There *should* have been only one, anyway.
So, the other night, while attempting to fall asleep (yay again, painkillers!), I noticed that the original Highlander was on cable. I watched a bit of it, even though high-school me saw that movie probably a hundred times.
You know what? That first film, while a little dated, still holds up pretty well. It had an interesting, creative plot, decent characters, decent acting, a scary-as-fuck Clancy Brown, and a soundtrack by Queen. Not bad all around. But then…
Well, if you’re familiar with the Highlander franchise at all, you probably realize they did more than just that one film. And, looking at the whole canon of work now — the five films, the two TV series, and the animated series — they really should have just stuck to the first movie and been done with it. Sure, the first TV series was OK, even kind of good at some points, but it was completely unnecessary (especially if you take the first film as canon, something every subsequent version of Highlander had to ignore… as there were no Immortals left after the first film).
Watching the original Highlander now, it’s hard to believe that a movie that generally solid was ultimately responsible for the horrid, unwatchable crap-fest that was Highlander — The Source. If anyone can explain to me how The Source made any kind of sense whatsoever, I’d like to hear it… if only because your explanation of that movie can’t be any worse than the movie itself.
The lesson here: sometimes you have to quit while you’re ahead. Having a great idea and executing it well is an awesome thing. But if you’re just going to keep making crappier and crappier versions of the same thing after that, all you’ll end up doing is cheapening the good thing you did, and confusing me when your main character shows up with butterfly knives fighting a pro-wrestling reject who quotes Marilyn Manson songs (seriously, what the fuck was up with The Source?).
What about you, folks? Can you think of a once-great movie or series that went completely off the rails?