Highlander: The Search for Vengeance

The Spoony One | Jun 5 2010 | more notation(s) | 

A great many of you have pointed out the omission of the anime Highlander: The Search for Vengeance in my Highlander 2 review. I’d watched almost every film as part of my research for the review, but the anime came last in my studies. I didn’t mention it in the list of awful Highlander stuff because in truth, it’s not that bad.

It seems faint praise that Search for Vengeance is merely…okay, but compared to the rest of the Highlander flicks, it probably reigns as the second best film to bear the name. Highlander 3 is…well, not very good. I always called it Highlander 3: The Apology because it’s essentially a remake of the original with far less interesting characters, and far less interesting things to do. It even features another gravelly-voiced warlord tormenting people by giving them terrorizing rides in cars, another mentor of MacLeod murdered. It’s entire purpose was to retcon the series back to its roots, as if Highlander 2: The Quickening were a fever dream, gratefully forgotten.

Highlander: Endgame is, simply put, god-awful. The movie trailer is an outright lie; most of what takes place there never occurs in the film. Worst of all, Bruce Payne is absolutely horrendous as the mugging, scenery-gnawing effeminate mass-murderer Jacob Kell. The movie was meant to pass the torch from Connor to Duncan, when the movie and television series really should never have crossed over at all. Not only is it impossible to hide the fact that Connor MacLeod had won the Prize twice now, but Christopher Lambert was never much of an action star even in his prime (dude swung a katana like a Louisville Slugger), and by Endgame he was about fifteen years older, and noticeably so. The television show did a lot right and a lot wrong: Adrian Paul was better-suited to the physical demands of the role, but his characterization of Duncan was dour, sullen, and rather uninteresting. The show also induced a population explosion among the Immortals and removed all sense of urgency in the “game,” never really answering the question of how there could ever be only one if new Immortals were springing up all the time with no end in sight. Its heart was in the right place, and it stayed true to its roots, but the show never really seemed to have an idea where it was going. There was no end in sight, no Prize to be won, no climactic Gathering when all the grudges would finally be hashed out and old alliances shattered, as all alliances must in the end. The show was aimless.

This is no more evident than Highlander: The Source, which is basically the epilogue of Duncan MacLeod’s saga after the world goes to hell. And my god– if I’d seen The Source before I wrote my review of Highlander 2, I might have abandoned that project altogether. The Source is dogshit. I mean weapons-grade dogshit. If your dog shat something this nasty, you’d have it put down and buried in a Hefty bag. I wasn’t even ready for something this bad. If you thought The Quickening was the low-point of the series, well, I don’t even know anymore. This movie punched me in the nuts and stole my lunch. I’m still a little dizzy from that one. If it’s not worse than Highlander 2, it’s right up there. I mean, second-place by a razor-thin margin. I think the only reason The Source isn’t as notorious as Highlander 2 is because nobody saw it (it was direct-to-video) and expectations for the series were already rock-bottom. I don’t want to say too much but if ever a movie shot its way to the top of my review stack, it was this one.

Anyway, the anime. It’s okay. It’s another post-apocalyptic take on the series and has precisely nothing to do with any other aspect of the series. That’s a good thing. For a series like this, best to make it just some kind of elseworld tale. It’s about a guy named Colin MacLeod stalking the wasteland, eternally searching for another immortal who led Rome against the Scots and had his lover crucified. Its simplicity is pretty refreshing, and the anime style allows it to make good use of the Fallout-ish setting. You’ll see gangs and mutants, and one immortal who swings a giant chainsaw as his sword, which you could only pull off in an anime. In fact, if anything, I sort of wish the anime was a little more daring and attempted to go a little more Ninja Scroll in style with immortals who fight in bizarre ways. On the other hand, when you get too daring, you get aliens from Zeist, so maybe the restraint was well-founded.

I personally found the pace fairly lazy, going through the motions of setting up Colin’s motivations for vengeance when it’s pretty obvious where things are going early on. We’re three-quarters of the way through the film and we’re still flashing back to Colin discovering his wife’s body, howling in rage, and you just want to scream “get on with it, already.” It’s such a stock character background you could have written this in your sleep. Hell, I could have told the same story with a couple of half-second flashes of memory, and this movie takes a half-hour to get there. Colin himself is another brooding hero obsessed only with revenge (hence the title) but it makes him depressingly one-note as a character, with nothing interesting to say or do, since everything he’s ever done since becoming immortal is trying to find and kill the same guy. What’s worse is that he basically stinks as a fighter, and the villain has him utterly bested at every turn. I never liked how Duncan MacLeod in the television series was such a dominant, untouchable fighter, it’s true, but Colin gets slapped around quite a bit here. It’s a little pathetic.

