“There can be only one. And it isn’t you. Call ya.” — Duncan MacLeod, to Jacob Kell
So, on this Endgame themed page, we have 2 reviews by myself, some film trivia, articles from other sources, and yeah, just keep scrolling. It’ll be worth it!
Reviews by Rain, Theatrical Cut
1st Review — Friday, September 1, 2000 — I’m writing this review of Endgame before I read my email. Before I visit the forum and before my bf goes on and on about how disappointed he is in this movie. Yes, he deems no Highlander but THE ORIGINAL worthy. But he embraced The Series fully. Go figure.
Anyway, on with the review. First things first. This movie has in no way greatly affected my life in ANY sort of way. I looked upon it as a sequel to The Series, seeing as how Duncan, Joe, and Methos were “featured” characters. The myriad of flashbacks helped, seeing as the former 3 movies used flashbacks sparingly. In The Series we spent lots of time in the past, often in several different time periods per episode. The misplaced humor between Connor and Duncan echoed: Series, both when meeting Kate in Ireland and sparring with Edge, and then in Italy wearing the frills and in the company of that crazy clapping man in the background.
Kell as a villain was over the top. But as he should be. He definitely was a The Series bad guy. He talked too much; he was a pretty boy. Movie K’Immies are traditionally scary-looking and more violent than eloquent with speech. Kell reminded me of Kalas from the end of the 3rd season story arc.
Now, on to the Watchers. I think I preferred Horton’s gang to THESE guys. The Sanctuary? Oh Please! I believe Connor would volunteer, I do not believe the Watcher Organization could get away with doing that sort of stuff: drugging Immortals and keeping them hooked up to crazy medieval looking machines so that there may always be at least two. And good old Methos knows about this place and still wanted to join their ranks? To respect them and admire their sense of purpose, their dedication to history, to quote the Methuselah’s Gift episode?
The Watchers fucked Joe Dawson in Judgement Day for interfering in Duncan’s life. But all along, there were Watchers keeping Immortals “prisoner” and interfering with the Game they have taken an “oath” to simply observe and record? No. No way. No way can many Watchers know about this practice and sleep at night. Now people learning about the Watchers Organization for the first time think they are ALL bad. GREAT! Joe Dawson had the right idea breaking Duncan out. I hope he left the Watchers. I haven’t actually seen the final 2 episodes of the 6th season of The Series, so he may have. But then that wouldn’t explain how he knew Duncan had been taken.
It seems Joe and Methos are still best friends. Someone inside had to be talking to Methos so that he would know what to tell Duncan when Duncan came to his palacial estate for advice. I like the idea of Methos driving the getaway car. He looks so great in his gray turtleneck and black coat. Much better than that first scene with the pink silk. For a second I thought maybe Byron was back and he was “sleeping over” at Methos’ house. And Methos needed to be wittier, not calmly pouring tea. Or was it brandy? Neither Methos nor Duncan ever took a sip of anything. I thought Methos’ writers from The Series were working on this Endgame story. I guess I was wrong.
But DAMN the chemistry in the graveyard! The three of them really did pick up where they left off two years ago. Methos almost found some actual flippant wisdom. Back at “the palace” he was only being full of historical cliches. But what do I know? I was staring intently at the beautiful pores of Peter’s cheeks. Staring into his dark, dark hazel eyes. And admiring the little mole beside his right eye. And dreamy mist in the graveyard. Celestial Peter. I’ll wear my DVD out when I buy it. I hope it is a widescreen first release. The first 3 movies on VHS were I think. While I’m still drooling over the ROG, I’ll add that I enjoyed Peter’s name being in the exact middle of the opening credits. 7th. Right after Jim Byrnes (who had less screen time than Peter).
Okay. Kate. Faith. The love interest. I had psyched myself up in preparing for Endgame to hate Faith. Duncan was never supposed to be married. And she was Kell’s woman now anyway. But, damn it if I didn’t end up liking her and mourning her death. She was cold and mean, but I don’t believe she hated Duncan as much as she thought she could. As soon as she laid eyes on him, she fell right back in love with him. That’s what I think anyway. And we know Duncan. He never stopped loving her either. What I don’t like is the modern day love scene between Duncan and Faith. The flashbacks interspersed were a nice touch and so was the Adrian Paul ass shot, but I really have a horrible time believing Duncan would sleep with the bitch who just broke into his hotel room. He should have kept his katana in his hand and forced her to leave. Which reminds me. When he murdered mortal Kate in 1715 Ireland, why exactly did he let her run away? Everything would have worked itself out a long time ago. No revenge. No redemption. Kate would have calmed down eventually and been happy about living with Duncan “forever”. But I guess we wouldn’t have the nice parallel between Connor and Duncan both killing people and then being haunted by them in modern New York.
