Highlander II: The Quickening (AKA “Wait, What?)
So admittedly, the first Highlander was a fun and awesome movie. So one may assume that the sequel may be cool too right? In a perfect world, seeing more Highlander would have been awesome; but this isn’t a perfect world and everything that could possibly go wrong with a follow up did, in fact, go very, very, wrong. The film takes us to an Opera, which is sorta similar to the start of the first movie, in which we see Conner MacLeod in attendance, but this time he’s an old man because it’s now 2024 and he became mortal in the last movie. So that makes sense, so far the movie makes sense. We find out the ozone layer went to crap and MacLeod headed a group that built a “shield” to protect the Earth. Ok sure we’re screwing that all up, I’m still with you! Since this “shield” blocks out UV rays, Earth is in a constant state of night and it’s driving people a bit on the crazy side because most of Earth looks like modern day Detroit. Anyway, Connor has a vision of Ramirez allowing him to remember a forgotten part of his past….OK so he probably forgot something in the 1500s like maybe some event that should have killed him or some encounter with a Highlander before meeting the Kurgan right? NOPE! It turns out the Highlanders are really from another planet and Ramirez and MacLeod were friends there too! And here’s where nothing makes sense anymore, this is literally where my head begins to swell and my brain hurts because this all pre-dates the first movie… so how is it they didn’t know each other? Turns out that Ramirez and MacLeod led a rebellion against General Katana (Michael Ironside) on this planet and kinda buggered that up and get caught alive where they are sentenced to be reborn in the future as immortal swordsmen in a battle for the Prize….which turns out to be a “choice” of staying on Earth as a mortal or being returned to their home planet. This is where the film destroys everything that made the first movie awesome. This is all within the first ¼ of the movie too! So one can imagine how mindbogglingly stupid the rest of it will be.
General Katana decides that Conner MacLeod should not be returned to their home planet so he sends some henchmen to kill Conner in the future. The henchmen end up sucking and MacLeod beheads them both (the last one he beheads in a flying fight…don’t ask questions it just makes it harder to follow) and with the two henchmen beheaded the Quickening happens and MacLeod is restored to his youthful state and immediately bones the lady he just met that tried to sabotage his ozone protecting shield in the alleyway……wait, what? Wasn’t he a really old guy 5 seconds ago? Is this kinda borderline sexual assault? Anyway, somehow during the fight Conner causes Ramirez to resurrect just by saying his name. Wait, What? Ramirez can be resurrected just by speaking his name? why didn’t he do that before?. Anyway Rameriez is resurrected and comes back to life at the site of his beheading in Scotland…which has since become a theater so he’s on stage during a production of Hamlet. Thankfully in order to spare us from permanent brain damage, Connery is really funny and pisses off the Hamlet actor during his “To be, or not to be” soliloquy…He also sells his earrings to buy a suit and a plane ticket to New York, where he witnesses the craziest safety video EVER!!
After his henchmen fail, Katana is kinda mad and goes to the future to fight off Macleod. His first order of business however is to cause chaos on a train (all of the next video is funny, but the REAL fun starts a 2:00)
In addition to Katana, we get a sub-bad guy played by Dr Cox from Scrubs, who for some reason, decides to act like Orson Welles the entire movie, and he runs the corrupt Shield Corporation (not the one that Nick Fury runs in Iron Man). There’s this whole subplot about the shield not being needed anymore because the ozone is repaired but Dr Cox doesn’t want to take it down b/c he’s a corrupt businessman….look it doesn’t matter none of this film makes sense anyway (surely you caught that from the 2 clips). Anyway, we finally see some fighting, Ramirez dies once again saving MacLeod, and then the bad guy is defeated. So the movie was a confusing mess peppered in with some awesome WTF humor, but still none-the-less an awful movie and we accepted the fact that the franchise “beheaded itself” and died a miserable death right?