But again, it’s okay. I guess if you’ve got a serious Highlander itch, the anime will scratch it, but overall it’s a passable yet forgettable revenge flick. Compared to The Source it’s freaking Yojimbo, though.

  • The_Stig

    Yep, pretty much my opinion. Vengeance is good but really doesn't have anything to do with the Highlander series, which in itself is a good thing. I never really liked Duncan either, for the reasons you mentioned. Basically he was Fabio with a sword. He was sullen, dour, boring and let's not forget that as a character he was a self-righteous hypocrite who kicked out his own student for doing exactly what an Immortal is supposed to do. But the fact that Duncan was also portrayed in the action scenes as untouchable also bothered me. I mean, it's FINE that there was no tension whatsoever because we knew the outcome of the fight in the last 5 minutes of the episode even before the episode started, but the least they could have done was give us at least one person who could kick Duncan's ass. The only Immortal who came close was….himself. (I'm not kidding). I wonder how much Adrian Paul's ego had to do with Duncan always being portrayed as this swashbuckling unbeatable asskicker who made John Cena look like a genuine underdog. Seriously, from everything I've read from people who've met him, if the guy were a professional wrestler the phrase “a mark for himself” would apply.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Salary/1820734427 Joe Salary

    Oh, there are extremely well done anime that press high and about the level of Ninja Scroll, like the surrealistic thriller of Paranoa Agent a completely balls out crazy psychotic anime in its climatic moments and spares time to reflect the characters as actual human beings. Other anime's would include Monster (about the golden-hearted neuro-surgeon whom accidentally ressurected a mass-murdering child from East German experiments instead of following his superiors to only take up famous people. In the end, he is framed by the “Monster with no Name”, merely a concept of Johan, the little boy all grown up's, insanity and now must embark on a journey to kill Johan or stop him from comiting more atrocious acts against humanity) Tatami Galaxy (a weird anime that like the Simpsons, somewhat follows no continuity between the episodes. It's exactly what the name spells, “Tatami Galaxy” a interesting take on parrellel realities from one kid. These realities are very surreal and unlike anime's that have falled into the same line of anime storytelling, this really brings a more eccentric, unordinary plot scenario. You will love seeing this kid FAIL utterly in EVERY reality because of its enimatic style and conceptual pacing makes it feel like a unique experience.) and finally… ehh… Samurai Champloo (the most Tarentino ((aside from probably Cowboy Behop maybe)), Urban meets Japan type of pseudo-action adventure story. The line and the pacing make what otherwise seem unrealistic, simplistic or just pretty stupid events make sense… so in a way, yeah its definately like a Tarentino film, its a must see in order to find out what direction the director was going for and if you hate it or not. )

  • http://twitter.com/nightcobra Leandro Ribeiro

    to someone who has seen the highlander movies and knows it's mithology, the anime's pace is going to feel lazy as spoony just said, but if this is your first highlander movie you see the anime feels better if that makes sense.

  • Cthulhu07

    What I find disturbing is that Highlander: The Source was supposed to be the start of a new trilogy. However, after the poor reception, the idea was quickly tossed into the garbage can. Something, they should have done with The Source script as well….

  • Harry417

    Ah the Source. What a piece of shit that was. But, when your movie is not only a Highlander sequel, but a made for Sci-Fi Channel movie as well, you can't expect much. The only, I repeat ONLY good thing to come out of the Source was some decent Queen covers. Granted the original Queen songs are still the best, but the covers to Princes of the Universe and Who Wants to Live Forever aren't too bad at all in my opinion. Hope to see a video review of that one soon. Mwu-ha-ha-HA!!

  • weasker

    Search for vengeance is the only Highlander movie i saw, and at least it makes sense. But i never found it in japanese, does anybody know if it was recorded in english like Afro Samurai?

  • Kevin_Holsinger

    Good morning Spoony and fellow Spooners.

    “A great many” of us pointed out “Highlander: The Search for Vengeance”? Crap. And here I thought I was being all unique and insightful and stuff.

