HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
It Came from the Desert
Lodgers, The
Eagle vs Shark
American Assassin
Die, Mommie, Die!
All the Money in the World
Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, The
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
   
 
Newest Articles
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
   
 
  Highlander II: The Renegade Version Carry On Don't Lose Your HeadBuy this film here.
Year: 2001
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Stars: Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Michael Ironside, Virginia Madsen, Allan Rich, John C. McGinley, Phil Brock, Rusty Schwimmer, Ed Trucco, Steven Grives, Jeff Altman
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: The year is 2024 and mankind has been living under the protection of The Shield, created as a replacement for the damaged ozone layer by the now mortal Connor MacLeod, for a quarter of a century. In the intervening years humanity has found this more of a curse than a blessing and a group of eco terrorists believe the ozone has healed itself. But this is the least of MacLeod's problems, for soon he will have to take up his sword once more to prove yet again that there can be only one.

Highlander wasn't the most successful of box office hits upon its theatrical release in 1986. However, benefiting from the 80s home video boom it gained a huge cult following, enough to warrant the possibility of a sequel that arrived with much fan anticipation in 1991. But where do you go after Connor MacLeod has completed his centuries long quest and become mortal? And how do you bring back superstar Sean Connery who was on the receiving end of a decapitation by villain The Kurgan? Fans weren't exactly best pleased with the muddled movie that attempted to answer these questions and provide an exciting adventure. Nor were the filmmakers, denied final cut due to financial difficulties. An issue rectified with the DVD release of Highlander II: The Renegade Version.

One word sums up all that was wrong with Highlander II: The Quickening…Zeist. The name of the planet that the Immortals apparently call home. Gone was the mystique of their origins to be replaced by an uninspired alien heritage. This is the most obvious element that's been excised from the Renegade Version, rejigged to place their beginnings in some distant past from which the rebellious Rameriz and MacLeod are banished to the far future, as witnessed by their nemesis General Katana whose later actions rejuvenate the old Highlander. It's still a problematic and unsatisfying plotline though and typifies this admittedly improved but still fundamentally flawed version.

A sweeping camera shot opens proceedings, with an aged MacLeod reminiscing about his early years whilst at an opera recital. Reminiscent of the wrestling match setting that opened the original returning director Russell Mulcahy's stylistic flourishes are in evidence once more. His trademark transitions between the present and the past have been reinstated and he handles the action scenes with customary style, making use of big sweeping camera moves. An early set piece is particularly well realised, with our hero up against a pair of airborne assassins. Unfortunately it's never bettered and would have made for a far more exciting finale than what audiences are saddled with. A better villain would also have helped, Michael Ironside is in hammy panto mode and while we're at it Virginia Madsen makes for a rather insipid heroine. Oh well, at least Sean Connery is on hand to provide some light relief and appears to be enjoying himself, probably more than the audience.

To say this director's cut is a better movie is a bit of a backhanded complement, as a sequel Highlander II is pretty disastrous even in this revised format. Despite deleted scenes being reinstated and the whole film re-edited to create an undeniably more coherent plot and satisfying pace it still ignores what made the original such an entertaining experience. Gone is the simplicity of concept, the romantic fantasy elements and the emotional resonance to be replaced by a pointless backstory and formulaic sci-fi trappings. At best it's a run of the mill futuristic action movie, of interest to hardcore fans who will still be irked by the numerous inconsistencies which remain. Confirming that the only way a truly entertaining version of Highlander II could reach the screen is with a complete script rewrite this Renegade Version proves that at the end of the day you can't polish a turd.
Reviewer: Jason Cook

 

This review has been viewed 4132 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Russell Mulcahy  (1953 - )

Australian director with a flashy visual style. A former music video director - most notably for Duran Duran - Mulcahy made an impact in 1984 with his first real film, the Outback creature feature Razorback. 1986's fantasy thriller Highlander was a big cult hit, and its success led to a foray in Hollywood in the 1990s, which included thrillers Ricochet and The Real McCoy, the superhero yarn The Shadow and the sequel Highlander II: The Quickening. Subsequent work has largely been in TV.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: