Highlander: Endgame, part three

Yes, I'm still complaining.Okay, I’ve recovered from my near-psychotic break from the first half of this movie, and I’m ready to finish it off.

To start with, I have to say that Kell killing off Connor’s loved ones doesn’t mesh with what we know of Connor. It’s like the writers mixed up Connor and Duncan here. Duncan’s the one who spent six years or the TV show watching his loved ones die violently, often by his own hand. Connor is the one who loves too well, spending his life with mortal loved ones and watching them grow old and die. We’ve seen no evidence of Kell’s handiwork aside from Rachel and Brenda, which means we’re back to the basic writing rule of, “show, don’t tell.” We’re told that Kell is a badass because of all the quickenings he’s taken. We’re only shown Kell killing helpless people and besting Connor in a very brief duel after Connor has spent a decade on drugs and in a coma. We’re told that Kell has killed all of Connor’s loved ones. We’re shown Connor having several long, healthy relationships that last for decades or even centuries. “Show, don’t tell” is a basic tenet of writing that is taught to kids in grade school. How is it that so many people who get paid to write make this mistake so regularly?

So now we’ve got an asshole villain who makes Mario van Peebles look subtle. We’ve got Connor as a joyless, friendless, bland character who is unrecognizable from the guy we’ve seen in three other films. So how about we take a shot at Duncan now?

I Duncan, promise to stab you in the chest on our wedding night. Because I love you.

I Duncan, promise to stab you in the chest on our wedding night. Because I love you.

In flashback, we get to see Duncan at his wedding with Kate. Oh yeah, Duncan and Kate were married. This isn’t a huge deal except for the fact that the TV series made a huge deal out of Duncan never marrying. It’s highly implied that he actually is cursed, and that Tessa, the love of his 400-year life, died partly because he proposed to her. But yeah, Duncan and Kate got married because the folks who made this movie as a continuity bridge seemingly didn’t watch the series it was spun off from. Connor shows up to the wedding and tells Duncan that Kate is a pre-immortal, and that she can only become immortal if she dies a violent death. Ah, yes…the one piece of Highlander: The Raven that made it into the rest of the franchise – the part that ignores the fact that multiple immortals in the series didn’t die a violent death. Whatever; it’s established now and the film runs with it. And it runs with it right into the nearest brick wall, where I plan to spend the next few hours banging my head as hard as I can.

Duncan wants to spend his life with Kate, but she doesn’t know that she’s immortal. Knowing Duncan from the series, he’d probably carefully approach this subject and maybe even try to convince Kate that she doesn’t want to be immortal. But no; instead he waits until after he’s had sex with Kate and plunges a dagger into her heart. What the hell, hero?! No wonder Kate hates Duncan so much.

Or does she? Because right after it’s revealed that Kate hates Duncan for a very legitimate reason, she shows up in Duncan’s home and has sex with him. Then she says she still hates him. So, uh…what the fuck, lady? Were you just really horny? Because Donnie Yen is sitting around with nothing else to do right now, and Jing Ke is a lot better in bed than Duncan “I’ma gonna murder my wife on her wedding night for great justice” MacLeod.

In the next scene, Jacob Kell holds a dinner for his minions and then begins hacking all of their heads off for no reason. In the workprint of the film, it was because he wanted a big boost in power before taking on Duncan for the final battle. In the final version of the film, it makes no sense, because he’s eliminating one of his big advantages in that he now no longer has a gang of evil immortals to help him in a fight. Oh yeah, he also kills Kate. I guess now that she’s flashed her tits and ass for the screen, she’s useless.

Meanwhile, the worst scene in the movie takes place. Connor and Duncan fight. Why? Because the rules of the Game say that only one of them can take on Kell. Why are you guys still following the rules? Kell doesn’t – he made that clear when he had five guys whup on Duncan at once. It’s now well-established through this film that the rules are bunk anyway. There is no reason to follow them.

And why are these guys fighting anyway? No one wants to see that. Fans came into this movie because the trailer lied and showed extra scenes that had them fighting together against Kell. The only people who might have wanted to see this are the message board fanboys who go on endless versus debates about who would win in a fight between Connor and Duncan, and even they can’t be satisfied with this fight. The bland, emotionless dolt that is taking Connor’s place for this movie is making it clear that he’s basically committing suicide here, so he’s basically throwing the fight.

