I've finally indulged in "Highlander 2" last night after watching the first many times over the past 10 years. I would consider the first Highlander to be one of the best films around for the 80s. To begin this, please be aware that I still think that Highlander is by far, the greatest movie of this franchise; I still and will always recognize this.
My expectations going into Highlander 2 was that the story would be completely chaotic and would be a slap in the original's face. I also expected a low budget movie along with a poor effort. I also expecting to be bored out of my mind, and just not entertained at all. I wasn't expecting any Queen, either. Even IMDb lowered my expectations even more...this movie gets a 3.7/10!!!!!!!!!!! I'm sure glad I watched this after ignoring it for so long...
My expectations were surpassed. The only thing that held true was the story/writing, which was bad and very incompatible with the first; but since I was watching the "Renegade" cut, then it wasn't completely god awfully bad. The backstory didn't make sense (when they introduced Michael Ironside's character) when compared to the first movie's timeframe, and Ramirez coming back to life was just ridiculous in context of the first movie. How did McCloud become a Highlander again? I mean, you'll end up with those ridiculous questions, but they are to be expected, and if you just forget about 'em, you WILL enjoy this movie!
With the incompatible story aside, honestly, this movie was pretty entertaining and it executed quite well at times. There was DEFINITELY some effort and some style with this movie. It gave off some really good atmosphere and mood, too. The cool foot-board flying action scene was pretty awesome, even by today's standards. The cinematography was actually a step up in style over the first, actually. They went with a 2.35:1 to give everything a bit of a "grander" look, and it really looks polished on the surface. I couldn't help but think of Carpenter's Escape From New York in several scenes, along with the environment of Blade Runner (dark and rainy). The style of this movie was very awesome, actually. Many of the effects (like the cityscape) used Optical effects (overlays?) much like Raimi's Darkman.
The music? Yes, there's Queen. Not as much Queen as the first, but there IS Queen! The love song (the best Queen song from the first movie) was played over three times in Highlander 2. There was even a Queen song on the radio in a scene.
There's lots to like in Highlander 2, with little to hate. Be prepared to loose all seriousness of the first movie. But also, be prepared to be pretty entertained. I was never bored during this movie, and I got to see plenty of McCloud action. This movie is for the fans only as well.
I think of "Highlander 2" as the "Superman III" of the franchise. It executes just as great as the prequels and has everything it needs, including style, soundtrack, etc, but just turns up the camp factor that many people can't handle.
Yea, and it has John C. McGinley!!!