  • Princess Stabbity

    The Source made me cry in that way where you just know you've been used and discarded like a drunken one night stand with the junior varsity football team. And yet I still would relive that night of horror and pain over Highlander 2 any day.. because at least I'd get a fraction of Methos screen time to enjoy while Highlander 2 has nothing to offer.

    It's kind of sad that the Highlander franchise went downhill in so many ways. If you ignored the end of the original (or just used it as a future outcome), there really was a lot of potential that they ended up letting go to waste for stupid movies that had no reason in a story telling way to even exist and the tv show's focus on Duncan's brooding. Sigh.

  • excalibur01

    I keep hearing about a game that has been in development for Highlander. It stars another Macleod again. I read it in a game informer magazine probably a year ago and still no news on it. I wonder how they are going to fuck the story up again. Seriously. How hard does it take to make a story about immortals that walk around with swords trying to kill each other for a vague ultimate prize. They don't really need to explain how they are immortal or what the prize is, because it takes away the fantasy element.

  • JSConrady

    A really nice write up. I've always been a Highlander fan, but it's one of those franchises that didn't quite know what it was doing. I liked the TV show (2-5 seasons at least) and thought Paul was a great lead considering what was demanded of him for a fairly low-budget show (based on a floundering franchise….the TV show arguably saved it at least for a few years), but I'll certainly agree that the show seemed to go all over the place, and by Season 5 you kind of realize it had no direction or idea what it wanted to do and threw in plot twists just for the Hell of it.

    I was still a fan, tough. Loved the flashbacks, solid production design and I decent cast of characters (friends and villains of Duncan alike). The movies, though…you think it would be a simple tale but somehow they just messed them up repeatedly. The Source pretty much killed the franchise, what an absolute waste of what started out as a rather brilliant concept. On paper, immortals fighting over time to the death should be interesting. The movie sequels seemed to forget that little caveat – focusing far more on bad villains and swordfighting when it's more the mythos and lore fans loved than anything.

    The anime was unique and cool, certainly stylish. I liked it for that merit alone.

  • Ashenge

    Huh. Ever since I've read your Akira review, I was really mixed up on how you felt about anime. I've met some RABID phobes of it in my time, and I was frightened to associate you with them. Although I'm still not that much closer to knowing, it's good to know we both appreciate what Ninja Scroll was.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Diane-Osredkar/842019719 Diane Osredkar

    I've always loved Highlander, and the original movie is still in my top 3 of my over all favorite movies of all time. As far as I'm concerened…I feel that the series (which I admit, I watched faithfully) kinda “jumped the shark” so to speak right after Tessa died. Then it was all over the place, about dark quickenings, that Chronos guy not being dead etc. I did like the developments of some of the characters, and I kinda liked Duncan's modes of broodyness.(sp?). The supporting characters, in some cases were really good (except for Richie *shudder*) I liked Amanda, I liked Fitz, I like Methos, and I even liked Darius. They just had that good chemestry w/ Duncan's character.

    I've *sigh* seen all of the movies up to Endgame, and it was well……disappointing. I liked the idea of the “crossing over” of characters, and such, but if you weren't watching the series at the time you'd be lost. Like my brother was. You wouldn't know who the Watchers or the Hunters are or anything of that sort, or even who Methos and Dawson were. Or why they were doing what they were in the movie.

    I like the franchise as far as the “idea” of Immortals and the Game and What not, and I've *ahem* *embarassed* used their ideas for that in some fanfiction and art I've done. As well as some private RPG games in chatrooms w/ my friend.

    Anyways, I liked the write up, and I can't wait to see what you come up with next. Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-H-Renault/1091324215 Matthew H Renault

    I'm glad you like the anime. I didn't mind it either, but haven't seen the source and not going to since if it's that bad. People just need to leave Highland along finally. I mean how many Immortals can there be and guess there is one can be one does not exist ever in the Highland movies and seires because there's always another Immortal somehow. sorry I guess the first one he does then lose's it in the good awful movie (Highlander 2: the Sickening), but if source is worst. OMG That's hard to believe then. Since you said it was. I got to believe and stay away from that dogshit movie like you said.

  • destro10

    If the rumours are true and this franchise gets rebooted (again) then KEEP IT SET IN SCOTLAND!!
    Otherwise the title becomes totally meaningless.If it hasn't already..

