Friday, October 15, 2010

Ryan Watches A Motion Picture #65: Highlander: The Source (2007)

No. Just no.

Now, I love Highlander. I love the concept. I love swords, I love immortals. What I don’t love are films that are made with an ethos something like HEY MAN REMEMBER THAT MOVIE WE LOVED WHEN WE WERE YOUNG LET’S DO ANOTHER ONE BUT MAKE SURE THAT EVERYBODY ON THE PROJECT IS A HACK AND A DUKE OF MEDIOCRITY.

I’m sorry fans, but it shines from every facet with a stupefying lack of talent. And most glaring is the writing.

So: the world has ended for some unexplained reason. Civilisation has crumbled and there’s this thing called The Source. Duncan Macleod and his pals decide to look for it after all the planets in our milky-way galaxy suddenly align. But there’s a problem – The Source is guarded by a fucking Looney-tunes character.

It turns out that the “Guardian” of the nexus of the galaxy is a goof in S&M gear. He gets his fun by killing and by shouting hello really loudly after he sneaks up on someone, or sometimes when he just sees someone. Like when Joe smacks into him with a truck. As the Guardian flies backwards through the air, the writers thought it best to have him shout HELLO JOE! like a fucking clown, arms and legs held out like he was doing a jumping-jack.

That’s cute. He’s the Guardian of the nexus of the galaxy.

I'm going to spoil it for you, so stop reading if you actually want to see this movie with friends, piss yourself laughing, and get surprised (or not surprised) by the Guardian's defeat. Here’s how Unkie Dunk beats him: Duncan Macleod of the clan Macleod runs so quickly around the Guardian that he is actually drilled into the ground and is trapped. Before he explodes for some reason, he screams NOOO! I’M GONE FOREVER.

I’m not kidding.

But that’s not really the ending. There isn’t one, I’m afraid. And I don’t mean that in a great No Country For Old Men way. I mean that instead of actually showing the audience much of what occurs after Macleod makes his “I’m done with this immortal life of killing” choice, the film fades. And the unthinkable happens. They recap the film for about three minutes. All the major, ultra boring plot points that you don’t need or want to see ever again. A recap just for fun, as though you hadn’t been paying attention, which, in all fairness, could well be true. When that’s done, instead of seeing much of what happens we get a voiceover telling us what happens: The Source is won and now Duncan and his love have a child, since she can suddenly feel her new pregnant-ness. The Source is god and he gives people babies. We see a quick shot of Macleod and Mrs. Macleod floating naked.

So: This is the way the franchise ends, not with a bang but a recap.

Here are some things IMDB forum folk learned from Highlander: The Source:

  1. In a decimated post-war Eastern Europe you can easily gain access to sophisticated ultra-modern communications equipment since it's protected by one security guard.

  2. Being a 5000 year old immortal that has traveled the length and breadth of the world does not mean you can pull off wearing a leather jacket with tassels.

  3. When planets align they will appear bigger and closer to us than Earth's own moon.

  4. If you want a big explosion in your movie, have a guy decide to drive a post-apocalyptically valuable gas truck through a brawl and crash it.

  5. If you want to move characters quickly onto an island, have one of them say "We need a boat," followed by a shot of them on a boat. Then show them at a pier, watching the boat move away. All this can be done in two minutes.

  6. When a woman enters the Source her clothing changes and her hair is braided.

  7. Three Immortals with thousands of years of battle-honed experience cannot see or hear cannibals tromping through a sparse forest until they are surrounded.

  8. ‘Lawlessness’ means the cops show up just in time to witness a stabbing and begin pursuit.

  9. Although they have firearms and motorcycles, cannibals prefer to chase people around on foot and horseback with wrenches and knives. It is more satisfying.

  10. Queen doesn't sound good when ‘updated’ as generic hard rock.

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