Highlander 3: The Final Dimension, also known as Highlander 3: The Sorcerer, Highlander III: The Final Conflict, and Highlander 3: The Magician is a lot like Beastmaster 3. Aside from viewing the third installment to both series within a weeks time, both franchises have striking similarities. Highlander, much like Beastmaster, started as a well received fantasy film with a small but substantial cult following. Both films also had disastrous sequels, which rank among the worst the universe has ever witnessed. Hyperbolic? Maybe. While I considered Beastmaster 3: The Eye of Braxus to be a realignment to the original setting, Highlander 3: The Final Dimension can be thought of as the same. It is also important to note with both films, things could never really be the same after what happened in the past. The audience is now thinning.
Highlander 3 tries to forget pretty much everything that Highlander 2 did. This is easy because the second installment took place in the future and pretty much all their additions made no sense anyway. Macleod believes himself mortal even though his original lover, Brenda died in a car accident leaving him alive enough to adopt a son in Africa. Alright whatever. Macleod appears to be a standup father until the Highlander-ing bug bites him again. That isn’t even a word. The point being that Macleod is pulled back into the game after an evil sorcerer, played by Mario Van Peebles, is awoken in a cave. Oh, yes and this sorcerer is trying his hardest to replicate Wesley Snipes’ character in Demolition Man. Okay. Well, let us start from the beginning.
After Macleod’s initial displacement from 16th century Scotland he wanders the world before arriving in Japan. Alright, this makes sense. Macleod would have some time to sit around and travel before training under the eye of Nakano, a master illusionist. This is actually starting out pretty good. They can’t screw this up. This is actually decent sequel material. Things go awry when Macleod is hunted by Kane, the evil sorcerer, who has little motivation other than to be most evil. Kane accidentally imprisons himself in a cave after besting Nakano and causing a cave in from the quickening. So before you leave, just remember that along with vital powers, chopping the head off immortals also grants specific skills. Example, Kane gets Nakano’s power of illusion. Why not? This makes sense. I am now remembering that for the future sequels.
Kane, our resident badass sorcerer / chaotic evil registered sex deviant is finally unearthed by an archaeological dig in present day Japan. The dig is headed by our female protagonist Dr. Alexandra Johnson played by Deborah Kara Unger and her sidekick played by Daniel Do. Both of them do not look Japanese despite the very convincing dialogue additions of “Alex – san.” Kane, having 400 years to stew about his predicament, wants nothing more than to get Macleod. Why? Actually, that is more of a question to the readers because I do not really know. I guess since Macleod is the last immortal it makes him the target. However, I wonder how many other immortal sorcerers must be trapped in caves who found themselves unable to attend The Gathering. Did the Kurgan or anyone else not realize that there were three immortals trapped in Japan? Can’t these guys sense each other? What if another immortal just locked himself in a basement? What if one is trapped under a fridge or a large rock and is really thirsty? I just bring this up because Highlander 3 asks more questions than sanely answers them.
Macleod finds that his troubles have not been forgotten as he is stabbed upon arriving to New York City. I am sure there is a great joke here. After being admitted to the psych ward in the hospital, Macleod escapes, narrowly adverting almost death by the hands of Kane’s henchman, who I guess walked his ass all the way from Japan to this very hospital. Wait, hold on, that isn’t the dumbest part. Macleod also finds he is being stalked by an over zealous detective who remembers him from the first film and is determined to “nail” him for the crimes committed in it. No matter, everyone thought Russell Nash, Macleod’s alias, to be dead at the end of the first film and thus explaining how he could start a new life. This needless detective subplot not only derails the closure of the first film but is full of cliches and never really affects the story aside from some asinine scenes of smokey room interrogation. While we are on needless additions, let us not forget the love story between woodface Macleod and Dr. Ice Queen Johnson. Man, look at the chemistry between these two. Can we please get to fighting. Where is Sean Connery in this one? Well, while Kane is planning to kidnap Macleod’s son from Morocco, Macleod and Johnson are in Scotland making swords and practicing for the final showdown. Oh yes, I forgot about that part, mainly because it involves a sex scene longer than crucial parts of the plot. What is more hot that a passionate love scene? Guns and Roses style guitar licks.
Highlander 3 limps along all the way until the end where Macleod meets Kane at a city church for the final showdown. Oh cool, at least this is going to be interesting, wait…oh you guys are going to the chemical plant behind the church. Where open flames shoot into the sky? Fine. Wow, there is a lot of steam and low colored lights everywhere. Macleod shows the audience he is a master of the sword by missing at least three opportunities for decapitation. How are you the last one? Mario Van Peebles fails to overcome Macleod in the end, thus awarding the powers of illusion to Macleod. Right? And of course, being they are in a chemical plant, the orgasmic quickening destroys everything including, probably, the lives of night security. Highlander 3 ends with little mention of Macleod getting the prize. I feel at this point the film makers knew better than to make any definitive conclusions as they may want to rip open the vault in a few years. How many of these are there? Two more? My good god. Connor Macloud is not going to get any sleep for the next 10 years.
HIGHLANDER 3: THE FINAL DIMENSION
Released: January 27, 1995
Directed By: Andrew Morahan
Starring: Christopher Lambert, Mario Van Peebles
Score: 3/9 Hammers