Connor. I’m not going to lose any sleep over his death. Sure, I cried during the rooftop quickening, but for Duncan’s tough time, not his “brother”’s death. That scene there is the one that reminds me again of the Kalas storyline from the series. It’s just more extreme. The bad guy kills loved ones of a MacLeod trying to torture him. Then Duncan is supposed to kill a fellow good guy to be able to defeat the K’Immie. Methos tried to make Duncan kill him so he could defeat Kalas. Connor tried to make Duncan kill HIM to so he could defeat Kell. But in The Series, Duncan couldn’t kill an acquaintance. In this movie, Duncan does kill his “brother”. At least this Endgame movie managed a better scene for the action and sword fight. A very long fight between the equal MacLeod opponents (despite Duncan’s obvious up-a-notch training recently and Connor’s 10 years growing his hair and beard out in the Sanctuary). The “move” applied beautifully and believably actually tricking some in the theater into believing Duncan is the one about to die. Yeah, right. As if? But then again that’s what my bf thought about Connor’s death. As if. But ya know what? At least now Highlander 2 doesn’t exist. Where Connor is still alive in 2015 or whenever.
The scene in the cemetery between Duncan and Connor when Duncan asks his kinsman, “Is what he said true? Did you do those things?” Definite On Purpose déjà vu to TS: Comes a Horseman Jimmy scene between Duncan and Methos. Forgiveness is always possible, given enough time. DID Connor teach Duncan that?
One more thing. Duncan is now Ben Kenobi? He feels a “disturbance in The Force”? Why are we led to believe that the meditation Duncan is martial-art-ing through is broken when Kell kills the Sanctuary Immortals? And Duncan feels it again when Faith/Kate dies. Never before were we supposed to think there is a Force underlying everything, joining all the Immies together. Only the final force that brings them together for “the Gathering” (which already happened in HL1). I didn’t like it. And Luke Skywalker wants his royalties for the similarity. Even if that is the reason Duncan sought out Methos.
I think I interspersed my complaints with my praise. I really do have a great respect for Part 4 of the Highlander Movie Legacy. I didn’t know all the nitpicking would be coming out of my fingers onto the keyboard. I did love this movie. Not only for my two favorite scenes (Oh, come on guess which ones! You’re not stupid.). I suspect I’ll be seeing this film again on the big screen. Depends on if it opens in my small local theater or not I guess. Can you believe I’ve only seen two other movies more than once on the big screen? I think the first was Batman. The second was Aladdin. Not my choice either.
So, 3 out of 5 stars. I do not recommend it for people who didn’t watch The Series. It would make as much sense to them as Highlander 2: The Quickening did. But since I love Duncan and not Connor... Go see it again. What are you waiting for? The DVD box set? Download the pirated .asf from the internet! j/k Don’t do that!
Now for some stuff added after reading The Forum and my emails:
Are we ever told that Joe Dawson is a Watcher? I don’t think so. We are just so relieved SOMEONE rescues Duncan from the Sanctuary.
Kills equal power of quantity, not quality? Why would only killing Connor make any difference then? Shouldn’t 5000 year old Methos kill Kell then? Surely Methos has killed more than Connor and Duncan combined. But Methos was just a pretty face in the movie, and not a contender. Sigh.
There was no development of the bad guys’ characters. No names besides Faith and Jin. And why were they all following Kell around anyway? He was an empty shell filled only with revenge and hate. Not a leader or a god figure. Also, why would 3 evil Immies just sit there and let themselves be beheaded at the dinner table?
2nd Review — I saw Endgame again last Saturday, September 16, week 3 in theatres. My second showing.
Kell seemed less “over the top” this time. The sex scene was thankfully shorter, but Adrian’s butt was still there. Whoo hoo.
