Highlander: Endgame

on September 01, 2000 by Tim Cogshell
   The original "Highlander" quickly developed a cult following after its 1986 release: The combination of sword-wielding high adventure, intricate myth and the driving music of Queen was just too much for most teenage boys to withstand. Over the years, the series was tarnished by the release of two not-well-received sequels. However, the popularity of Highlander lore experienced a resurgence via the internationally popular "Highlander" television series starring Adrian Paul as Duncan MacLeod, cousin to Christopher Lambert's Connor MacLeod.

   Fortunately for the faithful, "Highlander: Endgame" completely and deliberately ignores the two sequels to the original film. "Endgame" bases its storyline on the original myth and the television series, though audiences needn't have seen either to understand this simple story of revenge and redemption. A powerful immortal named Jacob Kell (Bruce Payne) has sworn to plague the life of Connor MacLeod for a sin he believe Connor committed against him. Jacob has taken more heads than any other immortal (immortals can only die by being beheaded) and neither Connor nor Duncan alone can defeat him. There's not much more to it, though the film features an impressive combination of swordplay and martial arts, choreographed by the great Donnie Yen, who also appears as one of the immortals.

   "Highlander: Endgame" is truer to the original than the sequels, but it plays more like a television program than a theatrical release, which will matter little to the die-hard fans. After all, if "there can be only one" (the series' tagline/mantra), one doesn't have much of a choice. Starring Christopher Lambert, Adrian Paul, Bruce Payne, Ian Paul Cassidy, Adam Copelnad, Donnie Yen Jim Byrnes, Peter Wingfield and Lisa Barbuscia. Directed by Douglas Aarniokoski. Written by Joel Soisson. Produced by Peter Davis and William N. Panzer. A Dimension release. Rated R for violence and some strong sexuality. Running time: 87 min

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