HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Windom's Way
True Don Quixote, The
Babymother
Mitchells vs. the Machines, The
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Unholy, The
How to Deter a Robber
Antebellum
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
   
 
Newest Articles
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
   
 
  Highlander II: The Renegade Version Carry On Don't Lose Your Head
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, AdventureBuy from Amazon
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 5461 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 star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: