10 Ways that Highlander 3 Saved the Franchise
I am a huge fan of the Highlander franchise. It was as cool as can be when it came out and even though it’s had a few stumbles along the way, it is a series that has transitioned from making kickass movies to making kickass television series’. It wasn’t always clear sailing, though. Highlander 2: The Quickening was a horrible piece of shit. I don’t have a great memory but seeing it ranks up there with some of the worst moments of my life. It was with pure glee, then, that I sat through Highlander 3 at my local theater and saw that it not only gave up on the ideas of the second film, but it brought back a lot of the charm of the original. Some might even say that it saved the franchise… I would say that. Here’s why:
1. A Return to the Story: The second film in the series took a left turn of sorts. It basically sent the future of the franchise into a crazy direction that included aliens, people returning from the dead, and Michael Ironside. No matter how awesome Ironside was, and still is, he couldn’t even save Highlander 2 from being the type of movie that they play in internment camps during the worst parts of World War 2. Highlander 3 gave us the opportunity to see the continuation of the story of Connor Macleod that didn’t make me want to roll my eyes and it made sense! That is a theme you’ll see more and more today.
2. The Sword: Connor walks out of his Scottish village with nothing but the clothes on his back. He somehow got his sword back, which I accepted, but years later he’s using a Japanese katana without any reason why. In the craziness of the original Highlander there weren’t many people talking about why he had the sword but Highlander 3 showed us just how he got the infamous blade.
3. Don’t Forget about the Girl: Poor Brenda. It’s hard being the love interest of a man who cannot die. The original film would have us to believe that Connor won his mortality at the end of the film but things get awful confusing in the later films and we’re not really sure why he hasn’t aged. Well, at least this film does us the solid of telling us what exactly happened to Brenda and why she’s not at Connor’s side.
4. A Normal Life?: The Tragedy of the series is the fact that most of the men who have the gift/curse of being immortal just want to live a normal life. They want to have a family and die of natural causes on their couch but are robbed of that by their situation and all the decapitations. Highlander 3 shows us a bit of the life that Connor has won from his actions in the first movie. It isn’t the fairy tale that he thought but it’s better than his life previous to the film’s conclusion.
5. Forget all that Alien Bullshit: Highlander 2 sucked so bad. I still think that if you put it into context that it may be the worst sequel of all time. It tried to make the immortals into some sort of aliens who came from another planet but Highlander 3 threw that shit in the trash and returned to the lore of old.
6. Time to Move On: I love Sean Connery as much as the next guy but it was time to move on from his character. Who knows if he would have even returned if asked?
7. Frozen: The end of the first movie would have you believe that Connor won “the prize”. Well, what he didn’t know was that a few of the immortals were buried and frozen for centuries and he didn’t win shit! It isn’t perfect but it makes a little sense.
8. The Chemistry of Mario and Chris: There is no doubt that the two actors had a ton of chemistry with one another and I was happy to see them do a film together after the underrated Gunmen. It also gave Mario Van Peebles an opportunity to go way overboard with his performance.
9. Anything with Mako: We got to find out about Connor’s sword and we got some time with legendary actor Mako. It’s a win-win.
10. Beautiful Lovemaking: I can’t be the only one who burned a hole through their VHS copy of Highlander 3 during that sex scene. Deborah Unger was hot as shit! They tried to make her all smart with her job but there was no hiding that body when the lights dimmed. I read that Deborah and Lambert really “went for it” during that scene. I want to believe that means they were really boning but whether they were or not, that scene was smokin’ hot and it made up for the abysmal film that proceeded it.