Highlander has never really been a respectable series, but it’s always been a fun one. With the story of ancient Immortals looking to chop off each other’s heads so they could eventually become “the one”—the last Immortal standing on Earth—the series was just prime to receive an instant cult status, and that it did. In doing so, much like the immensely better Star Wars franchise, it started a trend of lame sequels and follow-ups, and this latest movie, Highlander: The Source is definitely the worst out of the bunch, by far, this being the fifth in the increasingly worsening film franchise. The story takes place in the not too distant future. Duncan MacLeod of the Clan Macleod, played by the star of the TV series, Adrian Paul, doubts that there’s any such great power known as The Source, even though many of the few remaining Immortals put faith in it. But he soon gets swept into the whole mess when a pasty white new villain known as The Guardian pops onto the scene and starts offing Immortals just to acquire whatever great power this thing known as The Source is. I say, “whatever great power this thing known as The Source is” because after watching the film in its entirety (and also replaying it in parts just to make sure I got it all), I’m still not really sure if I understand exactly what The Source is. It has something to do with planets aligning, and reaching mortality, as evident in the other movies, but other than that, I’m still pretty confused, which is strange, as you’d think a movie about immortals wanting to become mortal would be pretty straightforward. With annoying Religion vs. Atheism banter sliced in between, much of the focus gets lost in the terrible dialogue.
Anyway, back to the plot. Duncan MacLeod’s former fiancé, Anna, who ditched him because she couldn’t have children with him as Immortals can’t bear seeds, is somehow a clairvoyant who leads Duncan and his three fellow Immortals on a quest to reach The Source. The thing is the Guardian, who runs like Sonic the Hedgehog and makes funny faces like Jim Carrey in Liar Liar, also wants the power and is hunting the Immortals down one by one, as he can do that since the closer the Immortals get to The Source, the more and more mortal they become. This allows The Guardian to pick them off without having to decapitate them, which is the only way to really eliminate an Immortal — by chopping off their head.
If I lost you back there somewhere, it’s probably because I got lost myself, as that’s how confusing the story can be sometimes. Not only that though, but even if you’re a fan of the ongoing series, you’ll probably end up disliking this straight to Sci-Fi channel movie, as it doesn’t even really feel like Highlander at all, but rather, a bunch of scenes slapped together in the vein of what a story could have been. One such scene in particular, where Duncan and his fellow Immortals battle a bunch of thugs and start the "we’re cool, so let’s walk in slow motion" scene, actually breaks into something of a music video. Not only that, but the song is so hair metal 80s that you’d actually think you were watching something that could have been shot an eternity ago. Or, if not that, then at least 1987.
If you’re really jonesing to relive those awesome Christopher Lambert Highlander days, you’d probably be better off just watching the original movie five times over than sitting through this fifth installment of the frequently flagging franchise. All I have to say is thank God there’s no commentary, as I don’t think I could possibly sit through the film a second time. Instead of a commentary is something that seems just as long, as “Highlander: The Process,” a behind-the-scenes documentary pretty much retells the entire story, scene by scene, with cast and the director discussions to accompany it. Honestly, it felt like it was going on and on for at least 45 minutes, and when you have to walk around the room just so you can stay awake, you know you’re not having a good time.
Also on the disc, and too long for its own good, is a tribute to producer, Bill Panzer, who recently just died last year. Much like the movie itself, the tribute to Panzer seems to be all over the place and loses the main focus, which I presume was that the man was a great guy who both handled money well and was also an overall fun guy to be with.
Storyboards and trailers for other bad films round out the rest of the special features, as well as a clip of scenery and blathering from the main character of the new Highlander video game set to come out for the PS3 and 360. Sadly, there’s no hidden Easter egg commentary done by the cast of Mystery Theater 3000 to totally pan the movie as I had hoped for, so don’t even bother looking for it. I know I sure did.
Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.
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