Ok, So I finally got my fill of Highlander goodness and I'm just about ready to throw the new DVD's I bought on my shelf until the next time I feel the need for some sword fights and lighting storms but before I let it go I feel the need to share my experience with the Community.
I don't know why. I'm bored at work. Humor me.
So I got Highlander I (Directors Cut), Highlander III: The Final Dimension (Directors Cut) and the 2 DVD collectors edition of Highlander: Endgame (Also Directors cut)
A. We all know Highlander I. Great movie, cult classic. Clancey Brown is hardcore. Moving on. (See my article on Fantasy movies. Highlander is the first one I talk about)
The only way I can describe this movie is that its a reboot. It's the Highlander franchises version of Escape from L.A. Its the same exact movie as the first one but told in a different way and given a few new twists. Namely, Kane's illusion power which I have to admit kept it somewhat fresh. Now I got the directors cut so you know what that means.....SHAMELESSLY EXTENDED SEX SCENE (is that a double entendre?? "extended"....whatever). Ugh! You would think that the prospect of seeing Debra Unger in action would make this scene a little more watch able but no.....absolutely not. Just skip it.
Other than that the movie does the Escape from L.A. cloned storylines like other reviewers have said in the past. Kane defeating Connors teacher (Kurgan killed Ramirez), Kane harassing his son in the car (Kurgan harassing Brenda from HL: I), and finally Kane mouthing off to Connor in a church (Kurgan mouthing off in a church). The scenes are the same but a little different. Which keeps in interesting. IMO.
Now I must say they really brought some new ideas to the table in this one which I found very enjoyable. They finally bridged the gap between the Christopher Lambert movies and the Adrian Paul TV series. They gave some additional back story to the main characters and Bruce Payne (Jacob Kell) is a wonderful villain. Even rivaling Clancey Brown's Kurgan character from the original. Another thing that they injected in to the film was the premise of the "Posse" of immortals going around breaking the rules of the game and taking heads. This idea was first done in the TV series when the Hunters (Humans) would shoot up an immortal and then allow another immortal of their choosing to take their heads (I think it was called Unholy Alliance, 2 part episode, I watched it on Hulu). The other nice new twist would be that Jacob Kell really didn't want to take Connor's head. He wanted to torture him until they were the last two immortals AND THEN take his head. This is very different if you've ever seen the first and third movie because the main villains’ are always after Connor's powers. The last portion of the movie that I think they did a great job on was how Connor had to sacrifice himself in order to make Duncan strong enough to take Kell on. This was done very well and indicates the whole passing of the torch motif. Usually the mentors (before it was Ramirez, then the Sorcerer) both got killed by the main villain of the movie. However, in this one they gave it a nice little twist with Connor forcing Duncan to take his head. I don't know about you but I got a little teary eyed.
Ok, That was the good. Now the bad. In the behind the scene featurette they talked about how "large" the budget was for the film but you can tell right off the bat that this movie has a cheap feel to it. Not Sci-fi channel cheap but almost there.
Secondly, the Posse of immortals didn't really do anything in the movie other than get shot up in the first fight with the Watchers, fight Duncan Macloed half way through the movie, and then all of them get their heads cut off in this surreal anti-climactic last supper scene. I think they needed to get rid of them and they said "HEY! How about Jacon Kell just walks around the table lobbing off their hands while they just stand there!" BRILLIANT! I mean, come on, at least make them attempt to fight back so they can get completely owned by Jacob.
Thirdly, they blatantly reused a fight scene in the final battle and I mean BLATANTLY. They are fighting through .....you guesses it.....another abandoned factory when all of a sudden Duncan and Jacob do the same exact fight movements from 5 minutes ago. This pissed me off a lot because the fight choreography looked good the first time they did it but when they literally replayed it again to lengthen the end battle it took away from its original goodness.
Hope you enjoyed my retrospective. I think the movies aren't as bad as people make them out to be. Just have fun with it and take them with a grain of salt.
Thanks for reading. Comments are appreciated.