When violent conflict breaks out between greedy railroaders and a tribe of Mescalero Apaches, only two men, destined to be blood brothers, can prevent all-out war: chief's son Winnetou and German engineer Old Shatterhand.
Rollins' gang wants to grab land by inciting the settlers in a war against the Indians but Winnetou and Old Shatterhand try to keep the peace, until Rollins frames Winnetou up for the murder of Jicarilla Chief's son.
An army gold shipment and its escort vanish in the Ozarks, prompting accusations of theft and desertion but frontiersman Old Shatterhand and Apache chief Winnetou help solve the mystery of the missing army gold.
On her b-day, settler's daughter Apanatschi receives her father's secret gold mine but greedy neighboring prospectors resort to murder and kidnapping in order to get the gold, forcing the girl and her brother to seek Winnetou's protection.
Switzerland, 1873. Men from all over Europe are flocking to a tiny village to work on the biggest and most spectacular construction site of modern times: the Gotthard tunnel! The town is ... See full summary »
"Der letzte Kampf" is the third and final movie from the Winnetou reboot trilogy last year made by director Philipp Stölzl and writer Jan Berger, who of course adapted Karl May's work here. It is the longest of the films as it is the only one that runs for over two hours, even if just slightly. Möhring, Xhelilaj, Larios and Peschel return of course from the previous films, but they once again go with the idea of introducing new villains for this film too. And while Vogel, Masucci and Yardim were rock-solid in the older films, I cannot say the same about Maertens. This, however, has more to do with the way he was written than with his performance to be honest. They also followed the tradition of bringing back old actors from the old Winnetou movies and here Mario Adorf has a couple scenes playing the antagonist's father. But this connection is also a major problem. Sometimes they make it look as if Adorf plays the main villain, then again the opposite. It is never clear what he really thinks of his son. He seems to despise his weakness, yet he gets him out of jail. Obviously he plays a very powerful man. But lets be honest: How can we take a character seriously as the main villain if he gets slapped and pushed around by his dad in the first couple minutes.
The film moves back and forth between Maertens' character's plan to get his dad to appreciate him and his sinister actions that have pretty much nothing to do with his father. And in both areas, it was underwhelming. I will not go a whole lot more into detail, but let me just mention one particular reference, namely the one about becoming the American President, which felt completely out of place on every occasion and it also did nothing in terms of what they intended with it, namely the son making the father proud. It was such an absurd theory and it would have been better of Adorf's character had made fun of his son for it but they actually wanted us to take this seriously. So completely aside from that, the title already tells us that there will be a final battle for somebody important to the story and that tragedy may (or may not) ensure. I won't go much into detail. I just want to say that I did not like the ending either. Crowning a white man as the new tribe leader may seem daring in theory, but it did not even offer half the depth I would have liked because it felt really random and included just for the sake of it. Not worthy closure to the trilogy.
Overall, this was not a good watch. It drags on several occasions and I felt that this movie loses itself an special effects and spectacular scenes far too many times, something that was done perfectly right in the two previous films. They had depth and solid writing as well as character development plus the antagonists were far more interesting. I am kinda glad that the mini series ends after these two hours as they may have jumped the shark with this final installment already. This is especially sad for Adorf who is once again a scene-stealer and probably by far the most talented cast member, even over the age of 85. His screen presence is still undeniable, even at his age. But he is the only somewhat decent factor about this film that is sometimes weak and sometimes mediocre, but almost never shines. I give it a thumbs-down and I am disappointed it did not turn out as good as the previous two.
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