Monday, 25 August 2014

Highlander II: The Quickening

     So of the things I've learned on my hiatus: 1: don't trust a college kid to write a monthly review of bad movies while drunk ESPECIALLY if he's going to be going to Europe for a month in that time; 2: Fuck it, I'm going to keep doing this anyway, I might as well write it down.
      So begins Highlander II: The Quickening. Fuck me.
      We'll start by getting a lot of the easy jokes out of the way first: Highlander... is a ridiculous movie. Sean Connery is a Spanish Egyptian with a Scottish accent and he's mentoring Christopher Lambert who is supposed to be Scottish but has a French accent. And that is literally the least ridiculous thing about the first movie! ...Maybe. I personally think the least ridiculous thing about the first movie is that they live in a world where all music is Queen. No one can possibly convince me that a world where Freddy Mercury and Brian May being responsible for all music is not a better world than the one we live in. It also saddens me that I can't make a joke about how the first movie was all Queen and the second movie they're in a world with no Queen because the second movie was made in 1991 and Freddy died of AIDS. In a perfect world, Queen was also the soundtrack to Highlander II... and Highlander II would have been better. We do not live in a perfect world where all music is Queen.       And so we start... in the far off world of the future of 1999... could the early 90s not choose a further place in the future for things to happen just in case they were stupid (like they always are)? Besides that, the ozone is gone by 99, and the world's top scientists plus Connor MacLeod (our hero from the first Highlander) are putting up some sort of satellite fueled 90s effects-style shield to block the entire Earth from the light of the sun... yes, that's as dumb as you think it is. This is Highlander II, after all. Now it's 25 years later, and the immortal Highlander is in make-up to look 25 years older and-
     Can we just ask one serious question of this franchise? Why, if these guys are immortal, did Sean Connery get to be... old, before he kept living throughout the years while Lambert only aged until he was “action hero” age before living for several hundred years (same goes for Clancy Brown (the Kurgan) in the first one)? Who decides when these guys stop aging since they're supposed to be immortal? Thankfully, there's an answer in this next scene where old (Connor has aged all of those 25 years... putting this year at 2024) Highlander is at the opera and dead Sean Connery (he died halfway through the first movie) is talking to him.
      Connery's voice: “Remember, Highlander, remember your home. Another Galaxy.”
      Lambert's voice: “Yes! Yes I remember! 500 year ago!”
Given that Connery was supposed to be from ancient Egypt: WHAT?!?!
      Lambert again: “...on the planet Ziest!”
      This suddenly turned into Lawrence Of Arabia crossed with the lowest budget Star Wars rip-off (Ice Pirates? No, Ice Pirates is awesome). And now Sean Connery is saying a bunch of bullshit... but it's no matter, anything said in Sean Connery Voice is automatically important. Then some bullshit “Quickening” that basically sounds like Sean Connery has just tricked Christopher Lambert into marrying him.
      MICHAEL IRONSIDE! How in all fuck does he look like a grizzled, 40-something, seen-it-all, asshole that owns every scene he's in for like... 30 years? Seriously, He looks the same now (minus the ridiculous mullet) as he does in every movie he's ever in. And he sounds the same too. Just pure “don't give a fuck, I'm the one with power” bad-ass. Michael Ironside is the best, is basically what I'm saying.
       He's the bad guy and he wants to kill Lambert and Connery. Despite Ironside having the better last name, any match that features “Connery & Lambert vs Ironside”... I'll vote James Bond and Highlander vs a guy whose name is better than any nickname he could get). Wait. He's the ruler of the Highlander race (on planet Ziest because: stupid) but he's willing to take the leaders of the rebels into custody and then give them a trial in front of impartial judges where they are sentenced to banishment (“to the planet Earth. Once there, you will be immortal” …and this is their punishment?) and he accepts it. Are... are we cheering for the bad guys?
      Now there's some black suited terrorists trying to break into the shield complex through the dam that is, for some reason, part of the shield against the sun. This is dumb, but Virginia Madsen is their leader and she's hot and we've been told the Shield corporation is evil so I guess it's okay.
      There is SOOOOOO much cheesey sci-fi backgrounds going on. If this movie were made now I'd venture that the sets were made intentionally to be a parody of awful sci-fi. As it is, they have old (previously immortal) Christopher Lambert putting money into the juke box in some early 90s equivalent to an 80s dive bar in a move set in the mid-2020s... AND IT'S STILL NOT QUEEN!
