Review of Highlander: Endgame

Review of Highlander: Endgame

Highlander: Endgame is the fourth of five movies of the Highlander film franchise. Released on September 1, 2000, it was the producers’ attempt to merge the characters and story lines from both the Highlander movie series and the TV series.

The movie starts with Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert)’s adopted daughter, Rachel Ellenstein, being killed when a bomb explodes in Connor’s apartment. The dastardly attack turns out to be the brainchild of his arch enemy, Jacob Kell (Bruce Payne) who has had it in for Connor for almost 450 years.

The trauma of losing Rachel causes Connor to give up on The Game. When we next see him, he is nearing the end of a decade in The Sanctuary, a compound for Immortals who have ‘retired’ from The Game, under the control of Watchers whose purpose is to prevent The Prize from being won. But, even here, there is no respite – Kell manages to track Connor down with his posse of 5 Immortals. Their bloody assault on the compound and try to kill everyone there; Connor is believed beheaded.

Duncan MacLeod (Adrian Paul of the TV series), Connor’s clansman, receives a vision of the carnage and promptly leaves for New York. Arriving at Connor’s bombed-out apartment, he senses an Immortal and turns to see Kate (Lisa Barbuscia), his wife from two centuries before and going by the name ‘Faith’. She somehow hates Duncan because she cannot have children as an Immortal, his fault being that he ‘killed’ her to tell her. The reunion is interrupted by Kell’s posse of Immortals who all attack him together in contradiction of the rules of The Game. Kell arrives but one of his henchmen shoots Duncan, causing him to be impaled on a pole and die. Kell decapitates the trigger-happy Immortal and absorbs the Quickening from his death. In the confusion, a van arrives and makes away with Duncan’s body.

Duncan awakens to find himself a captive of The Watchers, but is rescued by his Immortal friend, Methos, who was one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It is revealed that Kell wants to kill Duncan purely to torment Connor. Duncan realizes that Connor is too unfocused (and way behind in headcount – 662 to 262) to be a match for Kell and prevent him from winning The Prize. Duncan then has a semi-reconciliation with Kate/Faith. In a hotel room. Yaay for reconciliation.

Meanwhile, Kell is in full preparation to claim The Prize. He organizes a mock ‘Last Supper’ with his four remaining Immortal henchmen and Faith, at the culmination of which he beheads them all easily. Only one attempts to put up anything that could be called a fight. The four kills take Kell’s headcount (getit? getit?) to….. 666.

Meanwhile, Connor is attempting to convince Duncan of the only way they may stand a chance against Kell – since they honor the rules of The Game and will not engage Kell in two-on-one combat, one of them has to decapitate the other and absorb his Quickening. Connor convinces Duncan that he is not the Immortal to defeat Kell, that the weight of all the innocents he loved killed by Kell will weigh his shoulders down and defeat their cause. Before he sacrifices himself, Connor teaches Duncan a sword technique that has no known counter – the only way Duncan can defeat Kell. The two friends, companions and clansmen share an emotional goodbye before Duncan does what he was meant to and absorbs the Quickening from Connor’s decapitation.

Duncan and Kell meet to fight. The ‘unbeatable’ move Connor taught Duncan turns out to be of no utility – Kell has developed a counter for it. Kell toys with Duncan who has no answer for his far superior sword prowess and combat ability. Duncan is at the very end of his ability to defend himself from Kell when Connor’s spirit appears to give him the power to carry on. Duncan leaps over a confused Kell and lands behind him. As Kell turns, Duncan’s sword severs his neck. Duncan absorbs Kell’s Lightening, taking his tally to over 1100 (including Connor’s).

Duncan buries Connor next to Connor’s first wife in their homeland of Scotland and meets again with Kate/Faith for an eternity of reconciliation.

Overall, very bloody movie and not altogether that well put-together. However, the plot is reasonably engaging and the script does a good job of melding the film and TV series and tying up loose ends.

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