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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Crowlander

Aha, you have fallen for my cunning ploy! Now I shall tell you why I think The Crow is a Highlander movie in disguise.

First things first: it has nothing to do with Eric Draven. He's a revenant, a ghost given flesh in order to extract revenge. No, the real reason for "Crowlander" is Top Dollar. Sure, he's a charismatic psychopath who rules a criminal empire, but I maintain he's also an immortal.


Exhibit 1: A closet full of swords
Knives? Sure, he's a villain. One sword? Why not, he's filthy rich, he can be eccentric. But an entire armory of swords? Easily accessible? That he's clearly practiced with?



There's also the fact that this man, who clearly must have enemies both in the police and organized crime, doesn't carry a sidearm. In fact, he has to borrow one from his bodyguard.

Okay, yes, by itself this isn't convincing. Moving on...


Exhibit 2: Uses intelligent anti-immortal tactics
All right, so in the previous example Top Dollar hears from a trusted lieutenant and a groveling flunky that there's a guy out there who gets shot/jumps out of windows/etc and keeps on trucking in his quest for vengeance, and this doesn't faze him in the least. He doesn't question the apparent insanity of it all. He just goes "Hmm, that's interesting."

So when he arranges things to have Draven's last person on the "to-kill" list in the room with him, he also arranges to be surrounded by dozens of armed goons. This is good strategy, because as we've learned from the Highlander films and TV show, immortals can be killed conventionally -- they just don't stay dead. So obviously his plan is for his goons to shoot Draven, whereupon Top Dollar can take his rival's head easily.

Except that he's surprised when Draven shows up, because he doesn't get that characteristic "buzz" immortals get when they meet each other. So he thinks that, maybe, this guy is just a loon hopped up on drugs.

And then he is totally gobsmacked when it turns out his opponent is immortal after all.

Also: a katana shows up in this fight scene. Because when I think of "Immortal Scottish warriors," I think of ancient samurai swords. 




Exhibit 3: He runs to holy ground
Because that's what you do when you're immortal and you don't want to fight another one. Why else would this incredibly rich, incredibly dangerous man hide in an old abandoned cathedral?



Also, kindly note how neither his bodyguard nor his sister are all freaked out by this. "He has power you can take," she says, and T.D. replies with "I like him already." Even as he's running for his life, Top Dollar is planning how best to take Draven's Quickening.


Exhibit 4: They have a swordfight during a lightning storm

Some of you may be asking, "What about the proscription against fighting on holy ground?"  Well, first, that prohibition is only between immortals.  So when T.D. has his assassin take a shot at Draven's totem bird, that's allowable. And when that results in Draven losing his powers, Top Dollar now knows for certain that he isn't fighting another immortal... and therefore the rules don't apply.



If you're a fan of the series, you know that electricity is a metaphor for the Quickening, so it's no surprise that the final battle of the movie takes place where there is lots and lots of it about. Oh, and look, Top Dollar uses another katana.


Conclusion:  Top Dollar is an immortal
The only question this begs is, "What happened to him afterwards, since his head wasn't taken?" To my mind, there are two possibilities.

One possibility is that his hired goons in the police department -- come on, if you're an immortal crimelord you're going to have some cops in your pocket -- pulled him out of the morgue and falsified the burial data. After this he probably spent the rest of his life hiding from ghost-men before another immortal (probably Duncan) took his head.

Another is that the supernatural vengeance of The Crow ("Thirty hours of pain. All at once! All for you!") was able to short-circuit immortal healing, leaving Top Dollar permanently brain-dead, if not dead-dead.

Either way: he was totally an immortal in that movie.

13 comments:

  1. Plus Mr Wincott is one of my favorite supporting actors!

    Caw caw caw oh fuck I'm dead!

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  2.  AHEM.

    The quote is, "Caw! Caw! BANG! Fuck, I'm dead!"

    :P

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  3. Nah, can't be a Highlander Movie.

    There's no mention of aliens.