And to add even further to the mountain of problems in this scene, the entire thing has already been done before in the TV series. It’s how Methos was introduced to the show – because he wasn’t sure if Duncan could defeat Kalas alone, Methos offered Duncan his head to give him the boost he needed. If Duncan didn’t take the head of a guy who was at that point a total stranger in order to defeat a hated immortal who had killed several of Duncan’s closest friends, gotten his girlfriend suspended from the hospital she worked at, got Joe’s bar shut down under accusations of trafficking drugs, and forced Duncan to flee to Paris after his life in America got ruined, he’s not going to kill his clansman and mentor in order to take a shot at a guy he hasn’t even tested his steel against yet.

Despite the fact that there is no way in Heaven or Hell that Duncan would actually kill Connor…well, you can guess where this is going…

Ah gawd, I can hardly say it.

Connor forces Duncan to go into the super-duper fencing move he showed off in the flashback. That supposedly unblockable move that is fucking stupid. This move requires the attacker to have his own sword behind his neck and to traps his opponent’s blade between his sword and shoulder. Then he executes a maneuver that leaves him with a clean shot to the head. This is the stupidest goddamned move anyone could conceive of. It serve no purpose in fencing – you yield a point by letting your opponent touch his blade against your shoulder. It serves even less of a point in a life and death battle, because then you are standing right in front of your foe facing him with your sword behind you. Anyone with half a brain has a free hand to punch you or stab with a second blade, or they could just kick you in the groin.

And I’m wasting time talking about fencing moves because…

Oh damn it…

Duncan then kills Connor.

No!

Nooooo!

Again, I go back to my rant about Highlander: The Animated Series. Connor MacLeod is the reason this franchise even exists! Show the character some fucking respect! At least in the animated series Connor went down as a hero fighting the big bad. Here he dies like a chump. This scene basically happened so the producers could move forward with the Highlander franchise with Duncan as the main guy instead of Connor. That wasn’t necessary! Connor already got a nice sendoff in the pilot episode of the TV series, which this shitty movie has now established never happened. I HATE THIS MOVIE!!! HATEHATEHATEHATEHATEHATEHATEHATE!!! Aaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

Okay, let’s get this shit over with.

Highlander AND Dungeons & Dragons in the same year? Call my agent. Tell him he's fired.

Highlander AND Dungeons & Dragons in the same year? Call my agent. Tell him he's fired.

Duncan faces off against Kell in an abandoned factory that looks similar to the end scene of Highlander III. Except that we don’t get an entertaining Mario van Peebles and a bunch of goofy fun scenes here. We get stupid shit-eating son of monkey-licking bitch Jacob Kell. The fight enjoys blatantly defying the laws of physics in a way I could enjoy if I wasn’t so blinded with rage. To Kell’s credit, he blocks Duncan’s unblockable move by pulling a second blade. But he doesn’t kill Duncan because he’s a fucking moron. Sorry…his actual reason is that Duncan has inherited Connor’s “curse” of suffering forever. Then Duncan gets up, speaks with Connor’s voice for some fucking reason, and kills Kell. Lame, but whatever. We’re done here.

The theatrical release of the trailer ends with Duncan at Connor’s grave in front of a hideous blue screen effect that is supposed to convince us that the scene takes place in Scotland, where Connor is finally buried with his beloved Heather. THAT’S IT, FOLKS! HIGHLANDER IS OFFICIALLY DEAD AND BURIED!

The DVD release ends with a stupidly painful scene that reveals that Kell killed all of his gang except for Kate. Why? Who the fuck knows? Judging from the “last supper” scene, he chopped off Kate’s necklace and then Kate quickly ducked under the table when we got an over-the-shoulder shot from behind Kell that clearly showed that everyone was dead! This movie hates me, and I hate it right back!

Somewhere in Highlander: Endgame there was a good movie. Say a movie featuring Donnie Yen as Jing Ke, the ancient Chinese warrior who died trying to assassinate a corrupt emperor. Because he died due to his honor, he decided that honor was for chumps and spent thousands of years building up an army of evil immortals and becoming so powerful that he could bend reality itself. To finally defeat him, Connor and Duncan need to team up against Jing Ke and a whole gang of evil immortals. It could have been a look at honor and morality. It could have been a fun movie. But no one involved in this fucking film had the talent to pull it off. And the fuckers in marketing knew that, so they filmed a bunch of extra scenes to falsely lure fans into this terrible film and milk whatever money there was left in this franchise.

The good news is that Highlander: Endgame pretty much uses up all of my hate for the franchise. I mean, what could possibly make me angrier than having watched this film?

You called?

You called?

Oh, fuck.

Advertisements

One Response to “Highlander: Endgame, part three”

  1. Aleander Says:

    Great review. Love reading it, every time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: