Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Rest of Highlander: The Source

The Worst Movie I Watched This Year


Before reading further, you may want to check out my first attempt at a post about Highlander: The Source. Chances are, you missed it the first time around.

Because that post already covered most of the first ten minutes, I'm just going to gloss over that part of the movie in this post.

Previously, on The Source!

Dark clouds roll overhead as the movie begins, showing great promise for what awaits in this, the 5th live action Highlander movie. Sure, none of the movies have been very good since the first, but this movie features some of the cast from the phenomenal Highlander: The Series so there's hope. Right?

Hahahaha. No.

The planets, it seems, are aligning towards the center of the Milky Way, or something. Anyone who has even a rudimentary understanding of how things are outside of Earth knows that this is absolute poppycock, to use the scientific term.

And here we see the phenomenal Peter Wingfield, who totally deserved to be in a better movie than this. It is my belief that Highlander: The Series should have had a Season Seven (and a real Season Six) with Methos and Joe as the main protagonists.

But I digress. In any case, rather than pointing out that this stuff about planets aligning is, in fact, poppycock, Methos instead looks intrigued and says something about "The Source".

Meanwhile, here's something I missed before about the whole Zai scene: when he's sneaking into the communications tower, he has to take an elevator up. However, there's a security guard sitting at the desk nearby. When he spots Zai trying to get into the elevator, he DRAWS HIS GUN. This guy takes his job seriously!

He then OPENS FIRE. And by that I mean he shoots Zai at least SIX OR SEVEN TIMES. The guy was just lost! Holy shit!

In any case, Zai revives in the elevator, makes his way to the top, battles the menacing Guardian...

...lamest "Quickening" I've ever seen, and... ah hell, let's just jump to where I left off.


"This is the end of tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime!" says The Guardian before standing there and wheezing for no apparent reason.

You know, this guy does look like a badass, and up until five seconds ago, he WAS a badass. Why lose the metal collar and the prowling menace? This guy should have kept being a silent killer like he was for the first ten minutes of the movie, but instead they turned him into a cartoon character. Look, I'm all for a villain having some comedic elements. Even the original Highlander's The Kurgan had a sense of humor, despite being a horrific monster. But this is so going so overboard that it tips the rest of the boat with it.

Duncan and The Guardian clash while The Guardian spouts out the lamest dialogue imaginable. "DUNCAN MACLOOD! DUNCAN MACLOOOOOD!" he belches like a dying balloon.

Joe ROARS up in his truck, hitting The Guardian in the process. This bounces our villain du jour back about fifty feet while he yells "HELLO JOOOOOE!"

.........Why would he say that? Just...why?

Joe asks Duncan to go with him and flee the scene since he's unprepared for The Guardian.

Joe then SHOOTS DUNCAN in order to get him safely out of there. Wouldn't shooting him give The Guardian a primo opportunity to rush in for the kill? Apparently not. The best part is how Joe literally waits about THREE (3) seconds between asking Duncan to go with him and SHOOTING HIM. Joe is almost as trigger happy as that security guard earlier!

The Guardian stalks around as our heroes escape. This guy is actually a really good actor; the sheer crappiness of the character is due entirely to the shit he says - i.e. the writing of the movie. When he isn't saying anything, this guy BRINGS the menace. Unfortunately, he constantly has to stop being menacing to say the stupidest dialogue in the history of cinema. Basically, The Guardian is even older than Methos, somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 years. He was among the first group of immortals known to walk on the planet. If your first assumption of what this 10,000 year old demigod would act like is Jim Carrey in The Mask, you could be a Highlander: The Source writer.

Meanwhile, it seems Anna is having visions about finding The Source, or something. Is that like finding the clitoris?

It's daylight now and Duncan is STILL dead. Heck, that Zai fellow earlier revived in ten seconds at the MOST.

Duncan dreams about Anna, seen here being vastly sexier than at any other time in the movie. Yeow.

