At the end of the first film, Connor MacLeod had managed to win the the “prize” by being the last Immortal standing. What that prize actually consisted of was only vaguely explained — something about knowing everything and being able to help advise world leaders — but it was an ending that seemed pretty final since there was nothing left to fight for.
However, this didn’t stop the producers from hatching a sequel. Highlander II is the only film I’ve ever seen at the movies that had me seriously considering walking out. Not only did it not make any sense, it undermined the basic premise of the much-loved first film. Despite being almost universally reviled, it still managed to make a tidy profit and another sequel soon followed.
That sequel was titled Highlander III: The Final Dimension although it is also known in various countries as Highlander III: The Sorceror, Highlander III: The Magician and Highlander III: The Final Conflict. It seems the only title they didn’t use was Highlander III Goes to Monte Carlo.
Highlander III wisely ignores the events of Highlander II and kicks off a few years after the first movie. It flashes back to a battle MacLeod (played once again by Christopher Lambert) had with an immortal baddie named Kane (Mario Van Peebles) who was buried alive during the fracas. An archeological dig unearths Kane who immediately sets out after MacLeod because in order to win the prize, there can be only one immortal.
What I don’t understand is that if another immortal was still alive, how did MacLeod win the prize in the first film? This contradiction is never addressed and the rest of the picture sets out to copy every major scene of the original. It’s obvious the producers took the reception to Highlander II seriously. The storyline ignores anything that happened in second film and then try to recreate whatever worked in the first.
Ultimately, this just makes Highlander III boring. Highlander II may be rubbish but at the very least, it’s different. Mario Van Peebles dons a gravelly, growly voice like Clancy Brown did in the first film, even down to copying his mannerisms. Everything about the film predominately plays out more or less exactly as it did before making it an exercise in pointlessness.
Score: 2.5 out of 5 — There can be only one.