  • mrwednesdaynight

    You know what, with Hollywood being in reboot mode right now, this is a franchise that BEGS for a reboot. Everything after the first movie is questionable. And while I liked the television series, I will admit its faults. End Game was pretty icky but at least it took place in a real world kind of setting instead of after the fall of man. I love post-apocalyptic movies as much as the next guy but in Highlander, it never felt right for some reason. Anyway, this is the one series where starting over from square one would be a really good idea. I believe that Abrams Star Trek will breath new life into that dead husk of a franchise, just so long as Rick Berman isn't allowed anywhere near it. I'd prefer Star Trek written and produced by Chris Berman at this point. People seem attracted to the mythology of the first Highlander movie and maybe its time to bring it back and do it right this time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Ottoson/100000693361189 Joe Ottoson

    I think the Source actually premiered as a Sci Fi Original movie.

    The Quickening was a massive failure, but the source is just the creators of Highlander holding you down and stomping on your nuts then pissing on you for ever watching Highlander.

  • kefkaesque

    The problem with anime is that while there is some really good stuff (Cowboy Bebop and Black Lagoon are two of my favourite series ever, animated or otherwise) there is a LOT of garbage as well, and a lot of the most popular anime is pretty crappy.

    Combine that with fairly rabid niche fanbase that can be downright creepy at times, and there's no wonder why a lot of people hate the medium as a whole.

  • http://twitter.com/Foxhack Kitsune Sniper

    You mean that Jaguar game isn't the only one out there?

  • Cthulhu07

    I think he means the one that was supposed to come out on PS3/XBOX 360 while ago. Apparently it's been canceled. So no new Highlander game for us to play and for Spoony to review….

  • dgcakes

    uhhhhhhh, I'm pretty sure they ARE doing a reboot. Or at least, they're redoing the first one o.o

  • Phrederic

    Wow, its almost like its like…everything else ever. There are rabid Highlander fans (hint, they're all around us) there are rabid Star Wars fans (hint, they are everywhere too), maybe creepy anime fans are more common is that hey, there are a lot more anime fans on teh internets. As for the large majority of it being crap, well, that's true for everything.

  • http://twitter.com/MisterKeitel david evans

    Spoony- Loved all the Highlander and Wing Commander reviews. If you wanted to do Final Dimension with Mario Van Peables that would be cool. Or if you wanted to just do a Van Peables movie there's Solo. (I don't know why Mario has so many terrible movies. He's a good looking guy and -I think- and okay actor. I mean, he's not worse that Lambert, or Van Damm or Arnold. Perhaps it because he's a black guy and has to settle for whatever junk movies the white guys pass over.). Of, and also there are the movies that Dean Caine did after the TV superman, like Future Sport Again, I think he's an okay actor. I mean you can't tell me that Kevin Costern is a better actor than Dean Caine and look at all the big budget sci-fi' Costner got to do. Oh, and if you are really, really ambitious. there are the movies of Kevin. You could start with Postman (which is good but over the top), Waterworld (which is just straight up bad) and then Robin Hood (which is mindbendingly bad). Just a thought Spoon man. Look forward to whatever you're doing next.

  • The_Stig

    They are in fact remaking Highlander.

  • excalibur01

    So what's why I haven't heard anything about this new game? oh well

  • Ashenge

    I watched all of Black Lagoon just recently. I concur. o:

  • valar84

    About the television series, it's true that it does take out the urgency what with new immortals happening a bit everywhere. However, that's actually not a problem of the TV series but of the original movie. If I remember correctly, Connor McLeod becomes immortal then quickly meets Ramirez. Ramirez seems to know a lot about the whole thing and to have traveled a lot, so it's evident he has been around for centuries. So Immortals do seem a spring up a bit everywhere according even to the first movie. The whole movie is inconsistent, if new Immortals happen all the time, as the fact that Connor became one long after Ramirez or the Kurgan did, then it would be hard to be the last one around.

    One may presume that in the days of the Gathering, no new Immortals will be “born”, and that is OK, it explains both contradictory elements of the story of the movie. But then it solves this contradiction for both the movie AND the TV series at the same time. The only difference is that the date of the beginning of the Gathering has been delayed for a few years in the TV series.

