As dopey as some of the flashbacks to MacLeod's early days are, they feature some spectacular shots of Scotland. It's best to just gawk at the visuals rather than concentrate on the story, however. The plot barely exists. [29 Jan 1995, p.58]
Highlander: The Final Dimension is elementary and vague, but this purportedly last installment works well enough on a comic book level. Music video veteran Andy Morahan, in his feature directorial debut, has the right idea: Go for as much energy, pace and visual panache as possible. [30 Jan 1995, p.F8]
I'm giving this a point or two more than I think it deserves to balance out some of the negativity. In all honesty this movie (while nothing amazing) is completely fine and enjoyable enough if you like the first one. It ignores the second movie which was smart.
The best part of H3 is Van Peebles as the villain - he's lots of fun and might even be the best of the villains from the first three movies. Beyond him the rest of the movie is just ok but more than good enough for a popcorn flick.
It's a good thing this third and presumably final Highlander film will appeal only to those who've bothered to see the first two, because an uninitiated viewer wouldn't be able to make even the slightest sense out of it. [28 Jan 1995, p.C5]
Highlander 3 has an edge over its prequels in that it's so shoddily directed that it's probably a great deal of fun to watch after a couple of six-packs. Actually, that's probably the only time it might be fun to watch, and I'm not going to be the guy to put that theory to the test for you.
Short review: It is a worse copy of Highlander 1 story-wise but also a huge improvement over Highlander 2. Longer version: Many thought that Highlander 2 killed the franchise. It is for many an abomination and on worst of all time lists. Strangely they could make another movie but know they had to deliver. For me they made the absolute right decision to ignore that Highlander 2 even existed and play it safe by reusing Highlander 1 story, character (types) and themes. They of cause tried to make it different enough for camouflage reasons but it did not work well. Another frequent complaint are the special effects. While not garbage they are nothing to write home about and did not age that well too. Also the magic or the uniqueness of the first movie is gone. It is not as impactful, interesting and enjoyable as the first movie. This sound maybe too negative. For itself it is watchable and I like the setting, Kane as villain and the new skills (Cant go into details because of spoilers). An improved version could have been a hit. The acting is O.K. Neither a failure or a masterpiece. The music is still good. Overall a step it the right direction but defiantly not a hit or masterpiece. Maybe it is worse than I think and the comparison to Highlander 2 made it look better than it really is.
Just because Highlander III is an improvement over the last one doesn’t mean that it’s a good movie. The movie is poorly directed, poorly acted, and the sword fights are unfortunately very dull. I will admit, Christopher Lambert does look like he’s trying in this film and the plot looks alright.