Highlander 2: The Quickening (1991)

Rating: *
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Cast: Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Viginia Madsen, Michael Ironside

Who's awful idea was this?!? This extremely disappointing sequel disregards everything that the first film established. In the near future, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) is a brilliant scientist who creates a shield that covers the entire Earth to protect it from the disintegrating ozone layer. The Earth becomes a dark and dreary world because of it, and the Shield Corporation is exploiting the world for using their protection. An old and tired MacLeod sits around waiting to die when suddenly, two freaky flying immortals show up to put him out of his misery. He manages to outwit and behead them, and then miraculously Connor MacLead is young and immortal again! He celebrates by getting it on with a cute young terrorist (Virginia Madsen) who was disgusted by him when he was an old man, but now finds him irresistable as a young stud. Whatever. Then we find out that the immortals from the first film were sent to Earth from another planet as punishment, and MacLeod's arch nemesis Kitana (Michael Ironside) comes to Earth to face off with him. And then to make things worse, during the Quickening, MacLeod calls out to Ramirez (Sean Connery) and brings him back from the grave to help him out. It seems that the ozone layer is repairing itself and that the shield is no longer needed, so our heroes attack the Shield Corporation, shut down the shield, and it's blue skies and rainbows for everyone (except for Kitana and Ramirez who end up dead). What crap. This film is painfully bad to watch, especially if you're a fan of the original.

Notes on "The Renegade Edition" director's cut (1997): Only marginally better than the original theatrical cut, this removes all references that the immortals are aliens from the planet Zeist. Instead, they are criminals who were banished to the future! Some extra scenes revolving around Brenda's death were restored and a mountain chase scene where they discover that the ozone layer is okay was added. Although these are nice touches, the film still reeks.