Highlander II: Quickening (1991)

Posted: 27/08/2020 in Trash movies
Tags: , , , , ,

Highlander II: Quickening  is what happens when you try to think of a (pseudo)scientific explanation for something that’s clearly mythological.

Movie starts with NASA– like launch of a protective Dome over the whole planet that’s supposed to help protect us instead of the failing Ozone layer (early 90’s were big on Climate Alarmism just like the present). For some unknown reason Connor MacLeod is leading he project.

Now the consequence of this is that the world is plunged into eternal darkness and it’s always 37.2 °C so he might have just made things even worse?

Decades later old man Connor watches the opera and he remembers his previously unknown past on I kid you not- planet Zeist! (Yes they wasted no time in trying to burn the franchise to the ground) You see 500 years ago he and Ramirez led a failed rebellion- against their ruthless ruler- General Katatana (and if the name is not over the top enough he is played by Michael Ironside too).

Katana condemns them to be reborn on a another planet where they will stay eternally young and strong and fight for the right to return to war-torn dusty hell that’s Zeist? I’m not really sure Katana grasps the concept of crime and punishment.

“Oh, no it’s the Plantet Zeist flashback!”


So, Connor manages to murder the goons, regain his youth and have a go at it with a sexy scientist Louse right there on the street in what seems to be no more than 2 minutes. I understand he didn’t want to waste any time after being a decrepit old man for so long but still- that does seem a bit excessive!


Then if that wasn’t enough Ramirez resurrects himself for no reason whatsoever (right in the middle of Shakespearean play too), well no reason beyond the fact he was paid incredible 3 million dollars for a cameo appearance (less than a week of work) and producers tried to milk it for all that it’s worth.

Every time you say “Alas, poor Yorick…” Sean Connery magically appears!

Ironicaly one of the producers actually ended up marring actress from the now infamous “face sitting joke” airplane scene she had with Connery. I’m genuinely not sure what to make of that.

You were a part of one of the worst cinematic scenes in movie history, will you marry me?”
                                                

Katana disappointed with the fact that he actually helped Connor by sending those idiots decides to go to planet Earth himself to finish the job. He actually transports himself directly into a moving train and causes a bit of a ruckus. Once on Earth he threatens Connor but then proceeds to team up with the leader of the evil corporation controlling the Shield. I mean- who doesn’t want to go corporate?

Ramirez surprises rejuvenated Connor and they decide to help Luise break into The Shield Corporation to finally prove that the world doesn’t have to live in a eternal darkness and despair. You see Ozone layer actually repaired itself years ago so it seems Connor’s environmental overreaction cost billions of people their life quality and even their freedom.

They infiltrate the compound by being shot by the guards multiple times and then ressurecting when they drag them inside (the only semi- clever thing anyone has done in this movie) but they end up being stuck in the ventilation. Ramirez sacrifises himself AGAIN when giant fan almost rips them to pieces and Connor finally reaches Katana.

After defeating and beheading Katana Connor has a quickening that causes the overload of the shield and finally frees the humanity. We hear the Connery quote from just few minutes ago and all is well the world. Of course it would be even better if none of this has happened in the first place but it is what it is.

Verdict: What’s interesting is that from the plot standpoint Highlander 2 is full of characters who would actually better achieve their goals just by doing nothing at all and waiting things out for a bit.That is pretty much the exact opposite of what you are trying to achieve when writing any kind of a story!

So in a way that Highlander 2: Quickening has actually stood a test of time- is as a classic case of what no to do. Like- don’t completely change the genre, don’t ignore the rules you set up in the first one, and for God’s sake- don’t start the movie with the previously unmentioned planet Zeist!

The fact that you actually had a solid cast, beautiful looking sets, great cinematography and lots of neat practical effect didn’t help at all. With so many catastrophic mistakes in the early phases of development things only got worse and worse (and the choice to film in Argentina proved to be  the straw the broke the camel’s back).

Now the director Russell Mulcahy did return to the movie with a Renegade Version where he restored more of his original vision for the movie and completely removed any mention of the planet Zeist which by itself made the movie at least 70% better.

But I do find it unfortunate that most of today’s DVD’s and BluRays actually use the Renegade Cut because this movie is such a perfect case of what not to do and I think some of the modern directors working in Hollywood now should take the time to study it and see if they are making some of the same mistakes.

Trivia: Economic collapse of Argentina right in the middle of filming had almost catastrophic effect on the movie. Movie’s budget ballooned and almost doubled and investors started to  take control of the final product thus making it more nonsensical by the day. If you are interested you can see more information about filming in this mini- documentary:

 

And remember most importantly, beware of the dark haired ladies, they…

 

 

 

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