      Seriously, you have your hero from the 80s picking a song... and you DON'T make it “Champions Of The Universe”? The literal theme song to his last movie? How could you NOT do that? There's so much irony, there's so much... oh wait. They are playing a Queen song. It's... not a good song. It may just be somebody trying to sound like Queen. Fuck 'em, some random fat girl in a flower dress decided to attack Highlander while he was old and in a bar. She got away and he got hurt and this movie is all kinds of stupid. Virginia Madsen is now talking to Highlander outside the bar and trying to tell him she isn't a terrorist despite her being a terrorist. Turns out she's just a whistle blower smeared by the corporate world. Also: that whole terrorist raid, but whatever. Moral high ground to the hot girl vs the faceless corporation!
      The Planet Ziest. Michael Ironside is sending two nimrods (he literally mumbles the words “it's so hard to find good help” before sending them off) to go kill Lambert on Earth despite... all logic. Even the idiot henchmen know sending Ziestians to earth will make Connor MacLoed immortal again since he will no longer be the last Highlander on Earth which... magic... heads cut off... oh my god this franchise is fucking stupid.
      Hoverboard fight scene with the idiots vs Lambert (MacLoed) and he's calling for “his old friend Rameriz” (Connery). I hate 1991. This movie thinks it's Michael Keaton's Batman and-
      Seriously, there's a train. Going down the middle of a street. Not one of those San Fran street cars or anything, a literal train going down the middle of the street for no reason other than to have MacLoed fighting on top of it. Oh, and now that he's killed one of the henchmen, and broken everything in the surrounding area (serious electric storm going on during this), he's young again... and looking like he's trying to model shampoo. I swear to god, there were a lot of shots in the first movie where they were basically framed JUST so Christopher Lambert could look like a hair product model. This movie... he does it once, and goes into a flying sword fight with the other henchman. Literally flying. They have hoverboards. This movie is stupid. There's too much flying. Not just for “beleiveabilty” or anything (that went out the window long ago) but just in general. There's too many and too long of shots of people flying and not nearly enough actual fighting for this fight scene.
      And now, for only slightly non-contractual reasons, Sean Connery shows up. In the middle of a performance of Hamlet and... “comedy”? This movie is awful. Fuck everything. There are bag pipes playing as Connery leaves the stage performance of Hamlet on Broadway. None of that makes any sense in this world or any other. Fuck you, planet Ziest.
      So Virgina Madsen (in her late 20s/early 30s at this point) just saw the 60ish year old guy she'd come to confront about the shield keeping the sun away fight two dicks on hoverboards and change into a 30some year old 80s action hero looking guy.... might as well make out with him in an alley!
      She does try and sum up the stupid of the plot. As they're both standing in flashy silk robes and drinking in the middle of a room so big that it could never exist outside of cartoons/comics in New york City. She makes it sound stupid, like it is, and then Connor (Lambert) just flicks it away by saying “yes, something like that”. THE BALLS ON THIS MOVIE! I salute them. Think about it: how many retarded movies are made nowadays. How many of them point out that they are retarded, And how many of them do that with a guy that looks like early 90s Christopher Lambert in jeans and a black sweater toasting a drink to the literal explanation of the retarded plot? None. Highlander II is king of everything.
      I hate this movie. So dumb. We're going to skip ahead for a long while. The version goes: The radiation above the shield is normal, Dr. Cox from Scrubs is being his dickish self but evil. And he can act circles around Chris Lambert... but is TRYING SO HARD NOT TO... and then Ironside shows up on Earth. Is as awesome as his name is (as far as a terrible movie allows). And then is MORE awesome because the entire subway scene is stupid beyond words. Everything about it re-inforces Michael Ironside's commentary about the movie where he says: “it was a piece of shit. If I was going to be in it, I was going to be so over the top...” (paraphrases)
      The scene in the church is ridiculous. Ironside acts circles around Lambert. The diolgoue pushes the limits of what is... well, not “believable” since they lost that long ago, but even “stomachable”.
      And now Sean Connery is walking around Scotland looking for a new suit and... comedy? This movie sucks. SOOOO HARD! This scene: fuck all things ever. For all time. AND HE DOESN'T EVEN END UP LOOKING GOOD! (Sean Connery aside). The suit is awful, the comedy is not, everything is wrong with this movie and I hate you all.
      The whole point of 5 minutes of this movie is: Sean Connery is a pimp, regardless of the age or planet his born into. That could literally be summed up by just a picture of Sean Connery and those words being spoken by him. No one else, even despite his “punching women in the face” stance, could ever just stand behind a picture of himself, tell you he was awesome, and then have all the ladies wanting him, and all the guys wanting to punch him for stealing the ladies but being too scared to 'cause he's Sean Connery. Seriously? How could you punch James Bond? What happens when you miss?
      Highlander II is still happening.
      It really shouldn't be. But Michael Ironside DEMANDS he have a sword fight at some point. (35 minutes left in the movie) Ironside shows up at the corporate meeting that Dr. Cox is trying to run and... GETS SHOT BUY DR. COX'S GOON! That is LITERALLY the best thing about this movie and the start of some 80s/90s hybrid that involves RoboCop.
