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Highlander: Endgame

There should have been only one.

In 1986, a small film about immortal people beheading each other became a minor hit. The story of that movie was that all these immortals had to keep killing each other until there was only one immortal left alive and that immortal won the prize. So at the end of the first movie, Connor MacLeod beheaded the bad guy and won the prize. End of story.

And then they made more movies, even thought there weren't supposed to be any immortals left after the first movie.

Then they were aliens.

Then they weren't aliens, and you were told to forget that anyone had ever mentioned aliens.

Then there was a TV show.

And now, hopefully, we've come to the end of this once-amusing story. Highlander: Endgame does all it can to wrap everything up, explain it all to you, and close the book on all this darned beheading.

Connor MacLeod, who must be just pissed that he did all the work in the first movie and yet didn't win the prize, returns to behead people. Duncan MacLeod, the star of the TV show, also shows up to behead people. A really, really bad guy named Kell (I'm assuming Kenan had already been beheaded) wants to behead all the immortals Connor forgot to behead in the first three movies and win the prize, and Connor and Duncan have to stop him, with the fate of the world in the balance.

OK, truth is you could make fun of the plot holes in the entire Highlander franchise for weeks and only skim the surface. So what. This movie is about action. Do people slice other people up in ways that are cool?


Are there a lot of fights in many different time periods?


Is this reason enough to see this movie?


Forgetting everything you may or may not know about earlier Highlander films or episodes, this movie is hokey. Lots of cliché dialogue, lots of bad acting, stuff that everyone in the movie and everyone making the movie thinks is serious but everyone in the theater can't keep from laughing at. That kind of thing.

Your MacLeods are played by Christopher Lambert (who's been in all the movies) and Adrian Paul (who's been in all the TV episodes). Lambert scowls across the screen in incredible torment, supposedly because his character is sad he's beheaded so many people, but realistically I think it's because Christopher Lambert is sick to death of this stupid franchise. Paul is just pleased as punch to be in an actual honest-to-goodness movie instead of on the small screen, so he has twice as many facial expressions as Lambert (2 to 1).

But neither is half the actor Pee Wee Herman was, so all that's really left to do is watch the fighting.

There is a touching sub-plot where the love of Adrian Paul's life is bitter at him for having stabbed her to death a couple centuries ago and therefore having 'turned-on' her immortalness. But it's only touching for a brief moment, and afterwards, you're left wondering if the sub-plot was actually a part of this movie, or if you made it up as you were day-dreaming during one of the mind-numbingly dull expository scenes.

In the end, Highlander: Endgame is a straight-to-video movie that somehow got a theatrical release. If you'd picked it up at the rental store, you'd say "Cool! They made another Highlander flick!" But seeing it at the multiplex means you've pretty much wasted eight bucks.

I'm giving Highland: Endgame 1 1/2 Babylons. You're really much better off if you pretend that "There can be only one" and you assume that the original Highlander was the only piece of this mythos put on film.

Editor's Note:

Usually the SMC sees movies for free at the expense of the Brunching Shuttlecocks. However, I refused to allow the SMC to expense this hunk of junk and we ended up in a little brawl in my office. Reader, your suspicions are confirmed: the SMC fights like a girl.

Highlander: Endgame
Rated: R
Directed By: Douglas Aarniokoski
Starring: Christopher Lambert, Adrian Paul, Bruce Payne, Lisa Barbuscia, Ian Paul Cassidy, Donnie Yen and more severed heads than you can swing a broadsword at.

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