Monday January 30, 1995
Like its two predecessors, "Highlander: The Final Dimension" is elementary and vague, but this purportedly last installment works well enough on a comic book level. Music video veteran Andy Morahan, in his feature directorial debut, has the right idea: Go for as much energy, pace and visual panache as possible.
Christopher Lambert returns in the title role as the 16th-Century Scotsman Connor MacLeod, who cannot die except by decapitation. It seems that there is a handful of these immortals on Earth who will duel until only one is left. The survivor then becomes the winner of the Prize of Ultimate Knowledge and Power. Since Sean Connery did not return as the Highlander's mentor, he has been replaced by the Japanese sorcerer, Nokono (Mako), whose cave, as it turns out, has been just discovered under a present-day power plant in Japan.
Having been buried alive in that cave for 400 years by Nokono, who sacrificed his life in doing so, Kane (Mario Van Peebles), the Master of Illusion, is not in the best of tempers when he emerges, naturally determined to do in MacLeod, the sorcerer's pal and accomplice in keeping him out of circulation for so long.
The entire film also has but a single goal, which is to keep moving until the Highlander and Kane have their inevitable, entirely predictable big showdown, which takes place in New Jersey in what looks to be an oil refinery complex.
In between the considerable action, Lambert does get a chance to convey the Highlander's essential isolation, and Van Peebles goes for gleeful, stylish villainy, which is just what is needed. Deborah Unger, who also plays MacLeod's love in the 18th Century, is an elegant archeologist who falls in love with the near-500-year-old Highlander--but, of course, he doesn't look a day over Lambert's 37.
Highlander: The Final Dimension, 1995. PG-13, for strong adventure violence and some sensuality. A Dimension Films presentation. Director Andy Morahan. Producer Claude Leger. Executive producer Guy Collins, Charles L. Smiley. Screenplay by Paul Ohl; from a story by William Panzer, Brad Mirman, based on characters created by Gregory Widen. Cinematographer Steven Chivers. Editor Yves Langlois. Costumes Jackie Budin, Mario Davignon. Music J. Peter Robinson. Production designers Gilles Aird, Ben Morahan. Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes. Christopher Lambert as Connor MacLeod. Mario Van Peebles as Kane. Deborah Unger as Alex Johnson/Sarah. Mako as Nokono.