      TELL ME you would not pay to see that movie!
      Patent pending.
      Ironside doesn't die... I still think it's odd a guy has a hitman with him in a board meeting... and then Ironside takes over. He's talking with Dr. Cox and they are trying SOOO hard to be good actors despite the movie they're in. They both succeed. Lambert: does not.
      Virginia Madsen: goes from terrorist leader to “sleeping love interest” within half an hour and the movie is only 90 minutes long. The 90s/80s?! Either way, being a woman in an “action movie” (this one lacking ALL the action) sucks. At least in Die Hard, Holly tazered the guy.
      Literally, 2/3rds of the way through the movie, Lambert and Connery meet up. This isn't so shattering a news except the ONLY REASON this movie was made was the first one made money, and Christopher Lambert became friends with Sean Connery while filming the first one to the point where he INSISTED Connery be in the second one (even though Connery's character died) or he wouldn't make the movie
      I... start to see why this movie was so ridiculous..
      Side note: is Christopher Lambert in the Expendables yet? I feel like he should be in The Expendables if for no other reason for there to be a ridiculously large explosion (80s/Expendables-style) and have him walk out of it afterward and be like “yeah, what did you expect? I'm never going to die.”
     That'd be the hat tip for the end of that franchise. As for this one:
      For no reason Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert sword fight and trade quips. And then are friends and drinking. And then Virginia Madsen shows herself and Sean Connery says (I kid you not): “It’s nice to see some things have improved over the years”.
      This means: A: women have improved in the last 500 years that Sean Connery hasn't been around for. B: Literally everything Sean Connery says in this movie is based on the camera being pointed at him, the director whispering “action”, and him just saying whatever the fuck came to mind as he was boozing it up with Lambert and playing the “I'm James Bond” card.
      Oh my god, they try to do comedy. WITHOUT playing up the fact Lambert has been in America for (at least) dozens of years and hasn't lost his accent. Also, they have Sean Connery saying lines while he's CLEARLY in the “fuck it, I want some money” part of his career.
      (Personal note: I blame this movie for League Of Extraordinary Gentleman even though it was like 10 years after the fact and Connery was in The Avengers before it was cool and... well, basically I blame this movie for EVERYTHING Sean Connery related and James Bond related.... except for the GoldenEye game for N64. That was AMAZING and could only have been improved by having Connery replace Brosnan)
      The movie. Still going on.
      The Highlanders are in a car. Getting shot up by goons. Why is this dramatic? They're IMMORTAL and everyone knows it. ...And Virginia Madsen plays the dumbest blonde ever... and... it works? I hate this movie, this plan, this stupid fucking idiot fucking shit.
      Clearly now they are in the morgue (which is where Madsen is because she's a witness and dumb things are going to happen this movie, accept it).
     All alive, one liners, plot advancement. I would rather play GoldenEye.
      I could literally not care less about this.
      Holy fuck: Ironside and Dr. Cox are in a scene and trying to out act each other. This might b the best scene of the entire movie considering these are the only two actors (non-Sean Connery edition) who can actually act. And they, at this point in the movie, know how shitty it is. This is going to be Shatner levels of awesome.
      IronCox are idiots. They think they can leave killer fans around James Bond and think it's going to kill James Bond, Highlander, and [Hot Girl #85].
      There's literally no way that happens in any movie franchise either of them are in. (side note: Christopher Lambert is in Southland Tales which is an AWESOME movie and he... is AWESOME in it)
      None of this makes sense in the movie. Everyone that has ever sen this is stupid. Ironside and John C. McGinly are lucky to be so awesome they get away from this.
Highlander fights Ironside. Highlander wins.
      Highlander went on to be Christopher Lambert who was AWESOME in Southland Tales and also great in Expendables.... 4? I seriously think Lambert (the Highlander) needs to be in Expendables.
      Sean Connery went on to be bitter. Turn down Gandalf, and then make LXG because he was old and didn't know better.
     Virginia Madsen went on to be “that girl who's the wife of the guy” in a lot of movies but still hot 20 years later.
      Michael Ironside went on to be AMAZING. If you need a reason: “The Machinist” with Christian Bale, Also: any other Ironside performance, ever. Hardest Canadian since Bob Baun.
      John C. McGinley went on to make friends with Oliver Stone and be in all movies he's ever made. Plus Dr. Cox on Scrubs.
     Highlander II is awful. Even Highlander movies and the series that came out after it ignore it.


  1. What's your beef with League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Why am I the only person who enjoyed that movie?

  2. Just asking your question: immortals in the Highlander multiverse live normal lives until they get their "first death", that is, when they are killed by any means other than normal death by old age. Then they wake up fully immortal and stop aging. Ramírez looks much older than Connor because he "died" at a later age.