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HIGHLANDER 2: RENEGADE VERSION ($25) is a re-edited version of the theatrical film HIGHLANDER 2: THE QUICKENING. This version of HIGHLANDER 2 includes 19 minutes of previously unseen footage and is a lot closer to the filmmaker’s original vision, than the version released into theaters. Christopher Lambert returns to the role of the highlander Conner MacLeod. The plot of HIGHLANDER 2 is set in the year 2024, where we find that MacLeod is no longer immortal and an old man. An electromagnetic shield, which MacLeod helped develop, is now protecting the Earth, because the depleted ozone layer has left the planet exposed to the sun’s rays.

HIGHLANDER 2 gives something of back-story to the origins of the immortals. Here we learn that the immortals came from a long lost race, from somewhere in Earth’s distant past, and were exiled into the future. When MacLeod, the last surviving immortal, claimed the prize at the end of the first film, he earned the right to return to the past and become immortal again amongst his fellow immortals. Michael Ironside portrays Katana, an enemy who doesn’t want MacLeod returning to the past. When Katana and his henchmen come to the future to kill MacLeod once and for all, their presence only serves to restore MacLeod’s immortality. With his powers restored, MacLeod is somehow able to summon up his long dead friend and mentor Juan Ramirez (Sean Connery). MacLeod and Ramirez come together to fight against Katana, who has joined forces with the consortium, that controls the electromagnetic shield. MacLeod and Ramirez also aids environmentalist Louise Marcus (Virginia Madsen) in proving that the ozone layer has repaired itself and that the shield is no longer necessary, despite the shield consortium’s claims to the contrary.

Republic Entertainment offers HIGHLANDER 2: RENEGADE VERSION in a Letterboxed presentation on a THX certified DVD. The Letterboxed transfer restores most of the film’s 2.35:1 framing. In comparison to the first HIGHLANDER film, this DVD is quite good looking. The graininess and compression artifact problems of that title, do not carry over to this DVD. HIGHLANDER 2 appears detailed and sharp with very good color reproduction.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack has an excellent re-mix. The discrete channels are utilized very well and the soundtrack should be played loud for the full action movie effect. Other soundtrack options include a matrixed Dolby Surround compatible track, plus an audio commentary featuring director Russell Mulcahy and producers Peter Davis and William Panzer. The commentary gives a lot of insight into this special version of HIGHLANDER 2. English captioning and Spanish subtitles are available on the DVD.

The interactive menus give one access to photos, sketches and a new documentary about the need to create HIGHLANDER 2: RENEGADE VERSION.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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