Highlander 2: Renegade Version (1991) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Russell Mulcahy
Starring: Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Virginia Madsen
Rated: R/Region A/2:42/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Olive Films
The RENEGADE VERSION is a re-edited director’s cut of HIGHLANDER 2: THE QUICKENING with 18 minutes of additional footage. It’s 2024 and Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) and Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez (Sean Connery) are back to save planet Earth from an evil corporation. Ozone depletion, time travel and corporate greed are at the core of all the thrilling twists and turns in this stylish action-packed sequel with state-of-the-art special effects. Featuring and a great supporting cast which includes Virginia Madsen (Fire with Fire) as a beautiful revolutionary leader recruited by MacLeod, Michael Ironside (Total Recall) as the villainous Highlander, General Katana and John C. McGinley (The Rock) as the president of the evil corporation. Original music by Stewart Copeland (Rumble Fish) and directed by Russell Mulcahy (Resident Evil: Extinction).
Sometimes the story behind a movie is probably more interesting than the actual movie. That is certainly the case when it comes to Highlander 2: The Quickening. Of course, this release from Olive Films is called Highlander 2: Renegade Version due to that interesting story behind the film. Basically everyone and their mother loves the original Highlander and the people behind it love money, so they wanted to make a sequel and bring back Sean Connery’s character despite him being killed off in the original. Enter some wacky story about these highlanders being aliens and we have a movie that takes a big pee on the original and was actually called one of the worst movies ever made. As a result, the director being unhappy with the results (as he should be) decided to go back and re-cut the film with new stuff and that ends up being what we get here. The jury is out on just how much it improves anything and some might even be able to make the argument that it makes things worse. Regardless, it doesn’t take too long into watching this one for people to see why any other Highlander films act like this one never even happened.
So we have our star, Christopher Lambert, back for the role that you most associate him with, Connor MacLeod. Heck, with some Tom Foolery in the plot, we even have Sean Connery back as Juan Sánchez. This one is more about ozone layers than cutting people’s heads off and more times than not, things go against the way things were supposed to be going by the classic original film. There are apparently four different versions of Highlander 2 and I’ve not seen them all, but some try to argue that this version is the best of the bunch. I won’t argue that point, but I will say if this is the best, the worst must be something to see! I won’t totally toss stones at this movie, because bringing Sánchez back to the fold is good, even if it does against what little logic a Highlander movie might have. The movie is pretty much goofy and hard to follow if you haven’t seen the original Highlander, but it still has a few entertaining moments here and there, even if they might be entertaining for the wrong reasons. So, just don’t go into watching this version of Highlander 2 expecting anything like the original and you should be OKAY!
Quality of Transfer: 77%