Friday, January 20, 2017

Highlander: Endgame

Highlander: Endgame the fourth film in the Highlander franchise that seeks to bridge the film series with the I'm sure incredible television series, after all Marion Cotillard was in it. Seriously though I've never seen the series, but the main carry over of Adrian Paul as Duncan MacLeod is not a good one. His poor acting though is ready to team up with Christopher Lambert's Connor in order to take on the evil immortal Kell, the most poorly acted of all of the Highlander villains. Now Highlander 2 is probably the more aggressively bad sequel, this one keeps out the planet of Zeist for example, but it's also far less enjoyable. This film is more of best described as not good, and kind of boring. The fights are not engaging, besides a bit of stunt work by Donnie Yen, the storyline is mostly random with its time jumps and poorly defined relationships, and sequences that actually just don't make any sense. The film was in fact so unappealing that the trailers merely made things up to sell it.

Highlander II: The Quickening

Highlander II: The Quickening is one of the biggest downgrades ever for a sequel, which is problematic when the first film wasn't exactly great to begin with. The film though is a hilariously bad sequel in that it seems to do everything in its power to mess with first film. The most notable example being that film rewrite Connor MacLeod's origin story that he and Sean Connery's mentor from the first film where extraterrestrial rebels sent to Earth. By the way that makes no sense and is down right stupid given the first film's story. But hey the film also has its terrible present story about rebels trying to take down a sunblocking shield, run by an evil corporation that for some reason models all their building after a Blade Runner ripoff. But don't forget about MacLeod's old foe General Katana (Michael Ironside), wait you don't remember him, oh yeah that's right the bad guy appears out of nowhere. Don't worry he's an alien who seeks revenge, for something, several hundred years after the fact, and does so by first giving MacLeod's power back. Also did a mention Sean Connery shows up again living for absolutely no reason, but hey we get more HAM Connery here which is kind of glorious when his character develops the power of telekinesis and bagpipes. It's an ugly film, its plot is terrible, its characters more often dumb than not, and has nothing really to offer in terms of being good. This film is technically bad though in the best kind of way in that its incompetence is often laughable, although I don't think that is exactly praiseworthy.

Friday, January 6, 2017


Highlander is the first and best film in the series, which means absolutely nothing. This film certainly has a good enough idea at its center, a group of immortals who battle to death until there is indeed only one that remains. The film has some fun with the idea by jumping through times from the present, which seems very period today, and the past. One highlight of this is a Barry Lyndon esque duel that rather comically doesn't end. There's are mostly there for some fun little side views, the main lines though consist of New York in the 80's and Scotland in the dark ages. To help through all of this is Christopher Lambert as Connor MacLeod, giving a leading turn only he could possibly give, and Sean Connery, as his immortal mentor, giving an early example of ham Connery, though to be fair ham Connery can relatively entertaining as it is here. The real highlight though is Clancy Brown as the evil immortal the Kurgan whose having a blast in the role, and it's hard not to enjoy watching him. The film story wise isn't anything special at either side, one basically a series of training scenes, the other about a cop trying to uncover a mystery we as viewers are already well aware of. I suppose though there is enough material for a origin story, though just enough, certainly no more. No characters here really are that memorable past the performances around them, and the story, once the concept is known, is very straight forward. What I imagine most are coming for in a Highlander film are the sword fights, and there are several of them. The only problem is they really aren't that great. The choreography isn't anything special, and no sequence really is a standout. They're okay, for the time, but that's it. It's a definite product of the 80's, but as definite product of the 80's there are better films than this one.