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Highlander: The Final Dimension

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Highlander III: The Final Dimension
Highlander 3 poster
Lead(s) Connor MacLeod
Support Alex Johnson

Nakano
Lt. John Stenn
John MacLeod
Sarah Barrington
Pierre Bouchet

Villain(s) Kane

Senghi Khan
Khabul Khan

Setting(s) New York City

Marakesh
Japan

Flashbacks 1536: Glenfinnan, Scotland

1615: Japan
1789 & 1790: Germany
1795: England

Prequel Highlander
Sequel Highlander: Endgame
Credits
Writer(s) Paul Ohl

René Manzor
Brad Mirman

Director(s) Andrew Morahan
Producer(s) Guy Collins

Charles L. Smiley
Claude Léger

Release Date November 30, 1994
Runtime 99 minutes
Distributor Dimension Films
MPAA Rating R

The third film in the saga of Connor MacLeod, The Final Dimension, also known as Highlander III: The SorcererHighlander III: The Magician, or Highlander 3: The Final Conflict, pits the Highlander against three Immortals who were removed from the effects of The Gathering during the 1985 original film.

Plot SynopsisEdit

The Far EastEdit

In his wanderings after the death of Heather, Connor travels to Japan to request training from the Immortal Japanese sorcerer Nakano, an acquaintance and teacher of Ramírez. Nakano holds his residence in a cave of Mount Niri, and has gained a reputation as a master of illusion. The training is never completed, however, as evil Immortal Kane is also interested in mastering the power of Illusion. Nakano had denied him training two centuries ago, but Kane has gained in experience and ability since that time. He rampages his way across Asia in order to reach Nakano again. When Kane reaches the cave, he is quick to defeat and decapitate Nakano, despite the sorcerer and Connor's attempts to prevent this. However the energies released during Nakano's Quickening cause the cave to collapse, burying Kane and his two Immortal lieutenants under tons of rock. MacLeod manages to escape, and leaves Kane for dead.

Revolutionary FranceEdit

In 1788/1789, Connor travels to France to visit a friend, the Marquis de Condorcet. While visiting, he makes the acquaintance of Sarah Barrington, an Englishwoman visiting relatives there. At Condorcet's suggestion, the two spend time together, and eventually become lovers. However, when the French Revolution begins, MacLeod becomes involved at the behest of his Immortal friend, Pierre Bouchet.

MacLeod is captured, and sentenced to death by guillotine for treason against King Louis XVI of France. However, Pierre Bouchet, tired of his Immortal life, tricks the guards into executing him in his place. Connor is falsely reported deceased. Believing her lover dead, Sarah is left grieving. After his escape, MacLeod returns to discover that she has moved on with her life, marrying another man, and bearing his children. Disheartened, Connor departs without a word.

Modern DayEdit

In 1994, Connor is again a widower. Brenda, his last wife, has died in a car accident in 1987, after only two years of marriage. He is left alone to raise their adopted son, John MacLeod, in Marrakesh, Morocco. Despite his loss, Connor remains at peace for the first time in centuries. This peace proves short-lived, though. In Japan, archaeologist Dr. Alexandra "Alex" Johnson has started an archeological dig on Mount Niri, searching for clues on the history of the sorcerer's legend. When her team stumbles onto the remains of Nakano's cave, Kane and his lieutenants immediately revive and fight their way out, killing a guard. Kane also takes the head of one of his men himself, and sends the other out to find the Highlander. In Morocco, Connor immediately senses the presence of the Immortals and realizes the truth: The Game is still on, and MacLeod is still Immortal.

Connor packs and leaves immediately for New York, hoping to keep his family out of harm's way while Kane is drawn to him. A random encounter with a New York street gang, however, leaves the Highlander sedated in a Manhattan hospital, easy prey for his enemies. Breaking out, MacLeod is forced into combat when Kane's lieutenant arrives on the scene and attempts to take the Highlander's head for himself. Utilizing a trick learned from Nakano, however, MacLeod quickly disarms and decapitates the lieutenant. Unfortunately, this act quickly draws the attention of the NYPD, particularly Lt. John Stenn, who remembers "Russell Nash" and the Headhunter killings of 1985.

Meanwhile, Alex Johnson has discovered a scrap from MacLeod's old tartan in Nakano's cave, and has traced it to him in New York. When she arrives at MacLeod's door, hoping to interview "Russell Nash" about his ancestry to the MacLeods, Connor is stunned — Alex is the spitting image of his lost love Sarah. Despite this, the Highlander dismisses her, choosing to focus on his more immediate goal of drawing out Kane, who has also arrived in the city (via teleportation). Connor's goal is realized all too soon, as Kane ambushes him during an akido practice at a Buddhist temple. Despite MacLeod's warnings about Holy Ground, Kane proceeds to attack, laying on a flurry of sword strikes that shatter the blade of Connor's prized Masamune katana. Before Kane can administer the killing stroke, however, a thunderclap of energy shakes the room. Realizing he cannot violate Holy Ground, Kane leaves the Highlander to contemplate his situation.

Desperate to restore his broken blade before Kane returns, Connor returns to his ancestral home in Glenfinnan, Scotland, and attempts to reforge the sword. His efforts prove futile, however, until Alex arrives with the answer: a block of steel specially forged by Nakano himself. Finally remembering the sword craft learned at the side of his old teacher, Connor quickly forges a new blade for his weapon. He also comes to terms with the fact that he has fallen in love with Alex, and the two consummate their relationship in a Glenfinnan hotel room.

