So I finally got to see Highlander: The Search For Vengeance, a film with a subtitle even worse than Highlander: The Source. This is the story of another Macleod, Colin, and is in a separate continuity to the movies and TV show. So no Duncan, Connor, Methos, Ramirez or whatever. What we do have is Colin Macleod, an immortal who is a bit grumpy because about 2000 years ago his wife was killed by the head of the invading Romans, Marcus Octavius.
Colin has spent the ensuring 2000 years or so chasing Marcus, always getting close but ultimately failing. His quest for vengeance has taken him to Rome, Feudal Japan, Trafalgar, the Battle of Britain, all of which show his disastrous attempts at chasing after his nemesis. In the meantime Marcus has quested for perfection, mastering art, music and craft. He's still evil, but he's a very refined and cultured type of evil, an opposite to the Kurgan. He even questions whether Macleod has wasted his immortality while he has tried to rebuild and move on. Unfortunately this 3rd dimension to his persona is discarded in the final act.
Colin becomes a highlander eventually when he is adopted by the Macleods when he fights at their side. Octavius was working for the English. The ensuing brief flashback in the Highlands is reminiscent of the original film - bad guy is a black knight on horseback, there's a battle, our hero "dies", comes back from beyond the graves and is banished from the clan by a benevolent elder. The only difference is his girl, Debra, does not hate him for resurrecting and wants to come with him. Debra is in fact the reincarnation of his wife Moya from his first death.
When not flashing back we are in the 22nd century where society has collapsed. There are cannibals (much like in the Source but handled a little more convincingly) and people live in giant walled metal cities patrolled with spider robots, ruled over by tyrants. Marcus is one of those tyrants and he rules by over a virus infested New York that cows down to him in fear. Colin gets the chance to side with the resistance (led by a suspiciously familar prostitute who is the reincarnation of his dead wife again), but it may be his desire for vengeance will work against the resistence.
It doesn't all work - there's a spirit following Colin, Amergan, that talks to him through electrical signals and animals. It works as a Ramirez type figure (explaining the concept of immortals etc.) but there's little explanation for Amergan being around. Was he immortal? Is he there to only guide Colin? Is he setup for a sequel? Who knows Highlander? Who knows?
I haven't watched much anime, except Akira and Ghost in the Shell but neither of those really worked for me. However because of the funkiness of this movie I will most assuredly be checking out Ninja Scrolls.
Next time: More Christopher Lambert