Twitter Plot Summary: Duncan MacLeod goes in search of The Source of Immortal power. Inexplicably.
Five Point Summary:
1. So the bad guy is yet another version of the Kurgan?
2. Singing “Who Wants To Live Forever”? Pah.
3. Awkward love scene in the forest. Very awkward.
4. The car just blew up because a fiery tree landed on it. Erm… Okay?
5. Power ballad finale? Really?
Opening with a bored narration, The Source sets out its stall from page 1 and never dare to reach above this level of mediocrity. The world has gone to pot and Immortals – beings who can only be killed by having their head removed – are looking for The Source, their ultimate power and entirely different from The Prize which they were previously chopping each other’s heads for. The reasons behind this are clouded by iffy plotting and substandard direction, and raises the question as to why this film even exists.
It’s sloppily edited, badly acted and features special effects akin to a SyFy TV movie – as it happens, this is exactly how it was first broadcast, so in context it makes perfect sense. The plot is bunkum, a last roll of the dice for the Adrian Paul-led continuity that followed on from the Christopher Lambert movies. Of course, continuity has never been a strong point of the Highlander series. The first film wrapped things up quite nicely and it’s been an ongoing attempt at keeping the story going since then. In this case we’re supposedly in a world of lawlessness in a dystopian near future, but all it looks like is Eastern Europe on an average Saturday night. There’s a couple of fight sequences – superfluous – and a villain who is yet another Immortal cut from the same template as the Kurrgan, gruff voice included. The only difference here is that MacLeod is joined by a team of fellow Immortals on his quest, and advances in special effects means the bad guy can now run around very quickly in blurred speed motion. Other than wanting to kill all the good guys, he doesn’t have anything more to define him beyond his pasty white complexion.
Given that this is a franchise that spawned five films, it’s amazing it’s managed to push the concept this far – not forgetting the many seasons of the TV show that introduced us to Duncan in the first place. Adrian Paul is the best actor of the bunch in this instance, although he’s still not particularly good. His accent wobbles about so much it’s difficult to take his tortured Immortal soul seriously. You see, Immortals can’t have children so this is apparently one of the big themes at play in The Source, although it’s that badly scripted it’s almost pointless. More grating are the constant references to Queen’s original soundtrack and random quotes taken primarily from that first venture. The Guardian sings a line from Who Wants To Be Forever, and there’s an awful cover of Princes of the Universe set to an entirely pointless and incredibly boring montage sequence.
Thankfully the proposed sequels to this new direction for the franchise didn’t come to pass, despite it setting up a potential new start for the series. Not only is The Source an affront to the film’s that preceded it, but it’s also a terrible film on its own. It comes to something when your characters go on an epic quest and you feel by the end that it is neither epic nor the slightest bit necessary. Furthermore, throwing in a random montage sequence at the very end just to explain what’s happened should be all you need to know. Watch that 3 minute clip to save you watching the whole film – you’ll thank me for it.