Sunday, November 21, 2010

Highlander: The Source

Starring Rob Schneider.

Welp... Highlander is one of the cooler franchises of the past 25 years. We've got the iconic original movie. We've got the six-season Highlander: The Series which ended up being one of the cooler TV shows of the 90's... for a long time, it was my favorite show.

Aside from that...there were a bunch more Highlander movies. They run from decent to extremely, extremely awful. It's almost like entirely different people were behind each installment. The movies have little correlation and largely ignore each other. Considering the greatness of the original movie and the series, it makes little sense.

The fifth and final movie, The Source, was the worst, and that's what I'll be looking at today. Why would I write about something that totally put a franchise that I love into the grave? Because I have an idea. I WANTED to like this movie. Really, I wanted to give it a shot. And at first, the movie is pretty cool. So what I'm going to do here is look at the movie right up until it starts to suck. This should be good comic relief, and I need to lighten things up around here after all the serious postings lately.

The moment the movie completely stops being good...this post will self-destruct. Like a light going out. Because that's when this once-great franchise dies.

Let's go.

This is CRAZY WIDESCREEN...the version I'm watching is the original one made for movie theater screens.
I like the beginning. The opening monologue about immortals is read by Arabian badass Zai... until the very end when Methos cuts in and says "...or death?"

Problem is, they really went out of their way to make Methos into a possible bad guy in this movie. And anyone who knows Methos knows that, while he is shady, he simply isn't an antagonist.

There's Sad Mono Duncan, looking the way I looked for half of the summer. In the year 2012 (or whenever the hell this is, it's the near future) he's a sad shell of a man who has lost everyone important to him. Highlander fans know that this is because he KILLED ALL OF THEM. By accident/out of necessity, but yeah.

"RICHIE'S DEAD BECAUSE OF YOU, YA RAT BASTARD!" screamed thousands of overweight women at Comic-Con that year. The police reports tell the story, and Animal Control's riot brigade was brought in a record number of times.

Back to the movie. There was some kind of major war, so everything is in ruins. They never actually say it, I'm just guessing there was a world war because that's the only reason I can think of that everything is ruined. As there's no explanation, it seems kinda like they just did this because Post-Apocalyptic Landscapes are badass and kewl. ...well, I guess they are to anyone who hasn't actually lived around one.

Here's The Guardian, our villain du jour. He's huge, frightening, and moves at blink-like speeds. He also wears a metal collar/faceguard, which you can see here. In short...he's unstoppable.

Pay attention to the names in the credits. They're who we mail the anthrax to. They're the people who...who DID this.

Here's the 5,000+ year old Methos, one of the greatest characters ever created. He's living in a place that isn't in ruins... and if you look closely, you can almost hear Peter Wingfield wondering why he agreed to be in this movie.

We see Methos dramatically pick up a sword, and the scene changes.

Here's Anna, the woman Duncan got together with over the past few years. Yep, after 400 years, Duncan finally had a real marriage... and then she divorced him.

Evidently this is the main reason why he's so depressed, because he got dumped. What is he, 12? Should we call him a Waaaah-mbulance?

This is like the only flashback in the whole movie...and it's a flashback to like a month before. I believe whoever made this missed the fact that it's HIGHLANDER, king of historical flashback scenes.

This Terminator esque font is what they use for everything in this movie. Yep, this REALLY doesn't feel like Highlander...

This Stadium Filled With Homeless People Roaming Aimlessly figures prominently into a few scenes. Why is it here? What is its purpose? I suspect that it exists because it sounded kewl and post-apocalyptic on a storyboard.

Here's Anna staring at the cosmos in an Aeris-like way. I swear, this movie has a distinct FF7 feeling early on.
Too bad that, like Advent Children, it sucks.

Oh, what? Come on.

To show us that she's a pure soul, Anna feeds poor children. breast. Just like Gandhi!, she gave them bread, which she no doubt got the money for by selling flowers for a gil.

Here's Zai, the badass Arabian immortal with a scimitar. He's like the coolest character in the movie, since Duncan is depressed and Methos is a completely out-of-character dick suddenly.

Methos is on some sort of internet tele-conference with a bunch of other immortals. NERD!

