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THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE VERSION!!!
on 9 January 2008
The 'renegade' version of 'Highlander 2' is the only version any self respecting film fan should bother with.
For anyone unfamiliar with the 'renegade', it's quite simple.
Director Russell Mulcahy, who had successfully helmed the original 'Highlander' movie, pretty much had 'Highlander 2' taken off him during the production of the film as greedy producers wanted a quick cash in and felt that Mulcahy was taking too long and spending too much money on the picture. As a result, the version of 'Highlander 2' released in theatres was a world a way from the directors original vision, hence the poor reviews and horrendous reputation the film has garnered ever since.
This, the 'renegade' version of the film, shows director, Mulcahy getting his hands on the original rushes and footage he shot, and reconstructing the film the way he wanted it in the first place.
The results are strikingly familiar to those of Ridley Scott's when he finally got to piece together 'Blade Runner' the way he had originally intended, without film company suits, sticking their noses in.
'Highlander 2' now has certain scenes switched to different points in the film, which makes it flow much more smoothly.
The idea that the immortals are aliens from the planet Zeist has also been changed, and with the use of extra/added scenes, the film now has more continuity with the first film, as we see the reason why Macleod builds the 'ozone layer' device to begin with, as well as the reason for Ramirez's return.
The digital remaster shows off the excellent production designs in the movie, and the touched up special effects give 'Highlander 2' a much slicker feel. In fact the overall cinematogrophy on 'Highlander 2' is vastly superior to the original.
The cast is still a strong one with Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery reprising their roles in good form, Michael Ironside at his villainous best and solid support from Virginia Madsen as a romantic interest who can hold her own in a scrap. Watch out for 'Scrubs' John C. McGinley as a greedy, weedy businessman.
Stewart Copeland's score is also worthy of note.
It's a shame that this version of 'Highlander 2' never made it to the cinemas. Watching this version of the picture simply reinforces the point that film directors should be left to do their own work, without men in suits ruining everything for everyone concerned.
'Highlander 2' the renegade version is a far cry from the Paul Verhoevenesque trash originally seen in the early 90's. Mulcahy's reconstructed version is a smoother, longer, more satisfying film with more emotional depth and better continuity. It makes more sense, and comes across as a more intelligent picture.
Coupled with the terrific special effects and production values that were already in place, as well as some top shelf action set pieces, this incarnation of 'Highlander 2' is a quality sci-fi adventure.
It's the only one to watch, and restores faith, not only in the 'Highlander' franchise, but in Russell Mulcahy as a director.