Kane, however, has not been idle, and has discovered the whereabouts of John MacLeod. Unleashing a devastating illusion learned from his Quickening of Nakano, Kane transforms himself into a duplicate of Connor, and tricks the boy into traveling to New York. Quickly taking John captive, Kane sets him up as bait for MacLeod. The Highlander quickly comes to his foster son's rescue, and fights through a maze of Illusion magic within a New Jersey oil refinery. In a final confrontation, Connor's swordsmanship proves the better, and he takes his old adversary's head. With the Prize firmly back in his hands, MacLeod resumes his new life with Alex and John.

CastEdit

Christopher Lambert Connor MacLeod / Russell Nash
Mario Van Peebles Kane
Deborah Kara Unger Alex Johnson / Sarah
Mako Nakano
Raoul Trujillo Warrior #1
Jean-Pierre Perusse Warrior #2
Martin Neufeld Lt. John Stenn
Frederick Y. Okimura Old Japanese Man
Daniel Do Takamura
Gabriel Kakon John
Louis Bertignac Pierre Bouchet
Michael Jayston Jack Donovan
Zenhu Han Innkeeper
Akira Inoue Innkeeper's Son
Darcy Laurie Banger 1

ReceptionEdit

Critical reaction to Highlander III has been mostly negative. It holds a 5% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 20 reviews.[1]

Stephen Holden of The New York Times remarked, "How could an action-adventure film that cost $34 million, most of which clearly went into pyrotechnics, computerized special effects and scenic locations, end up looking cheap, silly and lifeless? [The film is] an incoherent mess [and] has performances that are one-dimensional even by the undemanding standards of the genre."[2]

The BBC's review gave the film a score of two stars out of five, saying: "This is a far superior film to Highlander II [but] it is really a copy of the first one. ... It really feels as if the Highlander story has no more to give us—but that would be very wrong. Perhaps the best thing this third movie did was promote the generally better TV series."[3]

Christopher Null of FilmCritic.com also gave Highlander III two stars out of five, saying: "The third in a line of increasingly perplexing Highlander movies, Highlander: The Final Dimension steals wholesale the plot from the original, just throwing in some fresh faces. ... Ultra-fans will rejoice in the face of the third installment—and it's nowhere near as bad as Highlander II—but most of you can give it a pass."[4]

TriviaEdit

  • Some scenes for this film were shot in Morocco.
  • The rock beat heard during the final fight is a reworking of Mötley Crüe's "Dr. Feelgood."
  • Reportedly, Christopher Lambert considered this film to be the "real" sequel to the original film, since the actual Highlander II was such a radical departure from what the first film established.
  • The U.S. theatrical release was rated PG-13, and a slightly-longer R-rated Special Director's Cut was later released on home video, with two sex-scenes trimmed from the theatrical release restored. Aside from this, additional violence was reinstated, mainly the shot of Kane's head rolling off. The PG-13 theatrical cut originally only showed Kane's head wobbling from side to side, then cutting immediately to the extreme close up on Connor saying, "There can be only one."
  • At one point, Christopher Lambert walked off the production over a pay dispute.
  • In the European version of the film, Kane says, "The Highlander is out there somewhere, and he owes me for all those years," after he escapes from the cave in 1994. In the US version, he says, "The Highlander is out there somewhere, and he owes me 400 years." It makes a little more sense in the European version because Kane would have no way of knowing how long he was in the cave.

Similarities to Highlander (1986)Edit

In keeping with the idea of continuity between the first movie and the third (Christopher Lambert has commented that The Final Dimension is the "true sequel to Highlander"), the film has several similarities with the original movie, namely:

  • Both films show Connor MacLeod in a Scottish kilt. The first three films also share an opening flashback with his original, longer hair.
  • Both of Connor's mentors (Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez and Nakano) are beheaded by the main villains (The Kurgan and Kane, respectively). All three films have villains whose names begin with a "K".
  • Both villains provoke Connor while standing on Holy Ground, with insults against his sexuality.
  • After being decapitated by Connor, both Kane and The Kurgan's headless bodies move a bit longer, with the resulting Quickening levitating Connor.
  • MacLeod is stabbed in the abdomen by the main villain, and is spared from beheading in his first encounter. In the present-day timeline, he is spared from beheading again in battle, with the villain screaming "There can be only one!" before the attempted coup de grace.
  • During the Quickening sequences, the decapitated bodies levitate and emit a pale bluish light before the Quickening is absorbed by the victor (the exception being Ramirez's Quickening).

Original ScriptEdit

  • The original script for Highlander 3 — which was written by Brad Mirman — was a drastically different version, compared to the final version. The flashback sequences took place in Scotland and England, rather than Japan and France. In the flashbacks we see Conner using Ramirez’s samurai sword.
  • Originally, the main villain was a mortal named Kilvara, and, like Kane, he was a master of Illusion, which he learned from a mortal wizard condemned to death, and was also trapped in a cave after killing an Immortal.
  • Deborah Unger's character Alex Johnson was originally named "Jennifer Hillman."
  • Connor MacLeod had a new best friend in the form of Thomas Cavanaugh, whom Connor met in 17th century Scotland. Cavanaugh was a good friend of Ramirez, but saw their friendship end when he was beheaded by the guillotine.
  • Rachel also appeared in the script, and played a relative big part in the story, as did Detective Bedsoe, who followed Connor in the original film. Now a more cynical man, he was promoted from Detective to Lieutenant, seemed a bit apprehensive of MacLeod.
  • The final battle took place in a museum, rather than an abandoned factory.

MusicEdit

GalleryEdit

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