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Highlander II: The Quickening
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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely Hideous

Author: TheNorthernMonkee from Manchester
22 June 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


In 1986, with a Queen soundtrack to be proud of, there was "Highlander". With Christopher Lambert as Connor McLeod of the clan McLeod, 80s cinema had a hero worthy of our attention. With that in mind, it feels obvious now that a sequel was always going to appear. This sequel eventually would make an appearance in 1991, but to this day, I'd be very surprised if anyone felt this film was a good idea.

In "Highlander II: The Quickening", Connor McLeod is an old man. Having become mortal at the end of the original feature, McLeod saved the world with a "shield" to protect the world from the typical 1980s terror that was Global Warming. Twenty five years later and the shield has become a plague upon mankind, covering the skies and leaving the world in eternal darkness. With the help of his old friend Ramirez (Sean Connery) and Louise Marcus (80s icon Virginia Madsen), McLeod does battle with old enemy General Katana (Michael Ironside) as he attempts to fix his old mistake.

There really is little good that can be said about this second Highlander film. Simply put, it never should have been made. Rather than trying to think up any good points, let's just look a few of the problems with it.

Firstly, the plot of "Highlander II" destroys elements of the original film. Whilst in the original, McLeod was born in medieval Scotland and Connery's Ramirez was an ancient Egyptian, in this film they are exciled rebels from a different planet. Sent to Earth as punishment, they are told they may only return home once there is only one of them remaining. This new twist to the Highlander idea is hideous and quite frankly, farcical.

The second truely awful thing about this film is the acting. Whilst not a massive fan of Sean Connery at the best of times, in this film he is particularly attrocious as the Egyptian Alien with a Scottish accent who dies to the sound of Scottish Bagpipes. Alongside him is the tedious Christopher Lambert who speaks so softly during the film that the volume needs to be raised to a degree that any sound effect deafens the audience. Whilst a novel if unbelievable partnership in the first film, in the sequel Connery and Lambert are generally awful.

The final problem with this film which is worth talking about is the colours and the lighting involved. As a result of the "shield" being bright red and blotting out the Sun, the vast majority of this film is set in either pitch black or in a brain haemorraging red and black mix. It is impossible to follow the events in this film, not just due to the abysmal plot, but also because if you look at the screen for too long, you find your retina burning inside your skull.

In an attempt to summarise, whilst the creators of "Highlander" produced a simple action film which was simple to relax and enjoy, when they created this first sequel to it, they created an abomination. "Highlander II" is in the worst 100 films of all times list on this website, the only criticism to be made of this is that it isn't in that list at number one. Avoid this film like the Black Death.

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14 out of 21 people found the following review useful:


Author: BlackStrain from Canada
1 May 2002

I understand the CIA is going to be using this movie to interrogate suspects now. The amazing part is that everyone along the chain of command thought it was a good idea to release this movie into the general public. This movie needs warnings on the cover to stop people from renting it.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Quickening vs. The Renegade Version

Author: nilssonbst from Sweden
2 February 2011

It is so weird to read people's stories here. I couldn't believe what I was reading, when I saw this movie as a kid I loved it, and when I watch it today I think it's awesome.

So... I did some research.

It turns out that most people have watched Highlander II: The Quickening, which is supposedly a real piece of dodo. The Renegade Version, however, well... it rocks! I love the settings, the opera music in the beginning, the cool sci-fi storyline, everything has the raw 80's look and it's wonderful.

This is not a slow movie, and there are a lot of things to appreciate. It has two great actors in the lead and a great supporting cast. What more could you ask for?

Check it out, it is really good.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

THE Worst Movie Ever

Author: Altern8
30 March 2001

This movie should be the standard by which ALL other awful movies are judged.

I propose that Highlander II should be made the S.I. Unit of Bad Movies. There should be a scale from 1 to 10 and Highlander II should be the only movie at the Elite #10 spot. No other movie would be allowed to achieve #10 status. The really bad ones could only hope to attain a 9 on the Highlander II scale.

Highlander II is so bad, it reaches back into the past and spoils the first one. The first one did not try to explain the immortals. That was one of the coolest things about it. Fans who watched the first one could come up with their own interpretation of why the immortals were immortal. After you saw the first one, you could develop your own personal cool theory and explain it to your girlfriend / discuss with mates about why they were immortals...

Highlander II decided to destroy that "cool factor" with their silly idiotic explanation. The twits that made the movie must have been high on something! Or perhaps they got a mentally retarded 5-year old to come up with that explanation! Did they ever hear the phrase "leave well enough alone?"

You would definitely have a lot more fun flushing your money penny-after-penny down the toilet than spending it to watch this movie. If you ever make the mistake of watching it, make sure you have a brain surgeon handy to remove the brain cells that contain any trace of its memory from your brain right afterwards...