This is the best scene in the movie. Not just because of the red dress... because it's a real scene that makes sense and kinda means something.

Anna is, by the way, human. She isn't immortal. She's upset because they can't have kids. Join the club, lady. And wow, Duncan doesn't look like Duncan at all here. That's totally Adrian Paul talking to his girlfriend about what color they should paint the walls in their new apartment.

Back in the present, he's awake and gazing off into space. Mono: It's No Joke.

Here she breaks up with him and tells him how great he is. I can personally attest that being told your good aspects doesn't ease the blow at all. But it's a nice thought.

Duncan drinks. ...this is not the Duncan from the show. That guy drank recreationally and for fun, this guy takes shots to ease his depression. And of all the women to drive him to this... Anna? Really?

Is this supposed to be a real place on Earth? Now they're venturing out into the fantasy realm occupied by movies like Dragonball Evolution. It's a cool shot, at least.

Duncan meets Methos' allies and WHOA GIOVANNI IS CREEPY. The fellow on the left is hip young newcomer Reggie, whose very name seems like the first indication that he's a poor man's Richie. Which he is.

Stone Cold Steve Austin's music (should) hits as Methos roars up on a motorcycle, locking eyes with Duncan the entire time. Really? Methos - the 5,000 year old known for being soft spoken and keeping a low profile - is roaring up on a motorcycle and acting all badass?

He immediately starts taunting Duncan, and it becomes clear that this movie was setting him up to be the antagonist in the next one (yes, they were planning another one after this). Just...just no. The one time Methos ever might have been a bad guy was late in the series when we learned of his past misdeeds, but even with that perfect opportunity to turn bad he stuck by Duncan. Now suddenly he hates Duncan's guts for no reason? Then again, I've seen real-life situations that make even less sense, so who knows.

Duncan: The single most depressing thing about this movie.

They team up to look for The Source, then break into the monastery and do battle with monks. It's all pretty idiotic, so let's just move on.

And, uh, Anna is here. What a coincidence! I do like that the director framed this with the fire between them, perhaps indicating that the fire...the PASSION that they had still burns, as well as the smoldering bad feelings over the way things ended. Great work by the... oh, who am I kidding, this was accidental.

In the basement of the monastery, they find...

...the Eldest Namek? What the shit?

Oh My God. It's him.

Regardless, he warns our heroes that since The Source is nearing, they're all going to lose their Immortality at some point. Wait, what?

He tells the story about how, 10,000 years ago, a group of Immortals looked for The Source and got cursed and stuff. The completely backwards, incongruous-with-everything-we-know story is awful, but it isn't even the worst thing about the movie. I'm pretty sure this story was written by a high schooler. Probably the producer's son or something. In any case, onward.

For some bizarre reason, they left Reggie keeping a lookout outside the monastery. Why? He senses an immortal (which makes this the ONLY time in the last 90% of the movie that anyone senses anyone) and walks out into a field of crosses. Well, good thing they're on holy ground so he's safe from-

...annnd The Guardian strikes and beats the crap out of him. He's about to strike the finishing blow when...

...Duncan materializes and HURLS his legendary katana through the air.

This impales the Guardian through the neck, something that causes grievous harm even to Immortals, and...

...the Guardian ignores it, then BREAKS DUNCAN'S SWORD, then IMPALES JOE WITH IT. That was like the three most insulting things they could do, all in a row. At this moment, Highlander is dead. There's nothing left of it. Well, I guess there are still Immortals and stuff...

Joe has a wrenching death scene and Duncan's iconic sword is broken in half. I'm not one to Nerd Rage about anything, but this is slightly criminal.

I believe at this moment Adrian Paul realized he wasn't making a Highlander movie at all, but a horror movie with Highlander characters shoehorned into it. BEHOLD HOW HE WEEPS!

And with this changeover, the movie is no longer Highlander. Yep. There are boats and stuff as our heroes cross the Baltic Sea or somesuch nonsense...

