REVIEW: Highlander 2
The movie sequel. In almost every instance, they represent a lesser version of the original. A poor, bastardized, facsimile, the sequel is not motivated by story or plot, but rather fortune and profit.
In Hollywood, most projects are slung like monkey excrement against the proverbial wall, or in this case we the viewers. Some of these projects adhere, and garner praise, while others more accurately represent the aforementioned simian effluence, and plummet greasily to the deck. The films that recieve acclaim, and achieve a profit are immediately tossed into the whore-machine where they are mass produced into painfully generic dopplegangers and forced fed to the public until we vomit from our eyes.
On the very rare occassion some films manage to produce a sequel that equals the greatness of the first. Highlander 2 is not one of those films.
Highlander 2 is in fact the epitome of sequels. It was made for all the wrong reasons, embraces everything bad about the follow-up feature film business and could very well go down as the most catastrophic second parter to ever be made since the motion picture camera was invented.
The original Highlander, while passed over when it first hit theaters in the United States was met with grand acceptance overseas. It's popularity in Europe helped it eventually gain a cult following worldwide, which invetibaly, and unfortunately lit the fires to produce it's tragic counterpart Highlander 2 (I'm sure those assholes in England had something to do with this.... Christopher Lambert is probably a folk hero over there).
Quick recap for those of you unfamiliar with the original Highlander. Immortals populate the earth and fight from the dawn of time till present day (which when this film was made was 1986, in New York City) in order to win 'the prize', a legendary goal amongst those who cannot die.
Let me describe the evolution from Highlander, to Highlander 2. Imagine if you a will, a smoking hot chick, beautiful from head to toe, flawless, the female equivalent of Patrick Swayze. Now take that same woman, smash her in the face with a shovel, set her on fire, then extinguish her burning flesh by dropping a post White Castle liquid deuce on her.... or just imagine Julia Roberts.
Yes, I know. Truly shocking. Aside from the English culture, nothing has collapsed into utter disgrace more quickly or completely.
So Highlander 2 wastes little time in destroying everything you knew from the first film, and replacing it with.... tragedy. We join an aged Connor Macleod (played by English fan-favorite Christopher Lambert), who has achieved fame and fortune by solving the Earth's depleting Ozone Layer dilema. The prize, which he won in Highlander by cutting off a lot of heads, and banging some marginaly attractive women, gave him the ability to grow old ( I assume, something treasured by those in the Immortality field.... hard to say). The prize also gave him a certain degree of omnipotence, and with that the ability to help all man-kind. So Macleod uses his new gifts to create the 'Shield', a giant blanket of energy designed to protect the Earth from the sun's radiation as the Ozone Layer slowly disintegrates.
While saving the Earth from immediate destruction, the Shield plunges the planet in darkness, and because of this everyone is a little bummed. So the world is dark all the time... oh no, let's drink, and act like assholes.... I digress. So Macleod is now viewed as the man who destroyed the planet, even though he technically saved it..... as if it matters.
Highlander 2 starts with a flashback / dream sequence that tells of the origin of the Immortals on Earth. They are all aliens from the past living on a planet called Zeist (the concept for this movie by the way layed the foundation for Scientology). On Zeist if you are deemed undesirable, you are banished to the future (Earth in this case) where you will live forever..... so on Zeist they torture you with untold blessings of good fortune. And for the record, Zeist looked like a fucking shitty planet (imagine England....but with uglier chicks).... so really being banished to Earth... not so bad.
Enter General Katana (really unique name guys.... let's name the bad guy after a sword! FUCKING GENIUS!! Oh and by the way, here's my second in command Colonel Hand Grenade, Captain Light Sabre, and Special Agent Nun-Chuks! Whoever wrote this should be raped in the eye with a soldering iron) who is played by Bad Movie Knight's own Michael Ironside, and wouldn't you know, he sets the standard for all the thespians in this film and once again proves the theory of the Ironside Agenda. Yes, Ironside out acted everyone in this classic, including Sean Connery who obviously just dropped by this set to pick up his $3 million dollar check (I have coats that are better actors than Christopher Lambert, so not much of a challenge for ole M.I. there). Katana begins by sending some of his henchman to Earth to dispatch Macleod. Clad in black, wearing goggles, and obviously fond of cock, these bad asses attempt to assassinate Macleod. One however accidentally get's his head cut off by a passing freight train (they are fighting in the city.... things have gotten so bad on Earth that whole railway lines now move through busy urban neighborhoods)... and because of this fatal immortal injury, Macleod is transformed back into his young, strapping French, I mean Scottish self. OOOOOooooo! Yeah, whatever, don't try and figure it out, don't try and understand it. Macleod quickly takes care of the second gay bad guy and then hooks up with Virginia Madsen. She portrays an environmental terrorist who is hell-bent on destroying the Shield. After some convincing, and some sex, Macleod agrees to help her with plans. But before they can begin Ramirez (Connery) shows up.
Ok, for you douche-bags who didn't see it, Ramirez was killed (head removed) in the first Highlander and died. Right? WRONG! In Highlander 2, we learn that if you are banished to Earth, and you are killed, you get to return to Zeist. That is some fantastic holiday package they have got going on over there. So the writers found a way to script Connery back into the movie, but because his salary was so off the charts we only have to sustain him for a brief period of time during this already excrutiatingly painful visual rape.
So the gangs back together, and we're off to lay waste to corporate America! Yippeee! The remainder of the movie is like Kung-Fu the video game.... fight some bad guys, advance to the next level, fight more bad guys, next level, so on, and so on, until you reach the top. And waiting at the top level? General Katana of course. He stands between our pair of heroes (Connery died stopping a fan... go figure) and the Shield Generator which they must destroy in order to restore peace to the planet (I swear I've heard this concept before... I just can't place it). Blah, blah, blah, Macleod and Katana have an old fashion 'who has the bigger dick' contest on top of the Shield Corporation building. Predictably Macleod wins, and cuts off Katana's head (yes to some of you I just spoiled the ending... but really if you haven't seen this already, I'm doing you a monster favor), then destroys the shield, and then we have blue skies.
If you haven't figured it out already, Highlander 2 is a complete failure on every level. Never before, and probably never again will I see a franchise destroyed by a sequel (oh wait what about Star Wars?) the way Highlander 2 has. This is a movie that should have ended after the first.... not spawned this or any of the other sequels ( they all suck, but what's funny is that they all ignore the previous thinking they can do better....) or a ridiculously pointless television series (let's face it, if your TV show airs on USA.... it's already failed).
Watching Highlander 2 is like trying to pass a kidney stone through the eyes. Just don't do it. I implore you.
Hamlin Grade: 1
Timothy Dalton is the one true James Bond,