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Film / Highlander: The Source

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"There can be only me."
The Guardian

The Source is the fifth Highlander film. It was released in 2007, first in Russia on DVD and later on Sci-Fi Channel.

Duncan MacLeod (Adrian Paul) joins a band of immortals, who seek The Source, the place where their immortality comes from. Their quest is hindered by The Guardian, protector of The Source, who has plans of his own.

This film has the examples of:

  • After the End: Yet another Highlander entry with this setting. The severity of The End of the World as We Know It also seems a little inconsistent — at some points it doesn't seem to have gone any further than much of the world having suffered some kind of economic collapse, while at other points it was apparently severe enough to destroy the Watcher organization and result in global food shortages on such a scale that rampaging groups of cannibals are a serious problem.
  • Age Without Youth: The Elder, cursed so by The Source.
  • Anime Hair: Giovanni's goofy hairstyle looks like if Billy Idol had a child with Ziggy Stardust.
  • Artistic License – Space:
    • When the Planets Align "could just be... orbital wobble" which is replied to with "Orbital wobble is one thing, but this! This is outside the laws of celestial mechanics!" which might hint that it is something different, but then...
    • At the end, when Duncan reaches the Source, apparently Jupiter and Saturn are closer to Earth than the Moon.
    • In the same scene, a character mentions the "Central sun of the galaxy". Except.. there is no such thing. There is likely a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way (and most galaxies) that all the stars orbit around, however, it's definitely not a sun or star (and isn't created from a star that burned out and collapsed, like normal black holes are.)
  • Batman Gambit: The Guardian's killing of Duncan's friends, particularly Joe is an attempt to get him pissed off enough that he'll kill the Guardian, and thereby release the Guardian from his curse, and turn Duncan into the new Guardian. It blows up in his face, since Duncan actually becomes so disillusioned by all the death that he refuses to kill the Guardian, who is destined to occupy his role until the next coming of the Source, possibly for all time.
  • Big Bad: The Guardian.
  • Cartoonland Time: Somehow, since the end of Highlander: Endgame, which could not possibly be more than five years in this universe's time at most (due to Joe Dawson, a mortal, looking exactly the same here as he did in the television series):
    • The world has become a post-apocalyptic wasteland like Fallout or something. Was there a nuclear war? Did a meteor strike the earth?? Was there a mass plague???
    • The Watcher Organization has been completely wiped out, save Joe Dawson. This was a vast, clandestine organization spread all over the globe, so there is really no possible way this could have been achieved so quickly.
    • Kate, Duncan MacLeod's immortal wife, died somehow. Despite Duncan in this movie claiming she grew old and died, she was actually an immortal, so she would have had to have been beheaded. It was impossible for her to grow old and die. She actually did die in some cuts of the last movie.
    • Duncan got remarried to some woman named Anna, and was separated from her because she wanted babies and immortals cannot procreate.
    • Duncan and Anna somehow wind up in the same part of post-apocalyptic Europe together.
    • And finally, not to be outdone, the world is overrun by roving bands of cannibals.
    • Canonically (or at least it was canon when the movie was in production), the film takes place twenty years after the end of the series, regardless of Joe's lack of aging.
  • Crapsack World: The world has gone for the worse since the last movie.
  • Darker and Edgier: Because Lionsgate produced this movie, they decided that after the success of their Saw movies, making this film just as dark and gritty would make lightning strike twice. It didn't quite work in their favour.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: Dawson wastes precious seconds to do this behind The Guardian's back. One can also clearly see the unspent shell flying out of his shotgun.
  • Dual Wielding: After Duncan's katana is broken, he picks up two butterfly swords in its place.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Both the Elder and the Guardian are experiencing this during the film. It's implied that the Elder is allowed to die when Duncan claims the Source... but the Guardian isn't so lucky.
  • Holier Than Thou: Father Giovanni's attitude.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The island where The Source lies is inhabited by cannibals.
  • Immortal Procreation Clause: The Source can remove this problem.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: Duncan throws his Katana through The Guardian's throat.
