The Principals: Adrian Paul, Jim Byrnes, Peter Wingfield, Thekla Reuten, Christian Solimeno.
The Premise: In the near future, the much-vaunted origin of the as-yet origin-less (leave us chalk up Planet Zeist as some kind of bad Quickening trip, shall we?) Immortals of the Highlander franchise is finally explored (i.e. shat out). Or, in plainer terms, Duncan MacLeod and a small group of headchoppers go in search of the mythical Source of immortality. This is spurred on by a confrontation with the Guardian of the Source, who is an Immortal cursed by the Source in a previous quest for it thousands of years ago.
“Yeah, these should work on my wrists nicely…”
Guiding the Immortals in their quest is Duncan’s estranged wife, Anna, who is linked to the Source by no connection other than expository laziness/desperation. The closer to the Source the Immortals get, the weaker (i.e. more mortal) they become. In the end, there might not even be One left.
Is it Good: Only if you watch it with your head cut off. This may be the most unadulterated piece of sci-fi shit (let me emphasize it properly here: SHIT) since Adrenalin: Fear The Rush (sadly, another film linked to Christopher Lambert). Nobody, and I mean nobody was even trying on this one. It has zero resonance to anything Highlander, not the sword battles, the scene-chewing villains, nothing. This film would even spur Pro-Lifers to favor abortion. It is, my friends, ass in the purest form.
“The producers wanted to put me in some armor or something, but I stuck firm to my original Road Warrior reject / ‘roided albino gimp vision of the character…”
Is it Worth a Look: No. Since Highlander 2: The Quickening, being a fan of this franchise has mandated a certain amount of tendency toward self-abuse and a limitless capacity to overlook the distinct intentions by the producers to see just how much they can fuck over their golden goose and – by association – its fans in the name of turning another quick buck. The Highlander films have been an exercise in self-rebooting from The Quickening onward and even Connor MacLeod couldn’t survive the number of times this property has been reset, retold, redone, rehashed, et al.
Then in 1992, enter Paul as clansman Duncan MacLeod in the TV series adaptation, which reset things once again, but lended the most stability to the mythology over a six-year span. The fourth film in the theatrical franchise, Highlander: Endgame, and this turd were an extension of that, including bringing over TV series regulars Jim Byrnes and Peter Wingfield. The Quickening was a crazy, wet dream tangent. The Final Dimension was a blatant exercise in half-assed self-plagiarism. Endgame was a heavily-flawed but not entirely dissatisfying continuation (some decent swordplay, and Bruce Payne hams it up like a Hawaiian luau) that brought both MacLeods together for a superhero team-up. But damn, The Source is a godforsaken mish-mash of complete SHIT that finally killed (and make no mistake about it, there will never be another non-reboot installment in this series, of any form) the property.
Yes, it sucks on a galactic scale.
It’s no wonder that not even direct-to-video schlockmeister, Joel Soisson, didn’t want his name on it. Highlander: The Source is quite simply is the most outright “fuck you” to fans of any franchise ever. I challenge my colleagues in MODs to come to find something worse.
Random Anecdotes: Cleared a Saturday night to see this on Sci-Fi. Hated the movie, hated the channel, hated myself, hated a God that would allow this thing to exist, hated life and every meatsack in it. Better now, thank you, but fuck, come on.
Cinematic Soulmates: Highlander: The Final Dimension, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Highlander: The Series, Season 6 (not a movie, but just as big a “piss right the hell off” to fans).
Here’s the packaging, FYI. If Netflix ever sends you this by mistake, get a a lawyer and sue those negligent sons of bitches for every friggin’ cent.