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  • Which is the best Highlander sequel?

    Let's hear it, and why.
    13
    Highlander 2 (any particular version of it)
    15.38%
    2
    Highlander III: The Final Dimension/The Sorcerer
    15.38%
    2
    Highlander: Endgame
    69.23%
    9
    Highlander: The Source
    0%
    0
    Highlander: The Search for Vengeance
    0%
    0
    Highlander: Dark Places

  • #2
    "Best" is a matter of opinion and everyone is entitled to their own. However, in the case of this question in relation to the Highlander franchise, any opinion other than "Endgame" is wrong.

    None of the films are without their flaws, but at least Endgame tried to keep the story grounded in what we already know about the lore and bring us a story that combines the film and TV legacies together. Bonus points for bringing back the original actors to reprise their roles, even if they weren't executed perfectly.

    Second place would go to Highlander 3 for recovering nicely after the embarrassment of Highlander 2. Unfortunately it is basically a rehash of the original plot with a less-interesting villain and so much cheese that I always make sure to bring a bag of nachos with me when I watch it.

    The Search for Vengeance is in third place simply for the fact that it is neither Highlander 2 nor The Source.

    Highlander 2 is an interesting specimen. It took YEARS to discover its only redeeming point: it isn't Highlander: The Source. This revelation allowed the movie to rise in rank and no longer be the worst sequel.

    That brings us to The Source which, clearly, does have a good point. It is so bad that it actually makes Highlander 2 look good in comparison. I can respect that sort of self-sacrifice and brotherly love even if there is no substantial quality in this film.

    Comment


    • #3
      I honestly think that I'd get some enjoyment out of anything with "Highlander" in the title so there are none that I really dislike. My favourite is Endgame just because, as n107 said, it made a serious attempt to sort the franchise out and tie the films and TV series together as well as it could. For me it had the best "spirit" of all the films. It's a shame that we've had two re-releases of Highlander 2 while Endgame still hasn't been done justice in terms of the edit. The "Producers Cut" was an improvement on the theatrical, but it still fell far short of what the film could be as far as I can tell. I wonder how much of the unused footage still exists. I'd love to see some two hour long Special Edition.

      I think my least favourite is Highlander 3. It's understandable that after Highlander 2 they'd want to play it safe, but the result was a film that's just far too similar to the original for me.
      Formerly known as "Quickening"

      My latest video in which I visit an ancient broch and cairns: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxY2hYR6GXw

      Comment


      • Aleander
        Aleander commented
        Editing a comment
        Not to brag, but my nearly-finished fan-edit of Endgame is over two hours long.

    • #4
      Originally posted by David McMurdo View Post
      I honestly think that I'd get some enjoyment out of anything with "Highlander" in the title so there are none that I really dislike. My favourite is Endgame just because, as n107 said, it made a serious attempt to sort the franchise out and tie the films and TV series together as well as it could. For me it had the best "spirit" of all the films. It's a shame that we've had two re-releases of Highlander 2 while Endgame still hasn't been done justice in terms of the edit. The "Producers Cut" was an improvement on the theatrical, but it still fell far short of what the film could be as far as I can tell. I wonder how much of the unused footage still exists. I'd love to see some two hour long Special Edition.

      I think my least favourite is Highlander 3. It's understandable that after Highlander 2 they'd want to play it safe, but the result was a film that's just far too similar to the original for me.
      I think H3 is a fairly harmless requel. The Scotland stuff earns it a place in the franchise, in my book.
      Highlander: Dark Places

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by Andrew NDB View Post

        I think H3 is a fairly harmless requel. The Scotland stuff earns it a place in the franchise, in my book.
        Oh yeah, for sure. The Bonny Portmore scene alone justifies its existence. I'd be really interested in seeing some behind the scenes stuff from the making of the film. I once read an interview with the director who complained about the final edit, but he wasn't very specific and I don't know anything about the pre-production beyond that.
        Formerly known as "Quickening"

        My latest video in which I visit an ancient broch and cairns: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxY2hYR6GXw

        Comment


        • #6
          I like most of them a lot. In my opinion The search for vengeance is more a parallel story, The Source more like an extended episode of series 5, Highlander 2 is a decent sci-fi flick and while Endgame should have been the winner, it's just lacking in between Connor's death and the final confrontation between Duncan and Kell. So Highlander III gets my vote.
          May flights of Demons guide you to your final rest...

