Welcome to 90 from the ‘90s; the movie-related post in which I watch, discuss and debate a film from the 1990s – a film that I’ve NEVER SEEN. Posting on a semi-regular basis, I aim to work my way through 90 movies that I’ve previously missed/avoided, recording my thoughts along the way.
I’m going to watch good films, bad films, forgotten classics, Oscar winners and everything in between. Some of these films you’ll be surprised I’ve never seen, others you’ll completely understand why I’ve avoided them for 20+ years.
The rules are as follows:
- The film must be from the 1990s (1990-1999)
- The film must be a movie I’ve not watched before
Today’s unseen ‘90s movie is…
Highlander II: The Quickening (1991)
There is one very simple, very clear reason why I have never watched Highlander II: The Quickening – it is considered to be one of the worst movies of all time. Put simply, Highlander II is notoriously dreadful, so up until now I’ve avoided this film like the plague.
Also, I’m not going to lie, I’m simply not much of a Highlander fan. I’ve watched the original movie; I’ve seen a few episodes of the animated show; and I’ve sat through half-a-dozen episodes of Highlander: The Raven, but I’ve never been a fan of the mythology.
That’s not me saying there’s anything wrong with Highlander; it’s simply me saying that I’ve just never been into it. For this reason, I’ve never had any interest in watching this movie, which is regarded as a low point for the Highlander series.
So, why I am I putting myself through this?
Because I’m insane!
As for what I know about Highlander II?
I’m aware that the film performed badly at the box office and that multiple cuts of the movie exist. I don’t know how many cuts, but I believe it is enough to make this film even more confusing than it already is.
Time to see what all the fuss is about.
*Clicks the play button*
5 secs – ‘The year is 2024.’ Erm… no it’s not – it’s 2018! Or…. possibly 1991. Either way, it’s not 2024.
10secs – There’s a lot of onscreen text right now to make it clear that the world is in a bit of a mess. Surely it would have been easier to open the movie with the word ‘Brexit’?
4mins – Christopher Lambert has just appeared on screen and he looks bored. Perhaps he’s already been forced to watch a cut of this movie?
6mins – Sean Connery has popped up. I presume someone will explain how he’s still alive after being killed off in Highlander. Oh,wait, this is a flashback. So is this scene set before the events of the previous movie?
9mins 30secs – Michael Ironside is stroking a snake. That’s not a euphemism – he’s actually stroking a snake.
10mins – Now he’s squeezing the snake. Once again, that’s not a euphemism.
11mins 45secs – Right, so Sean Connery has just dropped a throwaway line to explain how he was resurrected for the sequel. I won’t bore you with the details (mostly because I can’t recall the exact line) but the gist of it is, “If you want to pay me to be in a sequel, I’ll be there regardless of whether or not my appearance contradicts the events of the original movie. Now, where’s the cash?”
16mins 35secs – I’m not afraid to admit it, but at present I have no idea what’s going on. I also don’t know which cut of the movie I’m watching. It’s the version that is currently on Amazon. The running time is 1hr 49mins and 46secs if that means anything to anyone. Anyone? I presume this version is known as ‘The Shit Cut’.
20mins – Queen’s hit song, ‘A Kind of Magic‘ is playing in the background of this scene. This is probably the high point of the movie.
20mins 20secs – Hang on a second, wasn’t A Kind of Magic featured on soundtrack to Highlander? Is this film just reusing all the good stuff from the first film? Is Clancy Brown going to pop up in a minute?
27mins – The sets used in this movie are very cool. You can tell that Batman (1989) was released two years prior to this film hitting cinema screens. If I didn’t know any better I’d say that Christopher Lambert was wandering around Gotham City.
31mins – Christopher Lambert has spent the past half-an-hour acting like an old man. I’m using the term ‘acting’ very loosely. He’s now back to acting like a de-aged, regular Christopher Lambert. Again, I use the term ‘acting’ very loosely.
35mins – Sean Connery s back (this time in the present). He seems very happy to be in this movie. The paycheck must have been good.3
39mins – Someone has just tried to explain the plot of this movie. Christopher Lambert’s response? “Something like that.” Yeah, even he doesn’t know what’s going on and he’s read the script!
