Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Well this pretty much kicked ass. I’m kind of at loss for words, especially after suffering through ‘Highlander: The Source’ which we can only hope is the last live action Highlander film. I mean I honestly couldn’t ask for much more for my entertainment dollar than ‘Highlander: the Search for Vengeance’. For real.

Now I’ll have you know that I’m not a ‘fanboy’ of anything. I like – not love ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’. I like – not love – Marvel comics as well as DC comics. I own a Playstation AND and XBOX as they are both simply plastic boxes with electronics inside that allow me and mine to play games on. I mention this because I have a friend who is a ‘Highlander’ fanboy. Say anything bad about Connor McCloud of the freakin’ Clan McCloud and you had better be ready to fight. I hope he doesn’t read my review of ‘The Source’ because I’m in no mood to kick his ass. So you take this work which has its own legion of dedicated fanboys and then for whatever reason pass it off to famed Japanese director Yoshiaki Kawajiri who is responsible for the seminal Anime works ‘Ninja Scroll’ and ‘Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust’ and as such has a fanboy army of his own who will give the man a liver upon request and I guarantee you that you’re asking for nothing but fanboy trouble. Well I’m not sure what the Internet buzz is in the fanboy communities of each camp, and I’m certain they are aware of flaws far too numerous to name, but as a piece of violent, bloody, brutal, sex filled entertainment… I’m all about ‘Highlander: The Search for Vengeance’.

It’s the year 2187 and Colin McCloud (Voiced by Alistair Abell) is traveling in a swamp filled New Jersey which hasn’t recovered from the great Soprano Last Episode riots of 2007. Colin is searching for someone and happens upon a band of mutated

toughs who should immediately be concerned of ANYONE who would approach this motley crew without fear. As expected, limbs get severed which alerts this groups leader, an immortal going by the of Malik, a 7-foot badly mutated individual with razor teeth and six foot chain saw for a blade. Though Colin would prefer not to fight the monster he leaves him little choice and in a brief but glorious battle, Malik loses his head. NOW the opening credits roll.

The resulting quickening from Malik’s beheading gets the attention of the immortal Marcus (Zachary Samuels) who is the King of New York and has been spending his immortality attempting to create the perfect fascist society. Marcus lives upon a tower of gold with his mistress, the scantily clad and lethal immortal Kyala (Janyse Jaud). Judging by Kyala's appearance, Marcus’ tower must be a panty-free zone. To illuminate the kind of cat this Marcus is, when we are shown how a disheveled, wrought and fallen Kyala is approached by a characteristically pompous Marcus on his horse, blacked out by the sun, she asks ‘Are you God?’ To which Marcus replies, ‘Close enough.’ Anyway, Colin gains entrance into the heavily guarded city of New York as the King wants to meet him. Once inside, Colin has no intentions of meeting the King, kills a few dudes and is befriended by an underground resistance led by a pretty prostitute. Seems there’s a virus killing off the underground citizens and the prostitute would like to have Colins help breaking into this palace of gold where the vaccine is rationed, but he’s not the least bit interested particularly after he sees that Marcus is the King of New York. For 2000 years Colin has been trying to kill Marcus, way back when he Marcus Ocatavius, the Roman general who slaughtered his people and crucified his wife Moya. Now finally Colin can get his revenge, or maybe not.

Aside from the wonderful animation, decent voice acting and nice storyline the thing I like most about ‘Search for Vengeance’ was the protagonist – antagonist’ dynamic the filmmakers presented with Colin and Marcus. As was clearly laid out by the Colin’s spirit sidekick Amergan, Colin has pretty much squandered 2000 years of life in his mindless quest for revenge. Imagine there was a bully who abused you in high school and you spent your entire adulthood waiting for the day to get him back, but you’re not even a thought in his mind, and there you have Marcus’ feelings towards Colin. It’s one of pity. Even though Marcus is clearly evil, I mean he was an SS soldier in one of his many existences, his character is far more focused, and his life has had far more meaning than the wasted existence that Colin has lead. It is this story arc that sets ‘Search for Vengeance’ apart from a lot of the other similarly themed Anime out there for me, in that Colin simply isn’t a very sympathetic character.

Whether or not this is a one shot merging between the studios I don’t know, but I sure hope not as this was one of the more entertaining tales I’ve seen in quite some time with explosions, stabbings, beheadings, gored individuals and gratuitous animated nudity, what more could you ask for?

Real Time Web