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by Nicholas Ward View Post
            I like most of them a lot. In my opinion The search for vengeance is more a parallel story, The Source more like an extended episode of series 5, Highlander 2 is a decent sci-fi flick and while Endgame should have been the winner, it's just lacking in between Conner's death and the final confrontation between Duncan and Kell. So Highlander III gets my vote.
            H2 would be an above average sci-flick as say if it was just a stand alone movie. My favorite part was Conner and Ramirez arguing over who had been shot more. Neither attempted explanation for the origin of Immortals made sense if it's viewed as a sequel.
            They will need music to uplift
            It'll be a godsend it'll be a gift
            And hope and glory to coincide
            They'll need the strength and warmth and comfort
            That the music will provide

            Comment


            • dubiousbystander
              dubiousbystander commented
              Editing a comment
              For me, aliens made far more sense than the past. I was trying to explain to a friend once about Highlander 2 while we were at a restaurant. I lined up a few cups, a couple of plates, a bowl, and a pitcher of water. "These are, say, some of the things that were wrong with the movie. If you take away the pitcher, there are still the other dozen things. If you take away the pitcher and replace it with a vase, it's still wrong. If you take away the other things, the pitcher is still there, but hey it's full of water!"

            • Saber Dog
              Saber Dog commented
              Editing a comment
              I liked that scene too. But my favorite was Ramirez getting his new suit.

            • Aleander
              Aleander commented
              Editing a comment
              Please, dubiousbystander. I've seen that claim before, but it never ceases to amaze me. Aliens, coming from another planet to be REBORN as Earthians (there's no term for Highlander 2's terrestial re-arrangement, so I'm not using Trek's or anyone else's), can play the Game until one of them wins the Prize and comes back? Oh, and apparently NONE OF THEM REMEMBER THIS! Connor doesn't even remember it after he's won the damn Prize, so that was pointless.

              The ancient past retcon, while hokey cause it was basically an afterthought, does however keep the secrecy of the Immortals' origins intact. Its an unknowable mystery still. Hell, all the Priests do is make sure the Gathering doesn't happen in their lifetime, by banishing what they see as a threat to them, someone who can inspire others and who could, if he survived the Game, use that Prize to stop them. So they banish him and Ramirez to the future, thus prolonging the Game and ensuring their survival. It doesn't mean that all Immortals are banished from the ancient past, and it doesn't relegate the mystery of their origins into a middle finger.

          • #8
            I loved Endgame because it had both Duncan and Connor (even though I hated it when Connor forced Duncan to take his head). I guess that's because I never saw any of the movies until after I got hooked on the series so, to me, Duncan was my first taste of Immortals.

            Comment


            • #9
              Originally posted by Haplo View Post

              H2 would be an above average sci-flick as say if it was just a stand alone movie.
              Maybe, but I wouldn't say "above average." It doesn't even make sense within itself. It's about on par with most late-night-Showtime/HBO/Cinemax movies of the era, though (Cyborg 2, Crash and Burn, etc.).
              Highlander: Dark Places

              Comment


              • #10
                None of the sequels are even remotely worthy of being called "best" for any reason.

                2 is so far out of left field of what anyone expects a HL sequel to be, its insipid plot about aliens coming from another planet and an underdeveloped environmental plot are just add-ons to the lunacy. I love it, and excuse it, but best? Hell no.

                3 is nearly a straight remake of the first, save for the Connor-Sarah flashback story and the Bonny Portmore montage. But its also the stupidest in plot terms (so Connor wasn't REALLY the last one, you dig?) and the jokes feel forced and ruin every scene imaginable (well, except one or two).

                4 is, basically, two or three plots of the show stitched together, with the most cliched of devices (super terrible unstoppable baddie, complete with unnecessary sacrifice) and a horrible interpretation of Connor and to a lesser extent Duncan (yeah, he killed Kate because he loved her). Its also the least ambitious, visually.

                5 is one of the worst movies ever made. Aside from Joe's death, and maybe one or two choice acting scenes, there's literally nothing to see here. I keep waiting for Jer to release his damn re-edit because it at least adds some needed connection to the rest of the franchise, and makes it more necessary in terms of story and also adds some much needed scope and detail, which this film doesn't have any. Its so bad, no one even has to argue against it. Its the one thing most fans agree on, and that REALLY takes a lot of effort to achieve.