    All in all, I'd say that the Highlander movie is a classic self-contained movie, it did not seek to establish a good continuity and to be internally consistent, as long as the plot holes aren't too big and cause problems to the suspension of disbelief. The Highlander TV series however was made to last for years, so they actually cared more about the continuity than the movie and they developped a more coherent cosmology. In other words, the movie was story-driven, the TV series more continuity-driven.

    That being said, the movie had a lot more urgency as you said. It was the end of everything, the movie format was well-suited for that. The TV series strived more to be open-ended, because it suited the format better.

  • valar84

    About the television series, it's true that it does take out the urgency what with new immortals happening a bit everywhere. However, that's actually not a problem of the TV series but of the original movie. If I remember correctly, Connor McLeod becomes immortal then quickly meets Ramirez. Ramirez seems to know a lot about the whole thing and to have traveled a lot, so it's evident he has been around for centuries. So Immortals do seem a spring up a bit everywhere according even to the first movie. The whole movie is inconsistent, if new Immortals happen all the time, as the fact that Connor became one long after Ramirez or the Kurgan did, then it would be hard to be the last one around.

    One may presume that in the days of the Gathering, no new Immortals will be “born”, and that is OK, it explains both contradictory elements of the story of the movie. But then it solves this contradiction for both the movie AND the TV series at the same time. The only difference is that the date of the beginning of the Gathering has been delayed for a few years in the TV series.

    All in all, I'd say that the Highlander movie is a classic self-contained movie, it did not seek to establish a good continuity and to be internally consistent, as long as the plot holes aren't too big and cause problems to the suspension of disbelief. The Highlander TV series however was made to last for years, so they actually cared more about the continuity than the movie and they developped a more coherent cosmology. In other words, the movie was story-driven, the TV series more continuity-driven.

    That being said, the movie had a lot more urgency as you said. It was the end of everything, the movie format was well-suited for that. The TV series strived more to be open-ended, because it suited the format better.

  • http://www.tashabennett.blogspot.com/ Natasha Bennett

    I absolutely loved the intro to Highlander the Source: 'The world has fallen into chaos and decay. There is no law, no justice. Only death and destruction.' And then a cop car pulls up and a criminal runs away.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.stratford Thomas Stratford

    I always look at Highlander: Endgame as the conclusion of the series. Where the movies and the series cross at the very first episode of the series. That is where the torch is passed from Connor to Duncan.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pat-Nespunk/1155167871 Pat Nespunk

    I drove about 30 miles to a theater that was actually showing Highlander: End Game. My expectations/disappointment ratio for that movie have only ever been surpassed by two other films: The Phantom Menace and Spider-Man 3. I was a big fan of the TV series and wanted to see Connor come back and kick ass (as he had in the pilot episode), but what we received was a broken down, depressed, and suicidal Connor. It was NOT the same character from any of the previous movies or the pilot TV episode.

    I used to post on a Highlander newsgroup and there were people there actually defending that piece of crap movie. A month or so later I discovered a work print version of the movie that had entirely different character arcs, scenes replaced, etc. While not a good movie, it was very different from the theatrical release… and that version was never even released on DVD. I believe the director was thrown off the project and then at the last minute they edited the film down for the MTV crowd or something. Either way, the script was still garbage, as it was patched together from three or so different drafts (is that EVER a good idea). I'm not sure I want to see the movie rebooted… I think the concept should just be left alone. We got 1 and a half good movies and 6 seasons of a pretty good TV show out of it… what more do we need?

  • billob

    I don't understand the Source to Yojimbo comparison

    Mainly because I never heard of The Source, but Iknow Yojimbo was freaking awesome.

  • bryanpe

    He saying the anime, when compared to The Source, seems as good as Yojimbo.

  • billob

    Oh, I get it. It helps to not skip around when I read, now I realize its Highlander: The Source, and that statement with that explanation makes all the more sense to me now.

