Highlander: The Final Dimension, by Albert W. Vogt III

This might be the biggest understatement in the history of The Legionnaire, but none of these dang Highlander movies make a lick of sense.  The first one, Highlander (1986), is simple enough to understand, but laughably executed.  The sequel, Highlander II: The Quickening (1991), marked an inexplicable departure and second chapter in this ridiculous saga.  I thought it was supposed to be about the main character, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert), finds the immortal villain of the decade and cuts off his head because, in the end, there can be only one.  Each time he is that one, and in every sequel they have to come up with a cockamamy excuse as to why that is not the case.  In part II, the immortals are space aliens from millions of years in the past.  In Highlander: The Final Dimension (1994), they do not bother explaining any of this, despite the previous two films.  In fact, its predecessors might as well not exist.  You will probably also not be surprised, if you are at all familiar with any of this malarkey, that nothing in the film has anything to do with dimensions.

It is Highlander II: The Quickening that takes the biggest beating in Highlander: The Final Dimension, and it starts straight away with Connor’s opening monologue.  He definitively states his lineage of the Clan MacLeod, explains away why Ramirez (Sean Connery) will not be in this film, and we are off to feudal Japan without a mention of any of the events of the previous film.  There, Connor is learning the finer points of sword making from fellow immortal and illusionist Nakano (Mako).  Things are going swimmingly until our marauding villain Kane (Mario Van Peebles) shows up looking for the renowned sorcerer, hoping to take Nakano’s power.  Before dying by Kane’s sword, Nakano warns Connor to flee and tells Kane that the Scotsman will be the one to eventually kill the lunatic.  Nakano’s quickening (what they call the death of immortals because, why not?) triggers a cave-in that entombs Kane and his two sidekicks in the magician’s cavernous home, though Connor gets away.  Fast forward to present-day and archaeologist Alex Johnson (Deborah Kara Unger) is summoned to the same site where Kane is buried.  The entrance of the cave had been uncovered thanks to the excavations of a Japanese energy company, and she has been called in to do the excavations.  Before she can get her chance, however, Kane bursts out and immediately cuts off the head of one of his long-time companions out of boredom, I guess.  The death is felt by Connor . . . who is on vacation in Morocco with his adopted son, John (Gabriel Kakon).  In other words, on the other side of the stinkin’ planet!  For whatever reason, he feels he must depart immediately for New York, leaving John behind for safety reasons.  When he arrives, on the way back to his antique shop from the first film, he is shot by muggers and left for dead.  He comes to in the hospital, and is immediately put into protective custody because I guess it is illegal to recover from gunshot wounds.  While lying strapped to the bed, he feels the presence of another immortal.  This happens to be Kane’s other compatriot, head intact, sent to find Connor.  He knows Connor is in New York because the script says so.  Connor manages to get free and defeat his fellow immortal, and then apparently begins carrying on with his life, after being released from police custody, of course.  Back in Japan, Alex has discovered a piece of Scottish tartan, something that should not be in such a location.  She identifies it as belonging to the MacLeod clan, which leads her to Connor.  Now she is on her way to New York and she tails Connor.  She catches up with him in time to witness him fight Kane for the first time.  In the process, Connor’s legendary, white dragon handled katana is shattered, but the duel cannot reach its inevitable conclusion because it turns out they are on holy ground.  As in keeping with the warped logic of these movies, Connor takes Alex back to his home and they fall in love.  Actually, this time there is a little more context for it because Alex looks strikingly like a woman he had met before the French Revolution, and for whom he had passionate feelings.  Still, Connor must create a new weapon, and he journeys to Scotland to do so because, again, why not?  Alex eventually joins him there, too, and hands him a hunk of metal she found in Nakano’s cave, giving Connor what he needs to recreate his blade.  Thankfully, the plot’s pace picks up a bit when Connor learns that Kane knows about John.  Racing back to New York, Connor is unable to stop Kane from kidnapping John when the boy lands at the airport.  Anyway, the requisite combat takes place, Connor wins, and he, Alex, and John go back to Scotland.

Once more with Highlander: The Final Dimension we have a film that does not know how to fill its runtime.  Still, at least they did not have a strange subplot involving a destroyed ozone layer.  What they did do, though, is difficult to understand.  Remember Brenda Wyatt (Roxanne Hart), the woman Connor marries at the end of the first movie?  In the second one she has passed away because of the intense solar radiation from the deteriorating ozone.  In this latest iteration, it is a car crash.  And what about the whole idea from the sequel about them being aliens, and if Connor needs Ramirez, all he has to do call out his former teacher’s name?  Would it not have been useful to have a little help against Kane?  Also, Connor is not winning any dad of the year awards.  Who leaves their child alone in a foreign country, does not call to check in as promised, and then suddenly remembers him at the climactic moment?  Finally, why does this have the subtitle “The Final Dimension?”  Is it that each iteration in the series is a different, but slightly similar, Connor MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod?  This is pure speculation, of course, because there is nothing in the film that would suggest this would be the case.

Annoyingly, Highlander: The Final Dimension does not have anything to which this Catholic can remotely cling.  The part of immortals’ existence where they agree not to fight on holy ground is there, yet this time it is a Buddhist temple instead of a Catholic Church.  Like the rest, it features over-the-top violence and sex scenes.  Furthermore, this film is seemingly rendered pointless by the fourth film in the series, Highlander: Endgame (2000).  Therefore, there is literally no reason for you to see it, or even for it to exist.


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