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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Highlander 2. Bad Movie, Great Meaning

Highlander 2 is infamous for Highlander fans and movie fans in general, mainly for its poor continuity with the other films in the series and its poor quality. But when watching the movie I always feel like there is something within it that gives it a more noble sensibility. The films plot deals with a electromagnetic shield that protects the earth from the suns radiation following the ozone's layers destruction at the hands of industrial pollution. Already its clear that the film has a very bold statement to make about pollution and why we should take care of our planet, and this carry's on throughout the whole movie in a very meaningful way.

The meaningful way it does this is the clever idea of tying in a former immortal man to the idea of the planet essentially dying. From a thematic point of view it is very interesting, the idea that a man who cannot die is the savior of a dying planet. The way the story starts is also very melancholy and symbolic. McLeod is now a mortal man, and is ageing and dying, much like the planet. Once he becomes immortal again, he seeks to destroy the planetary shield, now that the ozone layer is repaired. A greedy corporation wants the shield to remain active, seeing as it funds their corporation. Science fiction often deals with the idea of corporate influence affecting peoples lives, and how we can rebel against it. Highlander 2 does this within its story, although not in a very subtle way.

The whole film feels like it takes place in a dark city that is falling apart, decayed and old.. Its ideas are meaningful despite the films many downsides. The ending scene of McLeod stepping into the shields beam and destroying it is a very positive way to end the film, and the sense of triumph seeing the clear shield less sky with the stars shinning above is a very powerful image. I find the film can be enjoyed if its intentions are kept in mind. Its still a clunky mess, but I find it fascinating that the film makers did at least want to highlight a certain subject matter and theme. Its kind of operatic in a way, a film about a newly restored immortal trying to save the planet he feels responsible for dooming.

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