Posted by Natasha Bennett
Blogger's note: Significant spoilers for Highlander 4. Minor spoilers for Highlander 1, 2, and 3.
Every now and then I have to step away from horror movies and focus on other genres. Even though there are plenty of bad horror movies out there, they shouldn’t be the only ones to suffer on my blog, right? I mean, what about the sappy romance films? Those atrocious comedies? The sci-fi movies that have no imagination? Well, today I’m going to do a review of Highlander 5: The Source.
Now admittedly if I wanted to talk about bad movies in this series, I should really talk about either Highlander 2 or Highlander 4. However I am also more into the obscure movies, and Highlander 5 was the only movie in the series to never make it to theaters, becoming a straight to DVD-release instead.
First of all, a little history for those who have no idea who or what Highlander is. In a nutshell, a group of immortal beings go running around trying to cut each other's heads off, in the hopes of winning some grand prize in the end. There are however, a few basic rules to go along with this tournament.
1) No fighting on holy ground.
2) Fighting is one-on-one. No interference from other immortals.
3) No immortal can ever have children.
4) After an opponent is killed, the other immortal earns all their memories and experiences through a process called ‘the Quickening’.
So, in case you were glossing over what I was saying, let me sum it up for you. Highlander is a bullshit theory based on rules that are bullshit, bullshit, and more bullshit. And don’t worry-I’m going to explain why as I go along.
Highlander was the first movie that introduced all of these concepts. As far as movies go, it was a mild classic-but there was a problem attached to it as well. In Highlander, the main character, Connor MacLeod (played by Christopher Lambert), killed all the competition and won the prize. How then, could four more movies and two t.v shows even exist? Well, they try to explain this in Highlander 2. As it turns out, immortals are really aliens who were banished from the planet Zeist.
….let’s move on and pretend I never wrote that.
Out of all the movies, Highlander 3 was probably the closest movie to be tied to Highlander 1. While it wasn’t a great movie, it didn’t actively go out to destroy its own concepts and characters with a dull-edged sword.
Which brings us to Highlander 4. First of all, this was the first movie to star both Connor MacLeod from the films, and Duncan MacLeod (played by Adrian Paul) from the hit t.v show Highlander. This should have been a hit movie. Two MacLeods facing what may be one of their most powerful foes up to date. Instead, this is the movie that officially killed the Highlander series for good. How? Well, let me count the ways.
First of all, the trailer of the movie itself had several scenes in it that were not in the actual movie, and the creators never explain why that is. Secondly the evil bad guy in this film kills several immortals on holy ground without any consequence. Thirdly, it turns out immortals are actually mortals that can turn immortal if they die a horrible death. So wait…what? That means that there can be no final prize because immortals are not a select group of chosen ones but constantly growing-gah you know what screw it. The series is already dead. The worst part is that I’m only halfway through the list.
Fourth of all, both Duncan and Connor MacLeod are emo throughout the entire movie, making them equally unlikeable. Fifth, the ‘love’ interest, Kate, dies in the film version but springs back to life in the DVD edition with no explanation. Six, and worst of all, Connor gets his head nicked off by Duncan, because Duncan might have a chance of beating the antagonist with Connor’s experience. Because you know, it’s not like they can’t gang up on him or anything. It’s not like every other Highlander rule has been broken so far in this movie.
I had originally intended to give a very brief summary of the Highlander films, but they are just so bad that this review has to be broken into two parts. But you know what? Maybe Highlander 5 can save this series. Maybe it can pull some kind of divine miracle and make this all worthwhile. Oh wait a minute-we still have some characters from the t.v show we haven’t killed off yet, right? Nevermind.
Highlander 1: 4 stars out of 5
Highlander 2: 1 1/2 stars out of 5
Highlander 3: 2 stars out of 5.
Highlander 4: 0 stars out of 5.
There can only be one. Or you know, a couple of thousand every year.
Monday, March 29, 2010