piece of scenery would flare up with sparks and fire. Sword strikes metal pole: Sparks. Sword strikes brick wall: Sparks. Not forgetting the incredible collapsing castle or the oh-so-visible wires during Macleod’s final Quickening.

Classic bad casting

Something else that could be improved on? Get a lead actor that can speak fucking English! Seriously, Christopher Lambert needs subtitles. It’s laughable that they cast a Frenchman to speak English in a Scottish accent. On the other side of the coin we have Scot Sean Connery playing an Egyptian with a Spanish name (a name so good we named a Sorry I’m Late.com award for it).

Taking nothing away from the so-cheesy-it’s-good original, but with the right amount of effort a rework of the Highlander franchise is actually something I can get behind, as long as they keep the Queen soundtrack of course. And with word that it will be written by the same scribes that brought us Iron Man gives me a little more confidence. A little.

But if they decide to go ahead with a remake of Total Recall I’m gonna have to choke a bitch.

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