Sometimes Hollywood can just absolutely suck. We have currently reached a point where there are not any original ideas, but instead we get remakes, reboots, and sequels. Now I will admit that sometimes a remake can be good (2010’s The Crazies is a good example), and sometimes a reboot can be good for a franchise (there really wasn’t much you could do to come back from some of the stupidity in Spider-Man 3). But when it comes to sequels, usually these are done to take financial advantage of a film’s popularity. And when you completely rewrite the story that the first film created, like what happened in today’s movie, Highlander II: The Quickening, well then that just sets yourself up for a train wreck of a film and a ton of ridicule from your fans.
The plot: In 1994, scientist predict that the ozone layer will soon be gone and millions have already died, including Brenda Wyatt, after being exposed to unfiltered sunlight in Africa. Connor MacLeod works with Dr. Allan Neyman to create an electromagnetic shield to protect the Earth and in 1999 they succeed, but the shield prevents any sunlight from reaching the planet so the Earth is left in a perpetual state of night. 25 years later, MacLeod, now an old and dying man, is attending an opera when he hears the voice of Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez telling him to remember. This causes MacLeod to remember his past on the planet Zeist where he and Ramirez were members of the rebellion against the rule of General Katana. After a failed battle, MacLeod and Ramirez are captured and sent into exile on Earth, where they must battle other banished immortals until only one remains. The last immortal will have a choice, stay on Earth where he will grow old and die, or return to Zeist. Meanwhile, a group of terrorists, led by Louise Marcus, have entered the headquarters of The Shield Corporation and learned that the radiation levels above the shield are normal and that The Shield Corporation is keeping the shield going for it’s own profits. Louise makes her way to MacLeod to try and get his help, but he refuses. Back on Zeist, seeing that MacLeod has never made a decision, Katana sends two of his men to Earth in order to kill MacLeod to prevent him from returning to Zeist. MacLeod battles the two men and manages to kill them; using the first quickening to restore his youth and the second to resurrect Ramirez. Ramirez appears in the middle of Shakespeare performance and, after bantering with the actors and getting a new suit, begins making his way to New York. Seeing his men dead and MacLeod restored, Katana heads to Earth himself where, after amusing himself in New York City, meets MacLeod at the church where Brenda is buried and taunts MacLeod about not being able to fight on holy ground. MacLeod tracks Katana to an abandoned warehouse where the two immortals clash, but after taking a fall on top of an elevator, MacLeod is forced to retreat. Returning to his home, MacLeod is greeted by Ramirez, who decides to help him in his plan to take down the shield. Meanwhile, Katana heads to The Shield Corporation’s headquarters, where he allies himself with David Blake, who also wants MacLeod stopped. Hearing that Dr Neyman has been sent to a high security prison, the three break in to rescue him but are too late to save him and Ramirez sacrifices his life to help MacLeod and Louise escape. Realizing that the ozone layer has indeed repaird itself, MacLeod heads back to TSC headquarters where, after battling and beheading Katana, uses the power of the quickening to destroy the shield generator (heh, sounds like a Star Wars reference) and returns the Earth’s sky to normal.
Highlander II: The Quickening was totally panned by the critics as shown by the 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Some critcs have even said that this was one of the worst films ever made. Among the many criticisms were that it was incomprehensible, defied logic, and disregarded anything previously explained. Roger Ebert went so far as to say “Wherever science fiction fans gather, in decades and generations to come, this film will be remembered in hushed tones as one of the immortal low points of the genre.” In spite of the negative press, the audiences did go to see the movie, earning over $29 million at the box office, which was more than the previous film but less than the film’s budget.
Yeh, this movie is just bad and I mean bad. The acting was ok although there were times that Christopher Lambert voice broke character when he was his old self, sounding like an old man one minute and his normal voice the next. The story was complete crap. Instead of the immortals just randomly being born, they are now from another planet that banished them to Earth. Sure. Let’s just go ahead and rewrite the entire history of the first film. Idiots. I will say that the special effects were improved, but the way they were used was pretty bad. The scenes where they were outside with the shield as a backdrop just looked really fake. So yeh, if you want to see a great follow-up to the original movie, this isn’t it.
Rating: 1 out of 5