Awfully Good Movies – Highlander 2: The Quickening

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

Highlander II: The Quickening

DIRECTOR: Russell Mulcahy          CAST: Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Virginia Madsen

The Awfully 90s Summer is winding down to its conclusion, and while COVID-19 may have made this summer far crueler than even Bananarama could have envisioned, let's end it on a high note by finally giving the Awfully Good treatment to one of the worst sequels/movies of not just the 90s, but of all time…from 1991, it's HIGHLANDER II: THE QUICKENING!

Five years after HIGHLANDER underwhelmed at the box office only to gather a cult following on home video, director Russell Mulcahy finally got the opportunity to give us the continuing adventures of immortal Scotsman Connor MacLeod, with Christopher Lambert returning as the now-mortal MacLeod, who's used his newly acquired prize of unlimited knowledge to save Earth from that pesky ozone layer with a planetary shield that's put the world into permanent darkness.

And if you're already wary of this mid-80s fantasy movie suddenly fast forwarding to 2024 to become BLADE RUNNER out of nowhere, it gets even worse when the sequel retcons MacLeod's origin story and reveals that he and his mentor Ramirez–played again by Sean Connery–were actually aliens from the planet Zeist who were reincarnated onto the planet Earth amidst their fellow immortal aliens as punishment for trying to fight their tyrannical leader. Yep, go back and read that last sentence again…that actually happened, after HIGHLANDER II's Argentinian financial backers interfered with the movie's production to ensure the film made a good chunk of change amidst their country's financial crisis.

But in the tradition of George Lucas and Zack Snyder, Russell Mulcahy and the HIGHLANDER producers were able to reedit their sequel to their specifications with 1995's Renegade Version and 2004's Special Edition, which thankfully eliminate the alien backstory to establish the immortals as a tribe from Earth's distant past. Unfortunately, no matter what cut of HIGHLANDER II you watch, you'll still find a laughable mess of sci-fi gobbledigook all the same, with comedically over-the-top performances from Michael Ironside as the heartless (yet frequently wisecracking) dictator General Katana and John C. McGinley as the corporate asshole who's keeping the planet shield active despite the ozone layer having healed itself.

But while HIGHLANDER II may be a laughable shadow of its genuinely great predecessor that set this franchise on an irreversible downhill slope, there's plenty left to enjoy even if for the wrong reasons–whether it's Sean Connery interrupting a stage production of HAMLET to ask what a shithead is, two porcupine-haired henchmen who try killing MacLeod with their ridiculous weasel laughter, and Virginia Madsen being none too hard on the eyes as MacLeod's new love interest. No Queen soundtrack this time, though, what with Freddie Mercury dying and all, but still, HIGHLANDER II packs plenty of unintentional entertainment value to provide an epic finale for our Awfully 90s Summer. If only this franchise had taken the Kurgan's advice and chose to burn out instead of fading away.

Congrats to all our viewers who stayed safe from COVID-19 during our Awfully 90s Summer! Now take a break from your online college courses and relive some of those Awfully Good memories…

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Source: JoBlo Videos

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