Highlander: The Source

"Terrible"

Highlander: The Source Review


Has there been a more convoluted back-story than the one that has not only hobbled but effectively killed the once popular Highlander film series? If there has, I haven't seen it.

When the first Highlander film appeared in the mid-80s it was greeted with enthusiastic though tempered praise. Critics saw it as exciting if pulpy but audiences embraced it as a grungy, violent science fiction romp. As with most good things (that make money), a sequel was conjured up.

Thing is, the first film was effectively a standalone picture and unless the plot was really tweaked, a second Highlander film would be merely a remake -- more heads rolling, more shots of lightening pulsing from fingertips. Director Russell Mulcahy and scripters Brian Clemens and William Panzer opted for the tweak. The result was the monstrous though weirdly fascinating Highlander II: The Quickening that had the gall to not only move the story into the future but to throw in an outer space angle. Highlander III: The Sorcerer took the plot back to the twentieth century, being a prequel to Highlander II. (Oh yeah there was a television series in here somewhere too.) 2000's Highlander IV: Endgame kept the confusion going with a new cast, a lower budget, and the addition of cheesy CGI. And now we come to the fifth Highlander film and all bets are off. Not only is the already long-winded plot headache-inducing, but the quality of the film has slipped into the dreaded sub-Sci Fi Channel gutter.

Stay with me here: Duncan MacLeod (originally played by Christopher Lambert, now by Adrian Paul, star of the television series) is an immortal. He has lived in just about every country, wined and dined beautiful woman, and engaged in perilous sword fights with other immortals. Technically, he's not really immortal. If another immortal cuts off his head, MacLeod will die and his killer will receive (via the aforementioned lightening strikes) all sorts of crazy powers. The immortals do this sort of thing a lot -- it's like a decapitation club. Kill enough immortals and you can become a god-like überman. (Hence the line: "There can be only one.") Turns out the immortals are from another planet and, well, here's where I start losing the plot. If you really need to get all the details, read the Wikipedia entry.

Highlander: The Source takes place in a post-apocalyptic future and details MacLeod's quest to find the first immortal, the "Source" in the title. The film fails on nearly every level imaginable. Not only will Highlander fans be disappointed by the film's nosedive into nonsense (and New Age claptrap) but the average viewer will be stunned by the backyard quality of this film. The acting is uniformly terrible, the special effects are hideous (The baddie has the power to run real fast? You've got to be kidding me), the sets are cheap and grubby, and the direction is uninspired. The film is an utter failure.

Special wings in film hell will need to be built and reserved for producers William Panzer and Peter Davis as well as director Brett Leonard and actor Cristian Solimeno. Panzer and Davis (alums of the series since the first film), like stereotypical slumlords, have been so determined to wring every red cent from the franchise that they've let it fall into complete squalor. Director Leonard, veteran of virtual reality flicks The Lawnmower Man and Virtuosity, turns in something so workman-like as to be completely devoid of style, and Cristian Solimeno, as the evil Guardian, is so over the top he makes pro wrestlers look like Royal Shakespeare Company alums.

Surely this is the final nail in the coffin lid for this film series. If it isn't, then something is truly wrong with the universe. There should have been only one.



Highlander: The Source

Facts and Figures

Run time: 86 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 19th August 2007

Distributed by: LionsGate Entertainment

Production compaines: Davis-Panzer Productions, Sequence Film

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

IMDB: 3.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Duncan MacLeod, as Anna Teshemka, Cristian Solimeno as The Guardian, as Methos, Jim Byrnes as Joe Dawson, Stephen Rahman Hughes as Zai Jie, Stephen Wight as Reggie Weller, Thom Fell as Cardinal Giovanni, Patrice Naiambana as The Elder, Sakalas Uždavinys as Security Guard, Geoffrey T. Bersey as Brother Radu, Rolandas Boravskis as Jurgis, Saulis Siparis as Man in Tyres, Buckley Norris as Captain

Also starring: ,

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