  • TheCynicalReaper

    That is the best analysis of this movie, Spoony. Everything you said rings true: As a movie “Search for Vengeance” is a nice way to kill time if you don't have some “Fist of the North Star” anime DVDs nearby, but as a Highlander flick it's fucking great. Second best indeed.
    -Also, Ninja Scroll scarred me as a child. I watched the sequel when I was six years old, and let me tell you, seeing demon ninjas rape a woman to death, watching one use their intestines as tenticals to strangle other ninjas, and then witnessing a fully grown man burst out of a nude upside-down hanging woman while she's still alive… Y-yeah, that kind of shit can…can…

    *crawls into the corner and mutters to himself*
    “N-no, her father didn't cut off his finger…and then have it slither into her vag…”
    *rocks back and forth, eyes wide in horror*
    “Wires c-cutting them to pieces… So…much…blood…”

  • http://www.facebook.com/Grayfox176 Zac Cupp

    “The problem with anime is that while there is some really good stuff (Cowboy Bebop and Black Lagoon are two of my favourite series ever, animated or otherwise) there is a LOT of garbage as well”

    That may be true, but let's be honest: The same can be said of pretty much any medium of entertainment. I think the problem is more, like you said later in your post, with the extremely rabid fanbase. I mean, that's the reason why a lot of extremely popular things right now are well hated, even if sometimes it started because of the lack of quality in said thing. and It really does suck that the whole medium has to suffer because of a group of crazed fans that most people associate with it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269893864 Zack Dolan

    I agree with this assessment, about the whole thing, not just the anime. but yeah, the anime is not exactly the watchmen of anime or anything, but decent on it's own merits, and it's positively citizen kane when compared to every other highlander property made after the first film. I think all it was really missing was the Queen soundtrack. if princes of the universe got in there I would have been significantly more impressed. and i do agree, there was somewhat of a missed oppurtunity with what you said about “Ninja scroll-esque” unique bizareness to other immortals. I realize that in films…well the first one, it's harder to have a massive cast of characters with unique styles and abilities and such, and when they tried that they failed miserably in endgame (remember kel's little injustice league of immortals that all had a unique weapon? even the one with guns…which i still can't decide how i feel about yet) they pretty much suffered from X3 syndrome where they walk on and go “here is my name, this is my weapon and this is my fighting style” and then that was it. but in an anime where budget is not a consideration, and bad acting is more forgiveable (or at least less noticeable with all the pretty animation and fighting) there really is no excuse. even the x3 thing is less annoying in that situation i think. but again, as you say, getting too daring leads to zeist

    also about the series, I remember liking the series when it was on, but i agree with your take on it. i saw some episodes of it more recently and i was significantly less impressed, and even when i liked it i had to wonder where the hell all the immortals kept coming from and how in the hell anyone could ever win the prize if there were new immortals being born everyday. I agree with what you said about the show being aimless. It suffered heavily from what my brother and i call “V syndrome” or “He-man-itus” which basically means that, by design, the show can never ever get anywhere and the forces of good and evil will never make any progress against eachother and be locked in eternal stalemate for all time, because if they did, they show couldn't keep going. but sadly, never realizing that doing this to keep the show running longer will just make the viewers lose interest and your show will get cancelled at random instead of ending at a satisfying point. I wish writers would realize this and just plan an ending from the start. it's so much more satisfying, and a lot more likely to make your fans remember it fondly, or even remember it at all for that matter. like J micheal strazynzki did with babylon 5. the man may be completley clueless as what to do with spiderman (brand new day? deal with the devil? really? i mean REALLY? my brother insists that a lot of it was editorial mandate, but j mike didn't do anything to help either, so he's got the blood of spidey;s good name on his hands too if you ask me) but he def. knew what he was doing in terms of composing a tv show.

    though i gotta admit, i like what valar84 said about the gathering being like the cutoff point for new immortals and once it started they would start whittling down the numbers til there was only one. but then, probably very much like me, they are probably thinking a lot harder about how to fix the plot holes than the writers ever did for the sake of wanting something you once loved to be good

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269893864 Zack Dolan

    You're talking about “Ninja ressurection” right? you know, it was billed as the sequel to ninja scroll, but i really have come to believe that it was completely unrelated and just marketed it like it was because ninja scroll made a boatload of cash both here and japan. I think it was just another one of those “jubei yagyu, feudal japan's premier demon fighter and ghost buster” movies that are really all over the place in japan. I mean seriously, mr. yagyu has got to be the most abused historical figure in japanese history in terms of making him a demon hunter, or half demon himself, hell both capcom AND snk used jubei as…a demon fighting samurai