Wait! Cannibals! That's right, a horde of cannibals attack our heroes in this junkyard.

Yes... cannibals. Forget about The Guardian, the real Big Bad of this movie is a horde of cannibal bikers.

Gratuitous explosion for no real reason!

Cut from that to the five heroes* walking while a horrible nu-metal version of Princes of the Universe plays. THIS... is a hip NEW Highlander! The kids will love it!

* Read: a guy with mono, his boring ex-girlfriend, two jerks, and a kid who seems to only be there to get killed

The nu metal drones on while we see a montage of our heroes... going on a road trip. Seriously. They're all laughter and smiles as they do stuff like pump gas and drive. Somewhere in there, Duncan finds a pair of knives. This will be important later.

A meeting is held in a hut that appears to have a ceiling too low for anyone to stand up in. For some reason the camera gets really glowy and cloudy for this one scene. It looks good, actually. Makes it look antiquated. If this movie had ANY real flashbacks, they could have utilized this film type.

Anna simultaneously manages to look like two different people I know as she talks to Duncan in the woods. They bicker and argue and stuff. Yay. In this situation, either she can call him an asshole and storm off, or...

...They can blow off the tension by having a hot, grimy three-way with a tree trunk. I'm all for Duncan getting it on with women, but couldn't they have done this in an even slightly romantic way? I guess this is an elaborate method to illustrate the sheer desperation of the times, when even the act of lovemaking is... oh, screw it, they didn't think about it that much. This is a twelve year old's idea of how Duncan and his woman would make amends.

Reggie smells something nasty. Is it...

a) The Guardian

b) Sex odors (a bath is hard to come by in these times)

c) This movie

You decide!

Reggie OPENS FIRE! Of course, The Guardian is too fast to even hit. It wouldn't even matter if he did land a few shots. It was already established earlier in the movie that shotgun rounds barely even slow The Guardian down, so why did our heroes think this little pistol would do anything?

The Guardian proceeds to slash Reggie to pieces, then skip away while yelling something about how we've been a great audience.

The ONLY redeeming thing about ever watching this movie was that I'd later get to make fun of it on here. That almost makes it worthwhile.

Suddenly it's morning as our heroes are fleeing their encampment at top speed. They're wondering why Reggie isn't healing, then realize it's because their immortality is gone. Then Reggie just kinda dies of his wounds. And since they are now mortal, this movie no longer has any connection to Highlander whatsoever and is free to follow its original plot of Generic Horror Movie Template.

A burial ceremony is held for Reggie. On the bright side, Duncan didn't kill him.

Next thing we know, those cannibals from earlier attack while raucous heavy metal plays. Our heroes flee through the woods while The Guardian leaps around in the trees behind them, unnoticed and not having any effect whatsoever on the proceedings except as a borderline joke for the audience.

The cannibals capture our heroes this time, and they are whisked away to the most evil Ewok Village ever.

Giovanni babbles on about how Jesus shouldn't be letting this happen to a Christian, prompting Methos to bellow forth that he knew Jesus and watched him teach and Giovanni is no Christian. Hey, that's pretty cool, he knew Christ.

The Guardian shows up and taunts everybody before warping off. Why don't the cannibals ever notice this guy? And why doesn't he just kill all of them right now? And why does he still have his immortal powers if everyone else lost theirs?

If one word sums up this movie, it's "WHY"

The Guardian sets Anna free and leads her away to The Source. Why Anna? Why The Source? Why is she willingly following him like this? AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Giovanni manages to wriggle his way free. You'd think maybe he'd set Duncan and Methos free, but no. This movie hates religious people, so of course Giovanni turns out to be a douchebag who runs away while cackling insanely. O...kay.


...but why mention a character from the show? This movie isn't even in the same UNIVERSE as the show. They might as well have called this "Guardian Poo: Tales From The Source of Ass" and changed the character names and no one would have even known it was supposed to be a Highlander movie.

