By the time Kanye West released his much anticipated fourth studio album, 808s and Heartbreak, the world had already grown tired of the auto¬tuned vocoder voice popularized by T-pain and emulated, repeatedly, by a multitude of mediocre artists. Every singer, rapper, and producer living in their mother’s basement who saved up every penny from their retail I.T. job to buy Ableton already knew the trend was nearing its death rattle. None of that deterred Kanye West from releasing AN ENTIRE ALBUM OF AUTO-TUNED VOCALS, spewing lazily written lyrics over admittedly catchy but repetitive beats. If not for the sheer size and buoyancy of his ego he would have drowned along with the record. This cautionary tale speaks to the dangers of over saturating the social market. Too much of any one thing, no matter how unique, will turn the people against you (I resist bringing up the Scary Movie franchise, it’s already embarrassing enough for everybody) and it seems that we’ve reached this boiling point with movie and show remakes as well. A friend accurately pointed out once, that there will eventually be an entire generation whose whole upbringing will be on hand me downs, remakes, retcons, and nothing of original substance. And while this downer of an observation may eventually come to fruition, I assert that there is still room for one more remake, a franchise that nerds and 30 to 40 somethings everywhere have been waving an itchy finger over the restart button almost since its conception. I put it to you, dear readers THE ARGUMENT TO REMAKE HIGHLANDER
Point 1) The concept itself is DOPE. Alright so it’s like this, you got this group of immortal humans living on earth (already you’ve got the vampire Twilight fetishists with their ears perked) and the only way they can die is if another immortal slices off their head, at that point a “Quickening” happens. Imagine that one Michael Jackson video where he’s on top of an exploding car, screaming and gripping his man snatch. That’s basically it. Lightning strikes the victor’s sword and he downloads all of his opponents’ memories and life skills. All his fighting abilities, languages, all go to the winner. The more immortals you kill the more life experience you collect, until there is only one left and he gets what’s called “the prize”. Don’t even fucking bother trying to figure out what the hell that is, they never really explain it. I think in the third movie they suggested it might be a sick Thin Lizzy tee shirt.
Point 2) Sean Bean is really good at dying. More than any actor, Sean Bean has perfected that shit. Becoming just charming enough of a character that you’ll miss him when he dies but not enough that you’ll pitch a fit and walk out the theater. Hell, at this point it’s damn near endearing watching him keel over. That’s why he’d be perfect for playing The Spaniard, Sean Connery’s character from the original whose only real purpose in the plot is to die and give the audience the feels. Not to mention Sean Bean does a mean head chopping. That lopped off head rolling at the end of Game of Thrones season one was some of the best lopped head rolling I have seen from any actor to date.
Point 3) It encourages stricter gun control No one wants to live in a world with random gun violence happening every day. No. We want to live in the kind of world where a random sword duel goes down after scuffing a strangers Pumas. That’s the kind of world we deserve, the kind that Quetin Tarrantino could shed a tear to.
Point 4) There are so many better directors out there now it would OH MY GOD QUENTIN TARANTINO COULD DIRECT IT!!!! I’m not going to sit here and belittle your intelligence by telling you how awesome that would be. You know it. I know it. The entirety of Christopher Lambert’s forehead knows it.
Point 5) You can’t ruin the original because it was a steaming pile of garbage to begin with. Let’s face it, as dope a concept Highlander is, it’s mostly just craptastic as hell. The opening of the movie starts as two immortals square off in a parking garage as a WWE (F at the time) match goes on inside the building. It’s inviting the comparison between the separate fights, vaguely hinting at the tragic innate violence of human nature. And what better metaphor than mankind’s last real coliseum: Professional, spandex wearing, Ultimate fucking Warrior chugging Mountain Dew, Wrestling. The movie gets both worse and awesome from there. There’s Nazis, a love story, a creepy father daughter relationship with an old lady, some African dude that shows up just to fill the 1980s ‘black dudes must die in movies’ quota, and uh, yeah FUCKING QUEEN DOES THE THEME SONG.
The whole thing is a solid, but bangable, 5/10. There is literally no threat of remaking this into something actually worse. It’s the franchise remake that the world needs but, and arguably more importantly, that I need.