Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Highlander 5 : The Source

by Brett Leonard

Highlander 5: The Source poster  
Highlander is an immortal, and throughout this series of films the catchphrase has always been "There can be only one". This seems like complete nonsense, because there are always several of his kind. More on that later.

Being immortal has its drawbacks, of course. Immortals can't have children, and they gain power by beheading other immortals, which just happens to be the only way to kill one of them. So every immortal has to watch his back, not to mention his neck.

It's "a time of despair", and the action begins in Eastern Europe in a flurry of violence. Whilst Duncan MacLeod dispenses vigilante justice to a handful of muggers another immortal, Zai Jie, is seeking The Source. Whatever The Source is, and no-one is quite sure, it seems to be a valuable prize. It's guarded by a particularly nasty guy known as The Guardian. He's a muscle-bound, pasty individual who favours black leather and leering. He feels no need to explain himself, and has the look of someone who would find rational communication beyond himself in any case.

Duncan Macleod has enjoyed a brief spell of happiness, and unlike the other immortals he isn't much interested in seeking The Source. But his beloved wife Anna has left him. The planets are due to come into some sort of major celestial alignment, and this planetary shift indicates that some sort of major supernatural event is imminent. After meeting Duncan, The Guardian just happens to mention that Anna is somehow involved.

So Duncan hooks up with a group of immortals on a quest for The Source. They are led, with the assistance of a few helpful visions and some very specific astronomy. All the time the group are hounded by The Guardian, as well as bands of marauding modern-day cannibals. There's a glut of martial arts action, mostly to heavy-metal soundtracks that play the loudest at just the moment that's calculated to sound the most corny.

They're a motley band. Giovanni is irritatingly sanctimonious, whilst Reggie, young at only a little over 300, is smarter than he pretends to be. But there's very little in the way of character development in this movie, which at 86 minutes is very short for a film that isn't for young children. Not only is there very little screen-time for anything other than fighting, but the dialogue has all the verve of a used teabag.

Highlander 5 : The Source is quite mushy in parts, and clichéd. The potential audience for this is small, because it's the kind of film most people will have grown out of before they are old enough to watch it legally. The plot is coherent, and you do get to find out the meaning behind "There can be only one", finally. Anyone who has been waiting for the explanation for that since the earliest films will be disappointed. It's a shallow, basic and uninspiring film.

Film Details

Year: 2006

Categories: Films


Classification: 15

If you like this, try:

Beowulf cover    

Beowulf by Robert Zemeckis
An adaptation of the classic Anglo-Saxon poem about Beowulf's defeat of Grendel, done entirely in 3D.

2 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson

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