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Possibly the worst film ever made

Author: crow-53 from San Francisco, USA
19 March 2000

One of two films I have ever walked out of while at the cinema. This is truly an awful film. It doesn't even fall into the "so bad its good" category. A black hole seems to have eaten the plot. It directly contradicts the first film; it isn't even internally consistent. The acting would be laughable if it didn't make you cry. The directing seems to have been handed over to a wombat. The cinematography was woeful. Its as if somone gave the director a one line summary of the first film, and then the cast of amateur-dramatic students improvised the second film live while someone's mum shot it on Super-8. Dire, dire

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

There should have been only one

Author: Michael Foley ( from United States
6 December 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This whole review is a spoiler, but if there ever was a movie that needed spoiling, this was it. I could also argue that this movie spoils itself and nothing anyone could say will change that. That was the only movie I ever saw where I walked out went down the line asking people if they were planning to see it and begging them to cash in their tickets and do something, anything, else with the next two hours of their life. I actually made my fiancé, her sister and her sisters boyfriend wait to eat until I finished warning everyone in the line, I was on a mission to make the world just that much better. I think I was successful in most cases, many people thanked me. New Yorkers, standing in line in January, thanked me for telling them they were more than wasting their time, they were sacrificing it to the unworthy. Highlander II: The quickening and Serenity mark the ends of the scale upon which all SF movies can be measured IMDb doesn't have a zero rating or I would have used it. It is the cinematic equivalent of absolute zero, and I saw both Toxic Avenger and Battle beyond the Stars in theaters on their respective opening weekends. SPOILER WARNING: This next paragraph contains the spoiler I mentioned up front, skip to the "YOU ARE NOW BEYOND THE SPOILER" message to avoid double spoilage. They must have offered Sean Connery a couple of shipping containers full of unmarked bills and the promise that his character would die early in the movie to get him involved. YOU ARE NOW BEYOND THE SPOILER I continue to recommend the original Highlander as a great movie to introduce people to good Science Fiction, but always with the caveat that they must never see the sequel, "There should have been only one"

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Boy, what a stinker

Author: benwa4u from The Emerald City
15 January 2004

They should have called the third installment "Highlander 2: forget about that last thing, will ya?" You can't just change the premise from the first film of what the immortals are, then bring back one that was dead. But aside from that, the screen play was awful. What? She gets out of the bullet ridden trunk without a scratch? (Bad casting there, by the way.) Ramirez holds up several tons of spinning concrete, then dies again? The bad guy? (Bad casting there, by the way.) Someone told me "save your time, you will regret seeing it". I thought "but I have to, I loved the first one so well". Well, I should have listened.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

I cannot fathom how this gets more than a one

Author: ebuck70 from United States
8 April 2005

Truly a disappointment. A testament as to how to destroy nearly everything appealing in the previous film.

I saw the director's cut at a dollar theater thinking that it was odd I hadn't noticed the film's debut at the regular theaters. This was the only film I have ever seen that left me feeling violated. Somehow I struggled through the entire length (it seemed an eternity) of the film, constantly bolstering myself up with optimistic phrases like, "It's been so bad so far, that it couldn't possibly get any worse." and "Well, the whole thing can't be bad, there's got to be something good before the ending." I was wrong. This film was torture to watch. I left the theater feeling that I had been brutally robbed of my dollar, and worse yet, that I had lost a portion of my life (the time I took to watch the thing) that I would never be able to recover.

Don't even watch it as a joke. Please don't watch it to see how bad it truly is. You won't get that quirky fun feeling that can be found in other famously bad films. This won't find a niche as a cult film. It will only be useful as a measuring stick for very, very bad films. Someday, someone will say, "The worst film I've seen in twenty years, almost 80% as bad as Highlander II, The Quickening".

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

New effects and this cut is at least watchable

Author: amesmonde from Novelist of The Final Version
29 November 2010

Highlander Connor MacLeod must reveal the truth about the Earth's anti-ozone shield while fighting some immortals sent from the past.

It lacks the danger and finesse of the original, but thankfully the new Highlander 2 edit with updated effects makes this troubled and poorly executed sequel at least watchable, compared to the original theatrical release.

Michael Ironside and supporting cast give distracting, larger than life theatrical performances. Sean Connery lights up the screen, and Christopher Lambert is notable especially in the aged make-up. Virginia Madsen comes off in the best light, although she is not given enough to do, going from strong feisty conservationist to love interest in a blink of an eye. Nevertheless, the script is poor and the editing is still choppy. The film has a serious pacing issue which no amount of re-jigging can correct.

It has some redeeming qualities, the sets and score are excellent and director Russell Mulcahy gives some fantastic sweeping shots. The new cut now makes sense; for example why MacLeod becomes immortal again, hinting that he has forgotten a past, prior the setting of the first film, and gone is the idea that Ramírez and Connor come from another planet.

If you must watch Highlander 2, avoid the 'The Quickening' version at all cost and watch the 2010 blu-ray release. Although it's far from a kind of magic.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: swedzin from Deadwood
24 February 2010

SABOTAGE!!! This film is a sabotage! A pure fiasco! I don't know where to freaking' begin! What's wrong with this picture? The story is very weak and silly. The futuristic world is just awful! The cinematography, special effects, ambient, script... - terrible! Things in this film are just terrible. Christopher Lambert is wooden as always, with funny french accent and his "trademark" "I'm happy to see you" laugh". This entire film is... God-knows-what... Virginia Madsen is the cute little girl, from whom audience expect to see her naked in Christopher Lambert's hands, and make some sweet, sweet loooove to him. Yes, there was a sex between the two lovebirds... but... it wasn't filmed. YOU SEE!!! They didn't keep the sex scene tradition of Highlander films! OK, kidding, he he he... Sean Connery's return was fine, as expected (predictable!), perhaps producers and director saw the future failure of their project, so they (and Christopher Lambert also) called upon Sean to "save" their film. But, didn't make it! Michael Ironside is good as General Katana, I love his voice, he did a fine job. But, he didn't save the movie... no... John C. McGinley was OK as funny-slimy business man, but again... no help... Awful film, just awful. Think trice before you watch it.

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