There have been two really great parts to the whole Highlander franchise: the original movie, and the TV series (especially from its second season on, when they introduced the concept of the Watcher organization, and wrote stories about a subgroup of Watcher who developed a religious fanatic-type fear and hatred of immortals, and started hunting them). Both these version of the Highlander franchise featured great characters, marvellous flashbacks, interesting villains, and dealt with both the positive and negative aspects of immortality, such as unending youth and strength, and the experience of being able to see whole different ages, such as most people can only dream about, balanced off against the loneliness of watching everyone around you age and die, with only a handful of people with whom you can form lasting bonds -- and many of them are out to take your head. It was thrilling stuff, and as the first movie and series proved, this concept was a rich source from which really great stories could be mined again and again.
How sad then that with the exception of that first film, the makers of Highlander movies have failed so dismally. This movie actually rivals "Highlander II: the Quickening" in sheer awfulness, and I hadn't believed that possible. I had a terrible sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I found that this movie was set in a near future where society had broken down into chaos and anarchy. Why on earth did the producers of this film choose to borrow an element from the worst movie in the entire franchise? The villain was so ridiculous he wasn't even remotely menacing or scary. What could EVER make anyone think a villain who yells "Helloo Joe!" as he sails through the air hit by a car (in a stupendously unrealistic stunt/special effect) would play well? This was just one moment among many involving the villain that elicits unintentional laughter. The guardian was so horrendously, cringe-inducingly bad that if the Kurgan were in this film he would have killed him for bringing villains into disrepute.
And of course, on top of a poor story, a laughable villain, and the complete absence of any of the elements that made either the first film or the series a success, this movie suffers from a fault common to all Highlander films but the first: lack of continuity. Why, if they are going to make these things, do they insist on disregarding everything that came before? This is really frustrating to those fans who have delved into the world of the Highlander franchise and would like it to make at least some sense, and have some internal consistency. It's hard to stay interesting in something when they keep changing the ground rules on you.
But the above listed flaws barely scratch the surface of what it wrong with this movie. I read that this was intended to be the first of a trilogy. All I can say to that is that I hope not. As much as I am irritated at the lack of consistency and continuity in the Highlander movies, if they're going to do any more, they need to retcon this abortion out of existence. Having inexplicably copied concepts from the single worse installment of the whole franchise, they should also copy the follow up taken to that movie by the producers of the next one and write a new story that ignores this steaming pile of dog excrement and starts with a blank slate.