Number it among the greatest crimes of the century, along with the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, the OJ murders and the inclusion of Jar Jar. We’re speaking, of course, about the constant vomit of the Highlander sequels and TV show. The original Highlander movie was a smart, weird and frenetic action movie, madly miscast and terrifically enjoyable. It was also host to the most hermetically sealed plot ever — heroes with no origin, all but one wiped out by the end of the movie, and a plot device that required him to be absolutely the last Immortal, ever. Under any circumstance.
Naturally Hollywood had other ideas, and so now the planet is absolutely teeming with the bastards. Chop off as many heads as you like; they’ll be replaced by bad TV journeymen before their mullets even hit the ground. Sadly, this “more sh*t is better” philosophy has been applied to this dreadful DVD.
Two discs include extras such as an earlier (and equally senseless) cut by “The Producers of the original Highlander” — who’ll presumably be penning scripts too, if the impending writers’ strike hits this year. There are a couple of extra boob and bum shots to beef up the sex quotient, a feature commentary track with producers and the editor, the latter being the genius who hacked the film into a senseless melange of fight scenes and bad dialog. It’s actually quite enlightening listening to these Mensa-grade geniuses blabbing on about their supposed work of art.
Included for no good reason is a collection of agonizingly long deleted scenes, without any explanation as to why they were deleted, and a soundtrack so muted that you can’t hear what’s going on anyway. Two featurettes explore the movie-making process and the terrible special effects, respectively. There’s also some DVD-ROM stuff, including a character timeline that serves only to point out what a ridiculous hole-filled mess the Highlander universe is and a three-round quiz “game” that is, at least, more fun than the movie itself.
And we can’t for a moment ignore the movie. Endgame has the dubious distinction of including Bruce Payne, the mandatory English bad guy from Passenger 57, as Kell, a mandatory “bad” Immortal (although we should note that the DVD cover refers to Immortals as “Highlanders”). Payne’s presence serves only to reinforce the peculiar sensation that every bad guy in this movie could have been played by Adam Ant. His comical levels of evil also highlight the atrocious acting by everyone involved.
Lambert wanders around looking as far from Immortal as Grandpa Simpson or Dick Cheney, and his “Scottish” accent is now as French as Gerard Depardieu cycling up and down the Champs Elysees selling garlic. Adrian Paul still pulls off his TV-quality young Connery impersonation with TV-quality grace.
Navigation is certainly pretty, with some very gothic-looking titles describing the various sections on the discs, but in practice, it’s a little awkward, since the use of a circular chapter selection “wheel” defies intuition. Up is left, down is clockwise… ouch. Oh yes, and the navigation style commits the unforgivable crime of changing from feature to feature. But it could be worse, and certainly outshines the actual movie. But the volume of garbage, while certainly voluminous, is far from entertaining, informative or even welcome. Every attempt to highlight a feature in the movie serves only to remind the viewer of how calamitously poor the film is.