    as for the movie, I'm no expert and could be completely talking out my snarky ass, but everything was so unrelated between them, literally the only similarities were “there's a guy named jubei who fights monsters” hell, in ninja scroll his name was jubei kebugami. i've heard people say “oh, he was on the run from his noble heritage during ninja scroll and kebugami was an alias” but i totally think that's fan wanking retconning, if you ask me. maybe the ninja scroll comic answers some of those questions, but frankly if i need additional homework reading to make sense of your movie because you couldn;t do it in the confines of the films running time, i officially don't give a rats ass anymore. i don't consider the two related, and frankly ninja scroll is a FAR superior film. I consider ninja ressurection to have more in commen with the samurai showdown or onimusha 2 games then friggin ninja scroll haha. but then, maybe i'm just bitter because i LOVED ninja scroll and pissed away money on the “sequel” and was horribly dissapointed. hahaha

  • mrangrypants

    I'm a huge Highlander fanboy, I really enjoyed the series. I take that back I really enjoyed about the first two and a half seasons of Highlander. I prefer to take the series as an alternate timeline of the original movie. Also from what I understand there was an explanation of how the movie and series can co-exist that I think came from a novel that was written. That explanation goes as follows, winning the prize is retconned and the gathering that took place in NYC was just one gathering out of many that happen. The series is an instance of another gathering and I guess like giving birth the more frequent the gatherings are the closer you are to being the one.

    I prefer my alternate timeline explanation better, but that's just me. As far as Highlander: Endgame, I enjoyed it enough, I would call it a guilty pleasure. But seriously the Watchers have a power meter for the immortals? Every time I see that scene I expect Vegita to chime in and say “It's OVER 9000!!!!!!”. And that's all I have to say about that.

    I am glad to see I also am not the only one who has had to suffer through Highlander: Source. That movie is worse than Highlander 2. I heard The Source was so disliked by the series creator, and key actors that to them it was just a dream and doesn't exist in the cannon of the series. I kinda wished that they'd done that with the whole Arhiman bullshit from the series also, but whatever.

  • kefkaesque

    Anime is a bit different though. With anime, the entire medium is pretty niche. With movies, for example, we're constantly being exposed to both the good and the bad through adverts and mainstream hype. The average person will know about Paul Blart: Mall Cop, but they'll also know about Inglorious Basterds.

    This doesn't happen as much for anime. The average person's entire exposure to anime will likely be Naruto, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh and other kids shows that happen to be popular in the west. When these are by far the most prominent and popular examples of anime, it's not too surprising that people dismiss the medium all together.

  • TheCynicalReaper

    lol Thank you for tearing into that movie. It does an old-school anime fan's heart good to see people who remember the original Ninja Scroll.

    Still….it won't make the nightmares go away…

    …Did you know I also watched “Akira” when I was seven/eight? Yeah, evil clown gang posses and a giant flesh baby monster does wonders to a child's imagination. :p

  • TheCynicalReaper

    lol Thank you for tearing into that movie. It does an old-school anime fan’s heart good to see people who remember the original Ninja Scroll.

    Still….it won’t make the nightmares go away…

    …Did you know I also watched “Akira” when I was seven/eight? Yeah, evil clown gang posses and a giant flesh baby monster does wonders to a child’s imagination. :p

  • http://www.facebook.com/dakers6 David Akers

    I will actually defend Highlander: Endgame somewhat here, for one reason and one reason only. Bad Editing. It's far from a good movie, but I will admit to liking it, mainly because I thought the Duncan/Connor dynamic came off really well. But to the point of this.

    When I first saw the movie, I felt exactly like Spoony. “Wait… where's all the shit from the trailers? Why does Christopher Lambert look even older in this than his last movie just a year ago? What…. just happened with the guy's mooks?”

    Well, when I heard Endgame was coming to DVD with an additional cut (two movies, the theatrical, and another version that was partly unfinished). Y'see Endgame changed directors two or three times. Gregory Widen, the original writer, started the project, but then quit cause of executive meddling. So I grabbed it on the cheap and watched both cuts. The 2nd cut had different footage and some scenes in different order. But things didn't quite make sense. Then I watched the deleted material. And suddenly, it all clicked.

    The theatrical cut removed like THREE key scenes, and then reordered the rest and dropped the movie into a nonsensical muddle. I've been toying with the idea for years now to take the two versions of the film and the deleted content and do a “Phantom Edit” of my own. It won't fix Kell's Shatnerian acting or the cheapness of the special effects, but it would make the plot comprehensible, which would actually make the film halfway decent (relative to the franchise).

