Review: ‘Highlander III – The Sorcerer’

An unbelievably trashy meltdown of the tartan warrior franchise, Highlander III checks in as a breakneck, roller-coaster genre ride that's brainless fodder for undiscriminating auds.

An unbelievably trashy meltdown of the tartan warrior franchise, Highlander III checks in as a breakneck, roller-coaster genre ride that’s brainless fodder for undiscriminating auds.

Pic starts with a 15-minute, Conan-like prologue in which evil warrior Kane (Mario Van Peebles) surprises Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) and his teacher Nakano (Mako) at the latter’s Japanese lair. After decapitating Nakano, Kane and his two sidekicks are buried under the collapsing mountain, and Nakano’s super powers pass instead to Connor. Fast-forward 400 years to 1994, and Kane breaks out and sets off in search of Connor.

Spotting the special effects on the horizon while riding in the Moroccan desert with his adopted son, Connor hightails it to New York to work out what on Earth is going on. An amazingly smart NY cop who remembers similar events ‘eight years ago’ (year of the first pic’s release) tracks him down under his modern alias, antique dealer Russell Nash. Meanwhile, Yank archeologist Alex (Deborah Unger) gives Connor a severe case of the flashbacks, as she reminds him of his second wife, Sarah, circa the French Revolution.

Given there’s enough material here for a four-hour miniseries, it’s hardly surprising the plot jumps more lights than a runaway ambulance. Lumbered with Lambert’s largely incomprehensible accent, British video director Andy Morahan wisely keeps dialogue pared to the bone and lets his five separate units (in Canada, Morocco, Scotland, France and New York) and f/x team get on with the job. Acting is video caliber.

Highlander III - The Sorcerer

Canada - France - UK

Production

Transfilm/Lumiere/Falling Cloud. Dir Andy Morahan; Producer Claude Leger; Screenplay Paul Ohl; Camera Steven Chivers; Editor Yves Langlois, Brett Sullivan, Mark Alchin, [Dov Hoenig]; Music J. Peter Robinson Art Dir Gilles Aird, Ben Morahan

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1994. Running time: 99 MIN.

With

Christopher Lambert Mario Van Peebles Deborah Unger Mako Mark Neufeld Raoul Trujillo
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