One of mankind’s fondest dreams is no doubt to live upon this earth in vitality and youth beyond the paltry 75 to 90-odd years the healthiest among us get to enjoy. As such, one of contemporary fantasy’s most compelling franchises has had to have been Highlander. The protagonist is himself immortal and gets to live indefinitely provided his head is not lopped by a fellow Immortal as these are destined to battle until there is a sole survivor among them as the catch phrase reminds the viewer “In the end there can be only one.”
It has been several years since an adventure of the legendary Scotsman, but if “Highlander: The Source” is any indication, it appears he is feeling his 400 plus years.
For several years as this film plodded its way through production and distribution, fans were given hints that they would finally at last be provided with an explanation as to how the Immortals came to be in the first place. This convoluted story delivers none of that as the Source does not necessarily refer to origins.
Though Highlander: The Source ultimately falls short in terms of the story, these shortcomings are compounded by the atrocious cinematography. Though broadcast in the early to mid 90’s, the old Highlander TV series had better quality effects than the latest film in the series.
For example, central to the milieu of the Highlander saga is the transfer of the quickening from the Immortal that has lost his head to the Immortal that has taken it. In the TV series, this was depicted by an impressive display of lightening bolts and electric shocks.
However, in The Source, these scenes are not nearly as impressive. The electric charges are now less distinctive artistically with the emphasis now on the head rolling away, something that was only alluded to and seldom seen in the older episodes.
Relatedly, in the TV series, the sword fights leading up to this dramatic exchange of life force were often depicted as elegant, almost dance-like encounters. However, in Highlander: The Source, these are now filmed with the same herky-jerky camera action used in many productions today such as the new Battlestar Galactica where viewers almost come away nauseated because the directors think they are too good to shoot images with a steady, smooth hand.
Highlander: The Source is such a disappointment that, if one did happen to be an Immortal, one might just very well be tempted to slit one’s own throat than rather spend an eternity watching this movie.