Highlander is a flawed movie- not terrible, but flawed. The Shadow is not seen as a very good movie, and the spawn of the two is a largely forgettable movie that becomes the best of the Highlander sequels. Highlander: The Quickening and Highlander: Endgame are not good movies by any stretch of the imagination, but they each have a degree of synch with the Highlander mythos that allows rage at them to simmer, after a time.
Perhaps this is why, knowing about the Guardian, knowing about the Elder, knowing what the Source truly was, Highlander: The Source caught me off guard. In a series that ranges from good to coherent storytelling, forgivable bad acting to Sean Connery, is scored by Queen and never fails to edit in such a way that a story is told, The Source is several orders of magnitude less Highlander than The Holiday Special is Star Wars– and that’s still an insult to the largely boring and inane special that introduced fans to Mallatobuck, Attichitcuk, Lumpawarrump and Boba Fett.
What is it about The Source that just screams “this is a huge mistake”? Is it the lighting, that manages to somehow simultaneously be inconsistent in and of itself and unlike anything else Highlander has ever put out- in a shoddy sort of way? Is it the secret of what “The Source” is, an insult to every fan of anything else that has carried the Highlander name? Perhaps it’s the score, which at about the halfway mark introduces Queen covers that are so bad they are painful to listen to?
At the core of Highlander: The Source it is about a quest, to find the Holy G- no, sorry, this movie doesn’t deserve a good-natured riffing. This movie deserves to be killed with fire taken out of the anal canals of the Angry Video Game Nerd and Delonge Wannabe, as well as the bladder of the dog from A Nightmare on Elm Street 4. It’s not that I’m a huge Highlander fan, it’s that I’m a living, breathing human being who on occasion watches movies, and I was subjected to this trash and told it was a movie. Not only that, but it made so little sense at times that I had to watch it twice in order to write this review. I fucking hate each and every last one of you right now.
Most of the acting in this film is unremarkable, in either a positive or a negative manner, but that doesn’t really matter because there’s one character who over-acts enough for the rest of the cast. My recommendation to aspiring actors is that if you don’t know what kind of accent or voice mannerism you want to have in this movie, either pick one and stick with it or at least try to be low key when you switch back and forth between accents with no rhyme or reason. This isn’t helped by a script as ridiculous as the Big Bad’s appearance, and choreography and visual effects that indicate that budget and talent were two things that stayed as far away from this movie as I should have.
I mentioned a quest. When an immortal finds himself coming closing to “The Source”, a mystical item or location that Conner MacLeod and Juan Ramirez neglected to mention at any point in the first four films, Duncan (I’ll call him MacLeod-Lite), who doesn’t believe in The Source, takes up the quest. This might have something to do with the planets of our Solar System saying “fuck orbit, let’s form a conga line” and coming so close together that I imagine that the Earth was torn asunder mere seconds after the ending of this movie. At least it would save MacLeod-Lite and his wife from having seen the reviews of this movie.
At the beginning of his quest to find the Wizard of Oz, MacLeod-Lite picks up Reggie, the unfunny comic relief character, Methos, apparently another Kurgan/Jacob Kell figure who instantly achieves frenemy status, and Giovanni, an arrogant zealot of an immortal who probably started the Spanish Inquisition, as well as Anna, MacLeod-Lite’s wife who left him because he couldn’t have babies but came back to him because she read the script and saw how the movie would end.
Anna also has dreams of the director telling her to visit The Elder, a cousin of Pearl from Blade, who exposits plot details and reminds us that not one character really knows what they’re looking for. That way, the audience can take a hint and realize that there’s no emotional connection to be made to this quest to care whether or not they complete it. This is actually a pretty good hint to take, because as far as quests go, this is a pretty aimless one. This is where the terrible writing and editing I mentioned really comes into play. Sometimes, our Wacky Adventuring Party (at least with a Cleric, a Rogue, a Fighter, and another Fighter with a level in Sorceror that the MacLeods forgot about after the third movie, it’s a fairly balanced party) is in a house, while sometimes they’re driving. Occasionally they stop in the forest to have a sex scene followed by a hilarious attack by the Guardian, and once they stop a group of random men from burning another random man because the producer said there weren’t enough action scenes in the movie.
I would say that the unnecessary, aimless drivel that makes up the middle half of the movie could be cut out and skipped (and with the terrible “Princes of the Universe” rendition that follows the above action sequence, I do recommend this), but that would imply that the beginning of the movie has anything worth watching and that the ending wasn’t asinine, terribly executed and insulting to fans and film-lovers alike. This is the line where I would normally tell you the only thing worth watching in this movie and how hardcore of a fan you need to be to watch this. If you’re a stupid, thick-skulled, masochistic reviewer who can’t take a hint and enjoys wallowing through trash, I still suggest you don’t watch this movie. All drivel and no plot makes Man in Black a shit reviewer. All drivel and no plot makes Man in Black a shit review. All drivel and no plot makes Man in Black a shit reviewer. All drivel and no plot…
- Man in Black Review: Highlander (1986) (mibreviews.com)
- Sinbad & The Minotaur (2011) (mibreviews.com)