A futuristic prison movie. Protagonist and wife are nabbed at a future US emigration point with an illegal baby during population control. The resulting prison experience is the subject of ... See full summary »
In the post-apocalyptic medieval 27th century, Ramirez mentors young Quentin MacLeod who must seek pacified Immortals, gain their knowledge through a non-lethal form of Quickening, and free the land from the evil Immortal overlord Kortan.
When Connor MacLeod sees his old friend Rachel die in an explosion, he's had it with his immortal life and the endless pain it brings him and those he loves. He locks himself inside the Sanctuary, a Watcher-organized retreat stationed on holy ground, where immortals who are tired of the game can go to forever escape it, as well as to ensure that The Prize never falls into the wrong hands. But when an old enemy, Jacob Kell, and his posse of assassins attack the Sanctuary and kill everyone there but Connor, he is forced out into the open and into battle. Kell and Connor were friends once, and knew each other back when Connor was cast from Glenfinnan; he returned when news came that his mother was to be burned at the stake, and in the attempt to free her, Kell was killed by none other than Connor himself, and became an immortal, bitter with hate, and devoted to making Connor's life a living hell. In the present day, Connor's kinsman Duncan MacLeod is attacked by Kell's posse, including ... Written by
Best since the first one for fans, but non fans beware!!!!!
About five minutes into "Highlander: Endgame," the last film in the franchise which has given "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" a run for the money in the most "unique" fans, I realized that in the Highlander series, there are two separate universes that exist: The universe in which Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) became the final immortal and won the prize in 1986 (in the first film), and the one where, in the year 2000, the fight is still going on. In this universe, which was established in the TV series, Duncan MacLeod, Connor's younger brother (Adrian Paul) is the runner up for the prize, the major fight that took place in the first film was not the final battle between the last two immortals left, but merely one of many battles that were still to come.
This film takes place in the latter series, and the final battle is at hand at long last, and it's down to two good immortals: Connor and Duncan, and an ancient, evil immortal (Bruce Payne) who has a posse of other immortals following him like he's some kind of anti-christ. He's also got a deadly agenda against Connor for something that took place in the past. It's cleverly written, so I dare not give anything away.
"Endgame" is a sequel to the first film as it took place in the TV series' universe, and a continuation of the TV show, which went off air some two years ago. In order to fully appretiate this film, the viewer needs to be familiar with both...and like them. Otherwise, he or she will get confused and bored. Make no mistake: It is a film by Highlander fans FOR Highlander fans, and little explanation is given for anything in this, because it assumes that anyone watching will be familiar with the premise and the rules of the immortal game upon entering the theater.
As a serious film critic, I found the first film to be a masterpiece. Combining full-throttle thrills, an excellent premise, and top-rate performances, Highlander introduced us to the world of the immortals, and the premise was so thought-provoking that it drew the viewer in, and it made it easy for he or she to suspend their disbelief, if only for two hours. It deservedly joined the rank of "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" as one of the most successful and influential sci-fi films ever written. The second film didn't do so well, but the director's cut was definitely worth watching. "The Final Dimension" was a poor entry, and it was the last to take place in Connor's world, where he became the final immortal and took the prize.
With all of this said, as a fan of the first film, I can tell you that if you liked it, you will fall in love with "Highlander: Endgame." It's name implies that it is the final chapter, and it is, but not to the film series....no, this is the final chapter in the TV show, and it nicely caps the series. It is a most satisfactory wrap-up, with all the elements that made the first film and the TV show successful: Great camera-work, intruiging characters, flashbacks from all around the world, engaging conflicts, and some of the finest sword-fighting sequences that I have ever seen put to film. And the surprise ending in which one of the MacLeods makes the ultimate sacrifice will leave no fan with a dry eye (and if you are a fan who's seen it already, DON'T PANIC! Remember, this is not the same universe as that of the film series!).
There are also some nice touches that only fans will enjoy: It was wonderful to see Heather, Connor's old wife, again, if only for a few brief moments. Watching the training sequences between Connor and Duncan are also well-written (and NOT a rip off of the stuff seen between Connor and Ramirez in the first film). The different aspects of immortality that are explored are nothing short of ingenious, and the characters of both Connor and Duncan are very nicely developed. Joe and Methos's cameos from the TV show are also appretiated.
If you're not a fan, walk away slowly with your hands raised in the air. If you like the series of films and the TV show, enjoy this gem which nicely seals the Highlander universe. Indeed,for those of us who have come to realize that "there can be only one," this might be the best film of the summer!
***1/2 out of **** (best since the original).
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