                Despite all the above, there's still things to enjoy in all of them. In almost all of them, any enjoyment comes from the actors bringing more to the material than the material actually gives them back. Lambert and Connery's interaction in 2 is more fun and enjoyable than in the first (sacrilege, but its true), and whenever Adrian Paul and Lambert interact, they both up their game accordingly - cause otherwise, Lambert is almost entirely awful in the 1555 flashback, and Paul seems disinterested in some scenes. Lambert also, arguably, gives his most complete portrayal as Connor since the original in 3, and it helps that he's learned to speak English since then. Endgame also has the best sword fights in all the films, and that's no disrespect to Bob Anderson, whose fantastic work in the first is often overlooked (including by some people in this forum, ahem, ). And the Bonny Portmore montage in 3 is still very moving, even after all these years, and the one of only two actually decent uses of it (the other being in the Series' "Homeland" *). And the Source... well... Actually, I did like the revelation that Duncan always wanted to find out what brought about their Immortality. And more Methos is never bad.

                Out of the above choices, I'd have to say 2, because its the only that I don't want/have to fan-edit personally, save for two moments. In its 2004 version, its the version of the film that I can actually sit down and watch and even enjoy, maybe not the way I do the original or the show, but still for what it is: A sci-fi WTF follow-up to Connor's winning the Prize. Plus, the scope and look of it is commenable, and easily surpasses all the films (not to mention anything else since) in terms of visuals and grandeur. Its also, perhaps to its detriment, the only one that looked like it was fun to make, and it is fun to watch (well, to me anyway). Its just too bad that the story just wasn't there.

                * No disrespect intended to Andrew's fan-film that uses the rendition, but I do hope he understands my feelings are in general, and not specific.

                Comment


                • #11
                  And I just noticed - The Search for Vengeance? That's not a sequel, Andrew. Unless that MacLeod proclaiming Colin to be a MacLeod was actually Angus or something.

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Endgame easily.

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by Aleander View Post
                      And I just noticed - The Search for Vengeance? That's not a sequel, Andrew. Unless that MacLeod proclaiming Colin to be a MacLeod was actually Angus or something.
                      Well, what would you call it? It's not a prequel, not a sidequel, not even a requel... it isn't a reboot or a remake. It seems to me that the closest thing it could be is "sequel." I mean, look at something like House II. Is that a sequel to House I? Not in story, but it's a sequel.
                      Highlander: Dark Places

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        It is its own thing. An independant interpretation. An Elseworlds story. Since its none of the things you mentioned, you can't put any such label of it for the heck of it. The only correct film to counter the anime is the original film, not the sequels, since it doesn't follow on anything else.

                        Of course, the only reason you add it is because you view it as a sequel, and no other reason at all.
                        Last edited by Aleander; 05-29-2017, 12:28 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          The only viable choice is Highlander II. The movie's premise is bonkers, but the film is well aware of that. The first film doesn't need a sequel, and the sequel embraces the absurdity of its own futility. That's why General Katana is so utterly incompetent: he's trying to force a conflict that doesn't need to occur, just as the filmmakers are. The story is over! Connor knows it. Katana's henchmen know it. (Mulcahy and Bellwood know it!) Only the main antagonist seems oblivious to the obvious, and in that way, he represents anyone who thinks that a sequel is warranted. Our hero is too busy laughing it up with Virginia Madsen as they try to make sense of the convoluted mythology that the movie depends upon to escape the first film's narrative dead end and open the door to a slew of sequels. Connor slyly replies, "Something like that," as if to say to the audience, "Who cares how it all works? Let's just have some swashbuckling fun."

                          Highlander III makes the mistake of contriving a reason for its own existence while closing off any opportunities for future sequels. In doing so, it raises an obvious question: "If we don't need a Highlander IV, then why did we need a Highlander III? What did you add to the first film's ending that it couldn't live without?" The answer is nothing. It adds absolutely nothing to the premise of Highlander or to our understanding of Connor MacLeod. It simply repeats the beats we've already seen, and the entire affair is superfluous and self-defeating (but without the self-awareness or ambition of its immediate predecessor). At most, it functions as a sort of half-hearted apology for the second film, but even then, that's a rather pointless motivation for two reasons. First, the TV show was already delivering that mea culpa more effectively, so a standalone theatrical sequel was redundant. Second, the major players behind Highlander II--Davis, Panzer, Mulcahy, and Bellwood--had little or nothing to do with Highlander III. It's an "apology" from people who didn't make the "mistake" in the first place!