    SPOILERS

    Basically, Connor's death, the rendevous with Kate at the hotel, and the minion death scene were massively misordered. It was supposed to go down as thus. Kate goes to see Duncan, they get it on, she leaves. Duncan senses Connor, and goes to the roof thinking its Kell. It's Connor. Kate and Kell have their little bedroom chat when she returns. Final fight scene ensues. Connor dies. DELETED SCENE: Duncan goes tracks down Bob (the guy in the bowler hat), kicks his ass, nails him to the front of a van with Connor's sword through his chest and sends said van careening into Kell's little hidey hole. Kell, realizing Connor's dead and Duncan did it, just smiles. Cut to Duncan doing his workout katas, Then we get to Kell's little dinner party.WIth Connor dead, adn Duncan charged from his Quickening, he kills his lieutenants to power up for the big fight. Kate's fate is left uncertain.

    Does this redeem the other flaws? No. but the plot was actually comprehensible.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dakers6 David Akers

    I will actually defend Highlander: Endgame somewhat here, for one reason and one reason only. Bad Editing. It’s far from a good movie, but I will admit to liking it, mainly because I thought the Duncan/Connor dynamic came off really well. But to the point of this.

    When I first saw the movie, I felt exactly like Spoony. “Wait… where’s all the shit from the trailers? Why does Christopher Lambert look even older in this than his last movie just a year ago? What…. just happened with the guy’s mooks?”

    Well, when I heard Endgame was coming to DVD with an additional cut (two movies, the theatrical, and another version that was partly unfinished). Y’see Endgame changed directors two or three times. Gregory Widen, the original writer, started the project, but then quit cause of executive meddling. So I grabbed it on the cheap and watched both cuts. The 2nd cut had different footage and some scenes in different order. But things didn’t quite make sense. Then I watched the deleted material. And suddenly, it all clicked.

    The theatrical cut removed like THREE key scenes, and then reordered the rest and dropped the movie into a nonsensical muddle. I’ve been toying with the idea for years now to take the two versions of the film and the deleted content and do a “Phantom Edit” of my own. It won’t fix Kell’s Shatnerian acting or the cheapness of the special effects, but it would make the plot comprehensible, which would actually make the film halfway decent (relative to the franchise).

    SPOILERS

    Basically, Connor’s death, the rendevous with Kate at the hotel, and the minion death scene were massively misordered. It was supposed to go down as thus. Kate goes to see Duncan, they get it on, she leaves. Duncan senses Connor, and goes to the roof thinking its Kell. It’s Connor. Kate and Kell have their little bedroom chat when she returns. Final fight scene ensues. Connor dies. DELETED SCENE: Duncan goes tracks down Bob (the guy in the bowler hat), kicks his ass, nails him to the front of a van with Connor’s sword through his chest and sends said van careening into Kell’s little hidey hole. Kell, realizing Connor’s dead and Duncan did it, just smiles. Cut to Duncan doing his workout katas, Then we get to Kell’s little dinner party.WIth Connor dead, adn Duncan charged from his Quickening, he kills his lieutenants to power up for the big fight. Kate’s fate is left uncertain.

    Does this redeem the other flaws? No. but the plot was actually comprehensible.

  • fatalrob0t

    I liked Endgame for the most part because it had Methos in there, and Duncan and Connor got to play around a little. I vehemently dislike it, however, because Connor and Duncan got the shit end of the stick. Especially Connor. When Connor turned in that movie I sat there staring at my screen in absolute horror. What had happened to this character?!

    However, I absolutely Love the premise of the show and that new immortals keep springing up. Here’s why. Where do these guys come from? If it’s “the game” then new players are inevitable. The end will only come when all of those immortals finally kill one another, but that could happen at any time. The only think I disliked about many of the immortals was the moping that would happen. Mourn and move on. Life is too long to waste it moping over lost friends and loved ones. This is why my OC for the series wasn’t like that, and she was an old bitch.

  • Zefram Mann

    Highlander 2 (or at least the director’s cut) for me is a lot like Star Trek V. Yeah, horribly bad in so many ways, and yet, still fun and enjoyable on some strange level. The Source? It was Star Trek: Nemesis bad. All the weaknesses of Quickening and Final Frontier, and none of the fun, and both mortally wounded their franchises so badly a reboot was needed.

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