The lone warrior Colin travels with the wise-cracking ghost Amergan through the ages searching for the immortal despot Marcus Octavius, who killed his lover on the Celtic plains tens of centuries ago. On his quest, he discovers New York is submerged, and one dominant monolith fortress towers over the seas. Colin can save the survivors, but his sword only hungers for the blood of one man. Despite many lifetimes of training, Colin has failed to vanquish Marcus on the great battlefields of history. Can he finish what he started and stop Marcus? Will Colin lead the people to freedom or become consumed by hate? There can be only one.Written by
The Highlander mythology was always one of the coolest concepts for a movie - immortal swordsmen battling each other across the ages until one remained. Combine the potential within with the skills of Yoshiaki Kawajiri, the man responsible for Ninja Scroll, and you sound like you have quite a winner on your hands.
The Search for Vengeance is about the plight of Colin Macleod, the eponymous Highlander, and his centuries-long feud with Marcus, a Roman general who murdered Colin's true love. Time and time again throughout history, Colin and Marcus clash with each other until they come to their final showdown amidst a futuristic New York riddled with plague and war.
Like any continuation of Highlander, The Search for Vengeance crafts its own fiction by combining the original's mythology (holy ground, Quickenings, death-by-beheading etc) with several of its own ideas (in this case, demons, robots and spirits). Although some of the more fantastical elements (e.g. Colin's communication with a druid-like ghost) grated a little, they're tolerable enough changes to the Highlander world. In the end, it feels like it leans more towards the animé side of things.
As for the film itself - visually, it's pretty good. The animation is fluid and the action looks great. The constant changing of era (a staple of the Highlander series) works a treat, as you see battles of all kinds across the centuries. The showdowns look a treat as well (I expect nothing less from the maker of Ninja Scroll), as do the battles during the futuristic scenes. I will say that fair chunks of the plot are fairly clichéd and if you've ever really watched prior Highlander material, you can probably predict a fair bit of it.
The last word on The Search for Vengeance - who do I really recommend it to? It's a decent enough watch for anyone with even a passing interest in animé, and it's a more watchable experience for Highlander fans than the film sequels, but outside of those two groups, it'd be a little hard to recommend. In any case, it was a decent watch and if you need a good fix of sword-fighting or animé, this isn't a bad choice.
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