Highlander II unused ideas

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Noddy, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. sttngfan1701d

    sttngfan1701d Commodore Commodore

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    I actually like Endgame. Mostly anyway. It has some lovely sequences that really fit in with the spirit of the series, and the "modern" portions of the movie have the style I prefer to see. The music was good. The direction was good. The cinematography was good. You get the sense that they TRIED with Endgame. Sure it's undone by stupid Highlander-ish decisions -- the bad guy has a stupid posse made up of bad acting and little else, and they tried to channel Kurgan, again...and they really muddle Connor's story -- but it's not so bad. And it's got Methos and a realistic evolution of Duncan.

    The whole "head count" thing in Endgame is dumb because it doesn't make much sense and it kinda cheapens the character of Duncan, who by sheer force of will and skill with a sword defeated many older, more experienced immortals during the series and could've eaten Jacob Kell for breakfast, no sweat.

    And this is part of the problem. The best villians Highlander ever had were Kalas and Xavier St. Cloud. They weren't over-the-top blusterers, they were clever. They were skillful. They used their wits and they were truly dangerous. The movie villains are just cardboard silliness. If Highlander is ever rebooted, they need to go back to villains like Kalas.

    As for the Source, the less said about that, the better. It was so damn bad I hardly remember it. And it stands as a testament to why new people are needed if Highlander gets a reboot. First, they were stupid enough to make loads of merchandise with the title of the movie years before there was even a script, so even though the concept was retarded, we were stuck with it. Second, we all thought the involvement of Adrian Paul as producer (with script approval) and David Abramowitz (who wrote some of the best stories of the series) meant that it would be gold.

    Except...everyone forgot that it was Abramowitz who had a hard-on for the post-apocalypse storyline and was determined to write one after his original idea for the series' 6th season was rejected. And it became clear early on that Adrian Paul was NOT pleased with the script or the shoot, but he probably said "Fuck it...we came this far and waited long enough, let's just do it."

    Well they did. And the result was horrible. Instead of more Endgame, we got utter garbage.
     
  2. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is one of the fundamental differences between movies and TV shows. In a TV show, for a villain to have any kind of longevity they pretty much have to be clever. In a movie, (an action heavy one at least) a villain needs to be simple, at least in their motivation because you don't have anywhere near the amount of screen time with them. The audience needs to very quickly get what they're about, why they're pitted against the protagonist and why they're a threat.

    Personally, I liked The Kurgan. He worked well in the film. Just the idea of this barbarian out of the bronze age tromping around in modern times, still acting like the broadsword wielding maniac that he is and yet still able to function in society...albeit in the seedier side, but still. Maybe it's just me, but I found it interesting. However, for a TV series, he'd have been pretty one-note and wouldn't have suited very well. At best he could have been someone talked about and felt more than seen before finally showing up and actually killing someone important before the protagonist takes his head too a season later.
     
  3. sttngfan1701d

    sttngfan1701d Commodore Commodore

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    Die Hard had a smart villain. Skyfall had one. So did GoldenEye. TWOK. I think you can have a toned-down yet still well-drawn villain in a film and it would still be effective.

    The Kurgan worked for the first movie, yes. The problem is, they kept going back to him again and again. The pilot of the series had a guy named Slan who was nothing but the Kurgan redux. And all Highlander movie villains have been riffs on him in one way or another.
     
  4. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    I agree. Endgame certainly isn't without its flaws, and I'll admit I enjoy it partly because Bruce Payne is a skilled scenery chewer. :lol: Personally I liked that both Connor and Duncan have to face demons from their pasts that reflect part of the curse immortality can be. I think Reverend has a good point about the Kurgan, though. For the original film's context, he works even though it's cartoony.
     
  5. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I said simple, not stupid. Hans was cleaver, charismatic, cunning and funny in that very dry Alan Rickman way but as a character, he wasn't all that complicated. He just wanted all the moneys.

    A regularly appearing TV villain needs to be clever so the heroes don't look stupid when they fail to put a permanent end to their activities. The net result of that is usually that they have complicated character motivations, history and some depth that can't be summed up in the average movie. Indeed the good TV villains are the ones you get to know better over time until they become almost protagonists in their own right. In a movie, you need to know fast what a villain is about. Intelligence isn't such a relevant factor.

    I can't speak to what the Highlander series did or didn't do since I never really watched it and honestly what little I saw didn't do much for me. However, my point was precisely that characters like the Kurgan work much better in the short form story telling of film than the long form of television.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  6. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

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    I'm a huge fan of the franchise, and even I hated The Quickening and the Source. I always lodge the failings of the franchise in its creator's desire to move the story of the franchise forward, which is a good thing; the BAD thing was this desire manifesting in some weird post-apocalyptic story about redemption. The Quickening, the Source, Endgame and the aborted ideas for the TV series' sixth season were all about this; only The Search for Vengeance does the idea justice and IMO it's because the original producers had less to do with it. Endgame had the TV series producers also heavily involved, and that's why it was marginally enjoyable for me. Perhaps not surprisingly, both Engame and SfV had extensive historical flashbacks, while Quickening and Source did not.

