Highlander: The Source (film, 2008)
Oh dear. From Death Ray 10.
ONE AND A HALF STARS
Director: Brett Leonard
Writers: Stephen Kelvin Watkins, Mark Bradley
Highlander: The Sauce. Quicken your dinner with the tang of immortality. There can be only one…
I have a great deal of fondness for the original Highlander. What came after it has ranged from watchable to disgraceful, yet the underlying concept is still cool. It’s guys who live forever, who fight with swords! Come on!
It helps to approach The Source with this attitude because it needs all the love it can get. Following the TV series (not the confusing films), The Source is set in a near future where society’s collapsed and Europe has been overrun by leather-clad Mad Max cast-offs. Duncan Macleod is moping about the disappearance of his wife, until he gets drawn into a quest for “The Source” with a load of his buddies from the series, a quest which his wife is the key to. As The Source might be the actual, true, no-really-this-is-it-honest “Prize”‘, the immortals have been fighting over for aeons, they decide to take on the super-powered immortal guarding it…
It’s all very silly. The set-up is weak and riven with contradiction in the way only low budget SF set-ups can be. There’s needless complication with monks and a rotting immortal whose curse has naff all to do with the plot. It’s directed like a pop video. Or a computer game. Or the pop video of the game. There’s a ridiculous planetary conjunction, and an even more ridiculous montage with a cover version of “Princes of the Universe” belting out over it that, if you didn’t know better, you’d view as a piss-take.
But it’s nice to see the series regulars again, and the film, with the self-awareness of a dying franchise, is not squeamish about killing them off, so there’s at least a frisson of emotion for fans, and we do, finally, get an ending of sorts.
That doesn’t save it. When, at the end of it all it turns out that “The Game” is won not by the sword, but by the pot noodle profundity, “violence is bad” you have to say there should have been only one.