Guilty Pleasures – Highlander: The search for vengeance

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There can be only one! And by only one, I mean a decent Highlander movie. It’s no secret that we’re all big fans of the original, but the following sequels have been less than stellar so far, culminating in an astronomical abortion that goes by the name of Highlander: The Source. But lo and behold, there was actually a Highlander film that came after the original, and it was better than all the quickenings of the previous flicks…combined.

The lone warrior Colin travels with the wise-cracking ghost Amergan through the ages searching for the immortal despot Marcus Octavius, who killed his lover on the Celtic plains tens of centuries ago.

On his quest, he discovers New York is submerged, and one dominant monolith fortress towers over the seas. Colin can save the survivors, but his sword only hungers for the blood of one man.

Despite many lifetimes of training, Colin has failed to vanquish Marcus on the great battlefields of history. Can he finish what he started and stop Marcus? Will Colin lead the people to freedom or become consumed by hate? There can be only one.

Yes, it’s animated,yes, it has some atrocious lip-synching, and yes, there are plenty of cliches present. But as a Highlander film? It puts every live-action attempt done after the first film to shame.

It’s a slicker, more visceral stab at the franchise, and thanks to some wonderful talent over in Japan, it shines through. Director Yoshiaki “Ninja Scroll” Kawajiri is in his element here, and it really shows over the 2000 year journey that main character Colin Macleod takes to find some closure with a little decapatation.

And while the characters here can be as one-dimensional as the acting in a soap opera, I’ve got to hand it to the art team for creating a world that feels like a dystopian hell on earth, all under the iron uber-fist of Marcus, who spends less time twirling a mosutache and more time being a genuine, dangerous threat 99% of the time.

But it’s a great story overall, one that complements the design of the film, and flows like a hot katana through butter. Making a Highlander film shouldn’t be too difficult.

After all, balance in some history, sword fights and a credible foe with a sinister plot, add in some decapatation, and you’ve got a solid plot. That’s what the previous films failed to do, but H:TSV managed to not only do that, but to also contribute some imaginative new material to the franchise.

It’s got a heart as well, and if you’re desperate for a decent Highlander movie before Hollywood cocks it up yet again with a terrible reboot, you won’t have far to go, when you get your hands on this gem.

 

Last Updated: September 26, 2012

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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