Picks and Pans Review: Highlander 2: the Quickening
Thank the movie gods for Sean Connery. Just as Joan Blondell used to juice up 1930s gangster and newspaper dramas, so Connery, with his wit and bravado, classes up the screen every time he shows up in this dim-witted futuristic thriller. Alas, Connery's appearances here are few and far between.
Highlander 2 is the sequel to Highlander, a 1986 movie (also directed by Russell Mulcahy) that was fun in a stupid way. The sequel is just stupid. It again stars that dull French hunk Christopher (Greystoke) Lambert, an actor with a forehead so high you expect to see tiny mountain climbers trying to scale it. As in the first film, Lambert and Connery hail from the planet Zeist. Banished to Earth nearly 500 years ago after leading an insurrection on Zeist, they are doomed to immortality—oh, no, more sequels?—here on Earth, although periodically they have to fight for their lives when bad guys from Zeist arrive and try to kill them. This, of course, necessitates many by-the-numbers action scenes, lots of gunplay and pyrotechnics and putatively amusing dialogue along the lines of "Hey, you got a light?" just before someone is dispatched with a flamethrower.
Lambert seems half asleep much of the time and displays none of the charm that makes this sort of role palatable when done by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Virginia (The Hot Spot) Madsen, as Lambert's love interest, has little to do but bear witness that Zeistians are heterosexual. As for Connery, never picky about his movie roles, let's just hope he was paid handsomely. (R)