Highlander: The Search for Vengeance

January 5, 2017 at 2:49 am (6 Heads, Highlander: Search for Vengeance) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Highlander: The Search for Vengeance – 2007 – Japan/United States

During the Roman invasion of Britain in the 1st century AD, a Briton named Colin becomes immortal after imbibing a magic potion. He no longer ages and cannot be killed except by decapitation. When the Roman general Marcus Octavius (also an immortal) kills Colin’s wife, Colin begins a campaign of vengeance lasting two thousand years. Marcus resurfaces in various historical epochs as an authoritarian leader, and Colin unsuccessfully tries to kill him each time. They duel as samurai in medieval Japan, and dogfight in planes during World War II. Eventually, Colin encounters Marcus again in post-apocalyptic New York in the year 2187 AD. Marcus has become ruler of a high-tech enclave and Colin leads a group of guerilla fighters to destroy him. Colin finally manages to kill him, but only after falling in love and realizing the pointlessness of revenge.

Highlander: The Search for Vengeance is an anime retelling of the American film Highlander (1986). Search for Vengeance does not follow the plot of the original film, but features the same protagonist. Although it was animated in Japan, it was written by Americans. Nonetheless, Search for Vengeance recalls the sort of macho anime that was popular in the U.S. during the 90s (i.e. Fist of the North Star and Battle Angel). Most of the story occurs in a post-apocalyptic future full of arachnid-like cyborgs and mutants with chainsaw-swords. There is plenty of gory combat and scantily-clad women.

Search for Vengeance is better than you might imagine. Despite its emphasis on dramatic combat, the story has moments of characterization. Colin’s change from a man obsessed with revenge to a hero is compelling. Also, his girlfriend (a prostitute with a heart of gold) is much less of a cliché than she initially seems. Search for Vengeance’s animation is partly hand drawn and partly computer generated, and it looks nice. The voice acting is surprisingly high quality as well.

Rating: 6/10 Shrunken Heads. In ancient Rome Marcus Octavius plays a lute, but in the future, he wails away on an electric guitar.


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