    Highlander was at its best when examining the differences in how people do stuff today versus how they did stuff in the past, using all of history as a rich background. This, plus some truly great character work in the first movie and series, is what makes the franchise memorable (well, this and the sword fights). I hope that eventually someone will reboot Highlander as a miniseries on some cable network, where we can tell a concise, character-based story over many hours instead of two in the theatres, and where the violence that defines this brand of immortality can be graphically shown (instead of off-shot beheadings, etc.) to illustrate how awful AND awesome it can be.

    Mark
     
  7. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's been a while so my memory is a little fuzzy, but wasn't that short lived Highlander cartoon also set in a post-apocalyptic future?
     
  8. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Yes

    Connor dies again and there is a new Ramirez and a new Macleod.
     
  9. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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    Was The Source really that bad?
     
  10. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    No, it was worse.
     
  11. NightJim

    NightJim Captain Captain

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    I really liked the cartoon, it's actually what really made me a fan of the franchise. It's practically a reboot in and of its self.

    Source was what managed to turn me off it. It really can't be stressed how bad that film is. Doesn't Duncan spend most of it without a sword? Talk about missing the point.
     
  12. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hell even the film makers must have thought it sucked since they included a freaking recap of the film in the last few seconds.
     
  13. Saga

    Saga Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    there was also an anime film. Highlander: The Search for Vengeance. doesn't tie in with the movie or tv characters, but i thought it was very enjoyable.
     
  14. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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    I've wondered if one reason Endgame and The Source may not have been very big successes is that they were targeted more at those familiar with the TV show, and those who'd only seen the previous movies would have felt a bit in the dark.
     
  15. Triskelion

    Triskelion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think a good example of a TV series villain is Gul Dukat. He is a very reasonable and has a lot of conviction; he's charismatic and you can see that he is trying to do "the right thing" as he sees it. You can follow his line of reasoning. Of course, his right thing has a fatal flaw, but he continually raises questions about going too far - something that Starfleet captains like Sisko and Janeway do on occasion, as well. For example, Janeway torturing a crewman of the Equinox, or Sisko tricking Eddington by threatening a population.

    So a good villain raises constant confrontations of these biases from different points of view. IE, the best villians are almost heroic and relatable. Star Trek 2009's Nero was based on plain masculine revenge, and not the type of character you'd ever have to see again - almost anyone will do. Substitute any random Klingon, change name of planets, plot is basically the same.

    No, I think the best villains are sympathetic right up to a point they make a wrong choice. (Predator & Alien notwithstanding).

    In Highlander, some of my favorite villains were actually friends of Duncan's.
     
  16. Caretaker

    Caretaker Commodore Premium Member

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    I never understood the obsession with post-apocalyptic Highlander (The Quickening, The Animated Series, The Search for Vengeance, The Source). My preference is more of the historical fiction version of the franchise and more reality-based. To each their own, I guess.
     
  17. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    To my mind one of the biggest problems with any attempted continuation of 'Highlander' is the title. You pretty much have to make it about Conner, or some other Scottsman who also happens to be immortal. I mean you could hardly make it about any of another nationality, it just wouldn't make sense. It'd be like making a movie called "The Karate Kid" where the kid learns Kung Fu......oh wait. :p

    As for the post apocalypse thing, I think I see the reason. I mean you're either going to show the past, which can get a bit gimmicky after a while--the present, in which people running around with katannas and broadswords rather stresses credibility--or they can do the future. Now if it was a utopian future, then there'd be no point, but a post apocalyptic setting is rather the best of both worlds. Time has still past and yet technology can regress back to a point where swords are a viable weapon again and the world is back to being big and dangerous.
     
  18. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Commodore Commodore

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    The basic concept is flawed. I doubt think a reboot that is recognizable will matter either. The original was a self contained story. With a defined ending. All the rules that have defined all the Highlander movies and the series which was designed for a single survivor. When you starting pulling apart the different rules it makes no sense.
     
  19. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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    I personally would love to have seen an idea conceived for the first Highlander movie: After MacLeod decapitates the Kurgan, a kind of magical energy dragon emerges from the Kurgan's body and continues to fight MacLeod until he defeats it. Only then does he gain the Prize. Sadly, this was cut, apparently due to budget concerns. I reckon it would've been awesome though.
     
  20. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    ^Nah, I hate video game style "bonus round" endings to fights.