    If this really was a Highlander movie then Top Dollar should
    be an exile from Zeist. ;p

    ReplyDelete
  4. Everyone keeps talking about this "Highlander 2" like it was a real movie. It's an urban legend, like the Matrix sequels.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've recognized this for a while.  But the real test is, can you tell me why The Hunted is also set in the highlander universe?

    ReplyDelete
  6. You are correct!  Senility sucks.

    ReplyDelete
  7. WOW excellent and  entertaining points!

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's been a while since I've seen it, but if I had to guess I'd say that Christopher Lambert's character in The Hunted is Connor after winning the Prize and has gone a little bit soft. It's why he can pick up swordplay so easily, but isn't the badass he once was.

    Am I close?

    ReplyDelete
  9.  I usually put it before the first movie, actually.  He's not soft; he's under cover as a hapless businessman.  But then, I put H3 before the first movie, too. 

    I can make a good case for Racine being Conner, and the other immortals are Kinjo, Kirina, and probably Takeda.  Outside chance Takeda's wife is too.

    Kirina and Conner meet in the bar.  How did they meet?  Quickening, of course.  Watch for it, it's there.  When Conner is coming back to her room with the wrong key, there's another clear quickening -- he stops and listens, probably because he was expecting one and got two.

    Kirina is beheaded, of course.  Twist: Conner is right there and *he* gets her quickening (or maybe half of it), which of course peeves Kinjo on top of everything else.  This explains Conner's vision of her later -- see also the ending of EndGame.  He doesn't have a sword yet, but he's still fast enough to *catch* their thrown weapons (admittedly getting wounded, but still preventing a vitals hit) and wasn't expecting poison.

    After Conner gets hit by the ninja, he is weakened by their poison for pretty much the rest of the movie -- since it's established canon that immortal healing is mainly something that happens when returning from a death -- and he doesn't die in the movie, so he recovers slowly. 

    He doesn't have a recognizable sword since Japan has very strict export controls on antique katanas; if he brought his favorite katana, they probably wouldn't let it leave.  He did bring his coat (and don't even TRY to tell me that wasn't a deliberate clue, it's the same bloody coat).  He probably planned to "borrow" a sword from Takeda if necessary. 

    The ninja are a transparent strategy to "cheat" similar to Top Dollar's gunmen and others in the TV series.  It doesn't really matter if they weren't initially after him, once they found an immortal it was game on.  This likely happened in the very first attack, since the head ninja guy was there (and note, "Conner" was hit by poisoned throwing stars and his throat was cut -- a near-miss beheading).

    Watch closely for the scenes where "Conner" meets Kinjo, the ninja leader... there is a recognizable head-jerk-of-quickening each time, just no sound effect. 

    Kinjo, the head ninja, is obviously beheaded... in the middle of a thunderstorm.  I don't recall if we actually get lightning at the appropriate moment, but that's easy to gloss over.  The punishment he takes before and during the battle with "Conner" is strongly suggestive of a little immortal vitality even if it's not enough to kill him until the actual beheading.

    For Takeda, he can cut through hordes of cannon-fodder ninja like nobodies business, he clearly wasn't raised in the modern era since he is so focused on bushido, he immediately picks up on the opportunity Conner's presence offers him to lure Kinjo.  Good odds Takeda *invited* Conner to consider tag-teaming Kinjo with back-to-back duels, or just to make sure Kinjo died rather than go after Takeda's family or students if Takeda lost.  The whole "only you have seen Kinjo's face" is partly true, though unplanned, because Kinjo has probably been reported dead many, many times.. and also a thin excuse to the police for Conner to hang around.

    For Takeda's wife, the only support for it is that she gets "killed" and then pops up again to shoot an arrow at an opportune moment.  Not a strong case but it could be argued.

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  10.  If I close my eyes and squint really hard at Highlander 2, I can only see the scenes with Sean Connery in them.  To get a Highlander movie with absolutely no redeeming values whatsoever, you must go to H5: The Source.  But please, for your own sanity, don't.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, one of my absolute favorite movies.  Interesting take.  I like it.

    ReplyDelete

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