48mins – Michael Ironside is being menacing in a way that only Michael Ironside can pull off. He also seems to be dressed like Meatloaf for some reason.
50mins – Michael Ironside is driving a train, at breakneck speed. I don’t really know why, but at this stage it’s probably best to accept such things.
57mins – Remember what I said about the sets being reminiscent of Batman? Yeah, well now the film seems to be borrowing heavily from Blade Runner (1982). Very heavily.
1hr 3mins – Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery and Michael Ironside are all in this movie, yet they are not sharing any screen time. Did they all just hate each other? More importantly, what’s going on?!?!
1hr 5mins – Oh, now Lambert and Ironside are on screen together. Connery is still off doing his own thing though.
1hr 7mins – “Will this never end?” Ha! My thoughts exactly.
1hr 10mins – If I was judging this movie purely on it’s look and/or design, then I’d say that visually it’s not bad. Sure, it steals all its best ideas from other movies but it’s a nice little world that is being created. However, I’m not judging this movie on it’s aesthetic – I’m judging it based on being a movie as a whole; so, that’s story, acting, the whole shebang. Based on this criteria, Highlander II is a steaming pile of poop.
1hr 15mins – Sean Connery is finally sharing the screen with Christopher Lambert. Yeah, at this point in the movie I no longer care.
1hr 26mins – Still no idea what’s going on. Or why Sean Connery was roped back in to appear in this movie. I know why he said yes, but why did anyone bother writing him into the script?
1hr 30mins 30secs – Sean Connery has just sacrificed himself, prompting Christopher Lambert to ask if he will ever see him again? Connery’s response: “Who knows?” I believe this can be loosely translated as “No you won’t, unless a mountain of cash is sent to my house on a daily basis. Then, and only then will you see me again. But even that’s not a guarantee.”
1hr 31mins – To the best of my knowledge, Sean Connery didn’t return to the series after this instalment.
1hr 40mins – Michael Ironside has just lost his head. I’ve just lost one-hour-40-minutes of my life. Who is worse off? It’s not Ironside, believe me.
1hr 43mins 30secs – Is it over?
1hr 43mins 40secs – It’s over.
Wow. That was complete tripe.
The movie clearly had lofty ambitions and a lot of potential, but the end result was just a mess. Purely from an entertainment point of view it was simply not entertaining.
The other Highlander sequels can’t be any worse, can they? You know what, I don’t need an answer to that question – I have no desire to watch any more.
56 movies down; 34 to go!
For past entries in the 90 from the ’90s series, check out: F/X2: The Deadly Art of Illusion (1991), Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999), Showgirls (1995), American History X (1998), North (1994), Jack Frost (1998), Psycho (1998), A League of Their Own (1992), Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), Patch Adams (1998), My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997), Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992), You’ve Got Mail (1998), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Graveyard Shift (1990), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), Striptease (1996), Indecent Proposal (1993), My Girl 2 (1994), The Ghost and the Darkness (1996), Poison Ivy (1996), Body of Evidence (1993), Turbulence (1997), Fatal Instinct (1993), True Romance (1993), Newsies (1992), Contact (1997), The Pelican Brief (1993), Natural Born Killers (1994), Shakespeare in Love (1998), A Perfect Murder (1998), Quigley Down Under (1990), Of Mice and Men (1992),Friday (1995), Mannequin on the Move (1991), She’s All That (1999), Double Dragon (1994), Stay Tuned (1992), Murder at 1600 (1997),Weekend at Bernie’s II (1993), My Own Private Idaho (1991), Wagons East (1994), In the Line of Fire (1993), Postcards from the Edge (1990), Universal Soldier (1992), Passenger 57 (1992), Mo’ Better Blues (1990), The Client (1994), Good Will Hunting (1997), Pump Up the Volume (1990), Mr. Nanny (1993), Fargo (1996), Hudson Hawk (1991), So I Married An Axe Murderer (1993) and Timecop (1994).