Are you excited about this new Highlander Reboot? Are you ready for another soulless commercial product with a formulaic story and “crazy action”? I know, I know, my thoughts exactly. Judging from all the available info, this is going to be a remake of the 1986 original, although that’s not officially confirmed. I’m just going off their casting list with a couple of familiar names like Kurgan and Ramirez.
After four movies and four television series, it’s time to reboot the whole thing and start pumping out content again. Who knew that after the botched release of one of the worst sequels ever Highlander: The Quickening, the franchise would only grow. If the fans survived that, they can certainly survive and perhaps even enjoy this.
First things first, the main reason for this article is news that Henry Cavill, an avid gamer and occasional actor is the chosen one. Probably because he stars in The Witcher television series. They were: like a kid, we see you can handle yourself with this sword and sorcery thing, come be the new Highlander. And I really don’t care if this is going to be another commercial cash grab movie. I really don’t. After all the shit I’ve seen over the past twenty years, this will be just a blip on the radar.
John Wick Guy is in charge of the Highlander Reboot
Chad Stahelski, best known as the director of John Wick franchise is the chosen director. To me, this means that we will get exactly the same product as the above mentioned franchise. An entertaining movie with a lot action that’s ultimately forgettable. Cannon fodder for all the streaming services to advertise and blast out of their social media accounts. And that’s okay. I know we’re living in a society where the only thing that matters is financial viability. I’m willing to be entertained for an hour and a half with updated special effects and mildly amusing story. The instructions Chad received from producers are to make a John Wick clone but with swords instead of guns.
Our homeboy is actually a martial artist who first gained recognition as a great stuntman. He moved on to stunt coordinator and assistant director before making his debut with the above-mentioned franchise. This tells me, along with a couple of his interviews, that the new Highlander reboot will be a pure action movie without much storytelling. Exactly what you would expect from a modern remake. The focus will be on the “never-before seen stunts and action sequences”. All this despite the fact that the writer is Kerry Williamson, best known for What Happened to Monday.
What kind of movie is the new Highlander going to be?
How do you revive a franchise with such iconic characters is the main question here. Sure, I get that Henry is going to be good, he’s already proven himself in various roles over the years. However, the essence of these movies wasn’t MacLeod but the villain. We all remember Kurgan, Katana, and Kane, but do you remember Jacob and The Guardian? This shows the decline in quality as the franchise was slowly running out of fresh ideas. They were looking to cash in on the old glory and nothing else. So, to sum up, call me when you have a worthy villain.
This ties in perfectly to the most important part of the whole puzzle and that’s the story. I’m almost certain they’re going to do just the bare minimum here when it comes to storytelling. Basically, the plot will be just the vehicle for all the action we’re about to witness. And it wouldn’t surprise me if they first came up with “cool scenes” and then tried to work them into the story.
Moreover, what’s going to be the setting? Are we going for the same blend of history and dark city vibes as in the original? While the original was split evenly between the two, the rest of the movies had a particularly brooding atmosphere. Especially The Quickening and The Sorcerer. Considering the John Wick vibe, I think the atmosphere along with special effects will be the biggest selling point of this new Highlander reboot.
Was the original Highlander really that good?
No, no it wasn’t. I know, it’s one of my favorite movies and it influenced me strongly but these are just facts. Just play it again and you’ll see what I’m talking about. The first thing you’re going to see is the infamous Cannon films logo and this should tell you everything you need to know. We proceed to find MacLeod watching a wrestling match that he doesn’t want to watch. Why come there in the first place then? Ahhh yes, to find some guy in his fifties doing flips like this is a bad martial arts movie. Highlander is a strange movie with huge storytelling issues. It doesn’t even bother explaining why there are Immortals or how is this all possible.
However, it boasts a perfect cast, great practical and special effects, a phenomenal Queen soundtrack, and powerful concepts. It’s a guilty pleasure movie for sure, but it has this air of coolness around it that elevates to something more. So, to be all high and mighty and bash the new Highlander reboot as something bad referring to the “perfection” that is original is somewhat disingenuous. I think that Russell Mulcahy’s vision transformed an odd story into something much more palpable and appealing. He did the same thing five years later with Ricochet starring Denzel Washington.
I’m hoping that Cavill’s presence and the legacy of the original will push them to achieve the same. Although I doubt it. What do you think?