As the dramatic back-and-forth cuts continue, The Guardian kills some security guy by RIPPING HIS HEAD OFF. Using a sword for kills is so 90's. I think the people behind this movie forgot that Highlander is, you know, also known for guys using swords.

Zai is all "I HAVE FOUND THE SOURCE" in the internet conference, but the signal is breaking up. I guess he's in the Comm Tower and The Guardian is on the way to get him. The other problem is, Methos and the nerds chose to meet up in Chat Roulette and are having a tough time communicating over the sound of all the dongs.

Meanwhile, the Nerd Brigade decides that with The Source found, it's time for a party.

Guy B: "Okay, let's get this party going! We got some chips, and we're gonna play some Halo and watch Toonami. I think a girl might be here later too"

Guy A: "A girl??"

Guy L: "Yeah, we all facebooked her about the party but she hasn't responded yet, I guess she might be here"

Guy Z: "Wow, we got babes on the way AND Halo, this party is totally awesome!"

Meanwhile, The Guardian continues to be shown to be a deadly, prowling menace, as we get a brief glimpse of him killing friars.

The Guardian gets closer and closer, and the Chat Roulette signal is lost completely to the dong parade before Zai can finish his message to the others. "Stupid dongs!" he says.

Zai is really flipping out now.
"He is like...death"

DRAMATIC SCENECHANGE. "Hey guys! I facebooked another girl and said we have beer and weed!"

DRAMATIC SCENECHANGE. The Guardian arrives at the room where Zai is...and every light or electrical device he walks past EXPLODES. This is really cool, actually...

Zai draws his sword to face his own death...

...and here he is. He says nothing, just stalks towards his prey seemingly by sense (since his eyes aren't open).

Methos calls Joe Dawson. Because that's who we call when the situation gets a little sticky. Weird to see Joe using a flip phone, considering Highlander the Series ran in the pre flip phone era.

Zai battles The Guardian, who moves too quickly for him to even hit.

...and catches his sword. Uh oh.

The Guardian doesn't even use a sword for this fight, just hands and feet. Zai actually gets him in the neck a couple times, to zero effect.

The Guardian HURLS him through the air, as we dramatically cut away to...

...Methos and all of the other main characters walking with purpose. All things considered, this introduction isn't bad at all.

The battle rages on, but it's clear Zai doesn't have a chance.

Zai gets slammed through a table, and the way it folds makes it look symbolically coffin-esque. I wonder if that was on purpose, an almost subliminal use of imagery by the movie's creators. ...nahhh.

The Guardian takes Zai's sword, and takes his head off. And as Sean Connery would say... THISH ISH THE QUICKENING!

...and with that, a, really low-budget energy transfer happens that looks almost nothing at all like a Quickening. The hell is that?

This is...weird. It's the Quickening, but it doesn't look at all like the ones in the rest of the Highlander verse.
With the death of the coolest new character so quickly, and this imitation Quickening, the movie is suddenly dropping in stature a bit.

This seems like a deliberate callback to the original movie. An appeal to nostalgia. It's so out of place.

His metal collar just kind of...dissolves here.

The radio tower then falls apart.

Duncan looks around in the wreckage to figure out what happened. Yep, he was nearby, wandering around looking glum. Whatta crazy coincidence.

Just then, Duncan spots The Guardian. Far as I know, he doesn't actually sense him. Well, that's another strike... I guess one could argue that The Guardian is some hell-spawn rather than an Immortal, but I'm pretty sure no one senses anyone in this movie.

Psst. Between you and me, I'm about 90% sure that when this movie was written, it was some horror movie that had nothing at all to do with Highlander. Somehow, the script ended up in the hands of the money-grubbers behind Highlander, who made a couple minor tweaks and slapped the Highlander label on it.

The ultra-badass, murderous Guardian looms...looks like a battle.


....then he opens his mouth, and...


  1. I hadn't realized that another Highlander movie had been released, but after your introduction to it here, I can't imagine actually watching it. Instead, I shall make a PowerPoint presentation of this review to watch. It gives me the basics without forcing me to hate my favourite character (Meethos). Thanks for the warning!

  2. He does look like he has mono, huh.