Duncan and Methos get free, only to be chased through the woods by the cannibals. GAH, STOP WITH THE CANNIBALS, MOVIE

Methos has his final moment of possibly-antagonism as he throws his sword seemingly right at Duncan's head (and Duncan seems to think it's meant for him) only to have it fly past Duncan and impale a sneaking-up cannibal. Then Methos says that Duncan is going to be the one to claim The Source. "I wanted it to be me" he says before riding off... NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN. Well, there goes possibly the most popular character in the series..

Meanwhile, Giovanni stumbles into- OH MY GOD THAT'S CREEPY. So...yeah, The Guardian kills Giovanni in like three seconds and that's that. Well, at least they didn't kill Methos, right?

Finally, Duncan makes his way to The Valley of the Source. I still don't even know what The Source is supposed to be...

The Guardian attacks, while Anna stands there awkwardly. I don't know what is going on, but I'm sure it made sense to somebody.

Duncan battles him with the two knives he found earlier. Yes... aside from their momentary battle earlier, this movie has lacked a single sword vs sword fight. You know, swordfights, the thing Highlander is known for.

It was an ordeal to get a decent shot of the fight, since the entire fight consists of jump cuts and blurring.

The Guardian is finally overpowered by Duncan. He's at Duncan's mercy, and yells "DOOOO ITTT, you immortal fuck!"

Now that's dialogue! Suck it, Shakespeare!

Duncan refuses to fight, and The Guardian evaporates. ...yes, he just evaporates. Because, you see, the way to defeat The Guardian all along was simply to show mercy and refuse to fight. Oooookay.

So Anna and Duncan get together, and light surrounds them while they stand there. I guess they found the Source. Is that like finding the clitoris? I STILL DON'T KNOW.

...and now we see a baby just before the credits roll. What the? Who? Why? BY GOD, SOMEONE TELL ME WHY!



So basically... the Source, whatever it was, gave Duncan the power to have kids. And uh...yeah. So he's mortal now, I guess. Later versions of the movie have an ending montage that explains everything that happened in the movie. When you need an ending montage to sum things up so people go "OH, now I get it", it means you really effed up the first time.

I love Highlander, but I really hope they leave it alone from here on out. It isn't like they can even do very much with the story after completely destroying it in this movie. If you have ever been a Highlander fan, do yourself a favor and pretend this doesn't exist.


  1. I had this super long rant typed up about the range of emotions I felt while reading this article, but the interwebs said "No, you shall not speak ill of Highlander even if this is the most infuriating movie you've ever read about", and promptly refused to work for an hour or so. Therefore, to placate the interwebs' seething rage, I'll simply say thank you Jer for describing this atrocity and saving me the trouble of drunkenly renting it later. I might have had expectations: expectations that would most certainly have been crushed by how much this resembles a badly done, cheap remake of the Lost Boys but without the vampires.

  2. I can't believe this has been done to Highlander...and I thought Endgame was bad! Just looking at these pics and reading the synopsis makes me feel sick. The actors, characters, and fans deserved SO much better, but instead of fixing everything the writers made it EVEN WORSE. Total characterization rape in this cesspool of a movie (Why the frack would Methos want to be anywhere near the Source if it makes you mortal???) Why is he riding around on a motorcycle? And that Guardian thing? *gags* I only wish that time travel was real so I could prevent this piece of crap so-called movie from existing. What a WASTE.

  3. Not even the FABULOUS Peter Wingfield can get me to watch this horror, and I watched his depressingly wasted efforts in the awful Cold Squad series - he was the only bright spot in that

  4. The Guardian: Worst villain or worstest villain? ...hell, just apply that to the whole movie...

    That tree scene still isn't as awkward as Highlander 2's sex scene.

    The only thing I'd add to this is all of the SPINNING which I imagine it's hard to get still shots of. WHY WAS THERE SPINNING