DVD Review: Highlander: The Source

Highlander: The Source

This is a pretty terrible movie. Its fundamental flaws could probably be forgiven if there was more action or if the action was anything special, but it isn’t. For the most part, the characters engage in lackluster conversations and meaningless acts that do little to explain an incredibly convoluted premise. Filmmakers have kept what was cheesy about the original Highlander and done away with what made it work – great sword fights and a dangerous villain.

In a futuristic dystopia, Duncan MacLeod (Adrian Paul) and his fellow immortals go in search of The Source, a mythic entity they’re being guided to by Duncan’s wife Anna (Thekla Reuten). Standing in their way is The Guardian (Christian Solimeno), a former immortal who is doomed to ensure others never reach The Source. The group also faces the enemy of time as the alignment of all celestial bodies approaches, bringing with it, the end of the world.

There are so many things wrong with this movie that it’s difficult to rail on them all. First, the writing from first-timers Stephen Watkins and Mark Bradley is horrific. The dialog is usually bland and jumps over the top only to signify what the audience should be caring about. Why the group has joined together and why they search for the source is never really clear – will it stop the end of the world? will it grant them something more than immortality? does it even exist? About an hour into viewing, the audience will probably be wondering when things will start to pick up.

The fight scenes leave little to be excited by. After so much innovation in fight choreography, it’s a wonder why this film’s fights are more boring than its predecessor – a movie made in 1986. What’s more, they do nothing to further the story. The road stops along the way in the search for The Source are meaningless. In the worst example, the group fights a gang at a ship yard that has nothing to do with the story. To rub salt in the audience’s wounds, the group then flows through a montage featuring a version of ‘Princes of the Universe’ not done by Queen.

Perhaps the worst feature of this movie is the main enemy – The Guardian – who looks like Powder got a hold of some Bovine Growth Hormone and a book of 101 Cliché Villian Sayings. He also moves around, inexplicably, like Samara from The Ring. This incredible speed and agility does nothing to make him that formidable a fighter, and he often moves around clunkily, more laughable than dangerous.

Highlander regulars Adrian Paul and Peter Wingfield (returning as Methos) do what they can do navigate the poorly constructed scenes and boring dialog, but the script wins out in the end, making the movie unwatchable.

As a DVD, it offers the usual barrage of extras including a tribute to long-time Highlander producer, the late William Panzer. It also includes a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie that is as long as the movie itself and a sneak peak at the new Highlander video game.

Unless you’re gathering friends around to drink every time a bad line is uttered or to watch it as a comedy, this movie is definitely one to avoid. It’s even worse if you’re a Highlander fan, as viewing will only lead to outrage. The filmmakers behind this schlock should have applied the main Highlander mantra to the question of making sequels – there should have been only one.

Grade: F

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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