  • Incoming Ham: The Guardian approaching Duncan.
  • Kryptonite-Proof Suit: The Guardian decapitation-proof neck armour, which vanishes after he receives his quickening from defeating Zai Jie.
  • The Load: A mild case with Reggie, who isn't completely useless — he finds the island where the Source is located, though even if he hadn't been there Anna would have divined the location a couple of minutes later — but repeatedly proves to be utterly hopeless in any situation where he's required to defend himself. His attempt to take on the Guardian by himself ends up indirectly getting Joe killed, and then later on he actually does get killed by the Guardian, thanks to him standing around and drinking whiskey rather than keeping watch like he's supposed to be doing. The Russian cut also has him behaving like a Leeroy Jenkins by running off to attack the cannibals who are controlling the port, despite him being massively outnumbered.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Lampshaded by Reggie, who says that the Elder, the only known survivor of the last attempt to find the Source, is being looked after by the Brotherhood of Pain. Despite Reggie's sarcastic comment that they "sound like a friendly bunch", it turns out they actually are relatively friendly.
  • Off with His Head!: Actually downplayed; the only two characters to die via decapitation are Zai Jie and Giovanni. And in Giovanni's case it doesn't lead to a quickening, as he and the others have been stripped of their immortality thanks to their proximity to the Source.
  • Only the Pure of Heart: The Prize is revealed to be claimable by virtue. Being virtuous also grants the needed strength to best The Guardian.
  • Plot Hole: It's never really explained exactly what the hell the Source even is, only that it gives the immortals their powers (well, theoretically, see below), it can some how be used to fix the Crapsack World (although we never actually see this happen) and that it makes it possible for Duncan and Anna to have a child, something immortals normally can't do Considering the Source is in the movie's title this is a pretty big plot hole indeed.
    • At one point a character warns the immortals that their powers will get weaker as they get closer to the Source... except, the Source is supposedly what gives them their powers, so what the fuck sense does that make? this is made even worse by Duncan not only gaining back his powers, but becoming even more powerful when right near the Source at the end, with no explanation.
    • The reason for the sorry state of the world is never explained. The closest we get to an explanation is Giovanni suggesting it's due to some punishment from God, however, none of the other characters buy this, and it's never brought up again.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Cardinal Giovanni reacts to the Elder's revelations about the titular Source by exclaiming, "This is blasphemy!" The Elder angrily bellows in response, ""IT... IS... TRUUUUUEEEE!!"
  • Retcon:
    • The version of the film released in the U.S. has Anna's narration reveal that the entire concept of the Immortals' game was in fact a complete misconception, and that "there can be only one" really means that only the purest-hearted Immortal can claim the Source. The "Russian cut" leaves it more up in the air, with Methos and Duncan openly expressing their doubts about the game, but leaving the exact interpretation up to the viewer.
    • The extended ending that was added to the DVD cut of Highlander: Endgame undid Faith's death and revealed that Kell couldn't go through with killing her. This film, on the other hand, resets things to the theatrical cut of Endgame and says that Faith did die in that film, making it a rare instance of a retcon that undoes a prior retcon.
  • Royal Rapier: Reggie's weapon of choice.
  • Sequel Non-Entity: Faith, Connor's Immortal flame from Highlander: Endgame, doesn't appear, and is replaced with a new love interest named Anna. Endgame even had a tacked on Happy Ending that was meant to show the two reuniting after Faith had previously been thought dead, which makes her absence here all the more baffling.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: In the end, Duncan refuses to kill The Guardian, which is the correct way to defeat him.
  • Signature Line: The Guardian's "This is the end of time!"
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Happens to Joe. Methos's fate is left uncertain.
  • Super-Speed: The Guardian. Duncan also develops it when gets near The Source.
  • When the Planets Align: The Source will reveal itself when this happens.
  • Wrecked Weapon: After Duncan hurls it like a spear through his neck, The Guardian snaps Duncan's katana in two, and even impales Joe Dawson through the chest with what's left of it.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: Whoever decapitates The Guardian will take his place.