Posts Tagged ‘Sean Connery’

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…

 

 

 

ZARDOZ is an unexplainable film by the legendary director John Boorman (Hope and Glory, Excalibur). Yes, even though we’re talking about 70es no amounts of LSD can justify the existence of this movie! After retiring the famed agent 007 Sean Connery decided to broaden his specter as an actor- all fair and square. He stared his post-Bond career with a hard hitting police drama The Offense, and then his further artistic explorations led him to…  THIS?!

DAMN!

In the year of 2293, a post-apocalyptic Earth is inhabited mostly by the Brutals, who are ruled by the secret clan of  Eternals. Eternals use special class of Brutals, called the Exterminators, as their enforcers.The Exterminators worship their god Zardoz, a huge, flying, stone head.

Can’t argue with that.

Zed (Sean Connery), an Exterminator, apparently bored from constant raping and killing finds a way to hide within the Zardoz’s head. How he got that idea is beyond me. He shoots  and kills pilot of a giant head. It seems that Eternals are not really that eternal after all. The Zardoz head with Zed inside returns to a secret community of civilized beings called Vortex. Once in Vortex he is found and detained by two ladies (Consuella and May) using their psychic powers of course. After reading his mind Consuella advocates immediate execution of Zed, but May is fascinated citing first real contact with outside world in ages as a reason to keep him around for study. The fact that she just “saw” Zed raping a woman in Zardoz’s name doesn’t seem to be troubling her the slightest. Anyway after some time they let Zed roam free and (probably a foolish decision) show him around the Vortex. He finds that Eternals  giving their limitless life span grew bored and lost any kind of real purpose. Also men became totally impotent. He witnesses their retarded social rules that result in punishment of those who think outside the box, the punishment being artificial aging and senility that fallows it. They of course keep studying him, disgusted and fascinated by the fact that he is capable of erection different than their Vortex men…

The Great Mystery!

After extensive research May concludes that he is a second or third generation mutant and that he is mentally as well as physically superior than anyone in the Vortex and is therefore dangerous!

Zed is Da Man, deal with it!

After that Eternals gather and lead by Concuella vote to determine his fate. They give May 7 days to complete her studies before Zed is destroyed. Then they continue with their gayish hippie rituals.Next, May is hypnotizing Zed  and we are treated with number of flashback, learning  to read in the ruins of  the old world  and his realization of origin of the name Zardoz- Wizard of Oz*. So we finally know the origin of his plan! Strange but it’s an explanation.

Aha!

Unfortunately Concuella interrupts their session and decides to punish May by rapid aging! She is for some reason jealous of her cause she was held by Zeds strong and hairy arms? Maybe she does not despise brutes or sex as much as she lets on? Despite her efforts Zed escapes and causes the ruckus, succeeds in absorbing all the knowledge of  Eternals (from their artificial intelligence, The Tubernuckle) and even allows the hordes of Exterminators into the fabled city! Complete death and destruction fallows.

Concuella tries to kill him even though it’s too late to save the city but she stops and then Zed declares “you gave me  what no other gave me- love”Just like that- without any set up. Hell, she actively  tried to kill him many times- and just ’cause she is not capable to get her hands dirty it’s love? I think I need to update my definition of love ASAP! Anyway city is destroyed, most Eternals dead (including May and her friend Friend), and  minority that survived forced to join the regular “Brutals”.

Zed and Concuella as suddenly in the cave, together, rapidly aging in time- lapse until there is nothing left but  skeletons, then dust and an old revolver of Zed. The End.*

The End

Verdict- it took me approximately 48 hours  to start to function as a proper human being again after watching this film.  More side- effect will probably show themselves in time… Anyway, I  know the puling force of Sean Connery in red diapers and  knee-high leather boots is incredibly strong but maybe you should choose to save your sanity instead.

And kids- remember!