                          The fourth and fifth films don't even really count, since they're spinoffs of the TV show more than they are sequels to the original film. Endgame is at least sorta a sequel, since it brings back Heather and Rachel, but it all feels a tad pointless when Lambert himself is practically playing a cameo role in the present day story. If Endgame's basic story had been the premise for the third solo Connor film back in '94, complete with Highlander III's superior style and execution, it might have been decent, but as a crossover with the TV series from '00, it's pretty disappointing. Nowhere as needless as the third film or as utterly awful as The Source, but still pretty weak. Oh, and The Search for Vengeance isn't a sequel in any sense. More of a remake if anything.
                          __________________________________________________

                          "Really? We are trapped in a room with a machine that can cut off my head. Now that's a longshot."
                          --Connor MacLeod in Peter Bellwood's original Highlander II script

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                          • #16
                            I'd argue 3 did at least showcased that Connor would occasionally let his heart out and also stand for a just cause, like the Revolution in France was, so you might say it showed his political side. But beyond that, it was indeed more of the same. And Endgame's disappointment still stings, even after so many years (though not as much, I admit).

                            Comment


                            • #17
                              The trouble I have is not deciding which is the best (Highlander II) or which is the worst (Highlander: The Source), but where the other films land. If we're counting The Search for Vengeance (which we shouldn't: it's a spin-off), it would be an easy #2. I don't think that anyone would count the TV-episodes-edited-into-movies that hit the VHS and DVD markets, either, but again, they'd probably rank higher than the other theatrical films...except for Counterfeit, which is garbage. The real question, though, is The Final Dimension vs. Endgame. It's the battle between a rather well-made movie with the laziest script this side of The Jerk, Too and a shoddily-made crossover with a much better plot. It's one movie that has absolutely no reason to exist against another that disappointed the very fans who were clamoring for it. It's a nonsensical villain with do-whatever-the-story-requires superpowers going toe-to-toe with a works-in-concept-but-not-in-execution villain. I never know which one to pick, but as they say, in the end, there can be only one. Let them feel The Quickening!
                              __________________________________________________

                              "Really? We are trapped in a room with a machine that can cut off my head. Now that's a longshot."
                              --Connor MacLeod in Peter Bellwood's original Highlander II script

                              Comment


                              • #18
                                They're both disappointing on so many levels. The Power of Illusion is sparsely used and is never given its full potential to really show just how awesome and dangerous it is as a power. Furthermore, too many callbacks to the first film and the basic plot (a villain who was frozen in a cave) just simply doesn't work as a sequel to the original, which ended the Game for good. And while I love Kane (nostalgia), he's clearly a shallow copy of Kurgan, though probably one with a bigger sexual appetite (I mean, he has been in a cave for four centuries). Kell doesn't work on many levels, particularly the hammy part. How can you have this giant threat to the Immortal community be such a wuss? And nauseatingly annoying? With a band of Immortal of utter non-consequence? And don't get me started at the nonsensical Sanctuary... Basically, they're both terrible scripts, with The Sorcerer emulating the original but without its, well, originality and Endgame emulating several Series episodes but without much attempt of humanization for the new characters made (at least the Series made an honest attempt for some of them, beyond their plot-required role). I guess I appreciate 3 more because it looks cool (a slightly above average 90's action movie, largely thanks to the Scotland sequences), has some heart to it (courtesy of, again, the Scotland sequences), a better score (Endgame's score just doesn't cut it for me), and of the two, a more consistent characterization for Connor MacLeod, who is simply a disgrace in Endgame in every single way (well, maybe not in a couple of the flashbacks, but still). Sure, Endgame has much better fight scenes (look how good Adrian Paul is in those, new audience that we're trying to sell this movie into!!) and it certainly does try to ponder on the nature of Immortality and the ruminations of it through its tortured characters -something which HL3 barely approaches, and only in flashback- but its doing so in disservice of the characters it employs. It makes Connor into a depressive, suicidal coward and Duncan into a remorseless murderer of women, both of which they never were. Sure, as fan we can excuse those, but on the other hand, why should we? You know?

                                Anyway, of the two, its HL3, despite the utter lack of Joe and Methos (I mean, think how band Endgame is by using those two, in a much greater extent). I guess the fact it introduced the overused Bonny Portmore into the franchise is the deal-breaker for me.

                                Comment


                                • #19
                                  I pick "Endgame" myself. Introduced enough new material without flying off the rails into crazy-town like the second and tried to stay true to the spirit of simply rehashing like the third. And it was much less...err...whatever the hell "The Source" is! lol Though I admit that I have yet to see "The Search for Vengeance". I need to get around to it.

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