Friday, 16 October 2009

Highlander: The Search for Vengeance

Kawajiri's preoccupation with combative, unkillable men meets an undying 80s fantasy franchise. Retail opportunity! The future is rubble, policed by Fourth Reich spider-bots and ruled by an ageless, Saturn worshipping, strat-shredding, Ziggurat dweller. Into this predicament wanders a trench coat wearing ronin who quickly hooks up with a pragmatic female soul, then establishes strained ties with the local freedom fighters. Forever war flashbacks detail a millennia long feud between the two lead immortals, of which this is but the latest stage.

Both have stuck to their roots: the Scottish stray seeks to keep himself ostracised, whilst the Roman imperialist throws in with whatever ideology is currently pushing an expansionist agenda. Highlander: The Search for Vengeance's hysterical highlight comes in the form of a near-miss memory reel - the token MacLeod pursues his quarry over endless continents and centuries, relentlessly coming up short. It's a believable insight into the psychotic urges of these eternal, grudge holders. They're all each other's got. As this is a Kawajiri flick, action is brisk and accomplished. It's a shame his Western paymasters took it upon themselves to hack out chunks of nuance though. There's tell that it was all restored for a vaporous Director's Cut edition available in Japan. If I ever track it down, I'll let you know.

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