The whole movie just flew by faster. Because I knew everything that was going to happen this time, of course. I just got to pay more detailed attention to the craziness everyone has been mentioning for two weeks. Thanks for the ideas for what to notice, everyone!
And there really needs to be a meaningful scene between the two fights. People have mentioned this before, and I agree strongly. There is absolutely no time to mourn Connor before he is “avenged”.
I heard Kell playing “Bonny Portmore” on his harmonica. Sacrilege, that’s what that is.
I noticed “THE MOVE” and how it is executed. The sword one that Connor shows Duncan in Italy then uses to make Duncan kill him on the rooftop. Duncan then tries it on Kell, but Kell uses another blade on his wrist to stop Duncan’s swing. Reminds me of “HL:TS Chivalry” when a sword move is repeated throughout different fights on purpose. When Methos and Duncan spar in the dojo, MacLeod teaches Methos a thingamajig. Then Methos goes on to kill Kristin with that move.
In Connor’s “right before the quickening goes to Duncan” scene, ya know where we see his life sorta, We only see scenes from Highlander 1 and 4. And I actually caught a flash of the cut scene from 4 where Duncan and Connor are on the NY street buying the hotdog!
I think Endgame ended rather abruptly. I’m not alone. Man that backdrop behind Duncan is TERRIBLE. He has to stop walking away from us in the theatre cuz Adrian would have run into the green wall on the set!
Methos has no expression most of the time. I hate that. He just isn’t METHOS that way. But he does keep smiling so we know he knows a lot more than he eventually reveals to Duncan. So I caught that he talked to Connor ten years ago. So he knew at least THAT long about the Sanctuary. He was already a Watcher, and didn’t resign. Hmmm. He must have thought it was a good thing to have. That reminds me of when Methos told Duncan he even had a few entries on him (Duncan) in his journal. And I thought it was Duncan MacLeod who knew everyone!
And Joe knew SHIT! Clueless, completely clueless. I’ll bet he really believed Connor died in the slaughter. Methos was definitely in charge of the whole rescue of Duncan from the Watchers. As more obviously revealed in the workprint though with M’s comment about getting D’s sword back.
Methos can talk to Duncan about the Sanctuary and everything like he is very unaffected by it all. He doesn’t give a damn about any of it really. He’ll stay in his cute little palace. HIS brother is not in trouble. HIS brothers are already dead. Methos. Calm, safe, and in charge.
He must really feel safe in his old immortality. He lives in a huge house in central London, rents an expensive car to drive to Connecticut (after first class on the Concord, probably!). Walks right out onto his porch to meet Duncan in London. He must have been expecting Duncan in particular. But although I don’t remember their greetings to each other, I feel like Methos is still surprised that MacLeod is there. Not surprised that Dunkie needs help, just surprised he is at the palace at that moment. Although the tray with brandy appears magically for both Immies to end up ignoring. I wonder if Methos came outside to meet Duncan because Methos had someone inside the house already. Did he have a guest or WAS METHOS THE GUEST AT THE HOUSE? Someone tell me, does Methos SAY it is HIS house? I’ve been informed/reminded Methos says, “my humble aboad”, So I’ll assume from now on it IS his palace, whether he buys or rents.
Back to Methos being un-characteristically un-paranoid. Ties in somehow with his killing more than every other Immortal combined probably. I’m not sure how yet. I thought he wouldn’t want to be found, so he wouldn’t have to be convinced that HE was the one who had to kill Kell. If Watcher Databases of confirmed kills matter so damned much.
As it now says on my Strange Observations page, Methos drives a black Mercedes in Endgame. It must be great not playing a broke Watcher anymore. Live where you want, drive what you want, wear what you want. I guess. And yes, the shirt is PINK. Keep calling it mauve if you want to, but it is not mauve.
What was the exact Methos line at the end of his scene in the cemetery? He speaks to Duncan, says something that ends with “Things coming to a bad end?” It’s a question but more like making sure Duncan knows Methos’ opinion of everything going on.
Methos does NOT use a sword in the movie. At least on screen... He hands Mac a sword with certain context implying Methos had used it enough to get it back and keep it for Mac.
Methos IS involved in a car chase with Duncan and Joe
Originally released on September 1, 2000, Highlander: Endgame made $6.22 million opening weekend (4 days). It was up to $12.8 million as of December 2000 according to Box Office Report. It finished at $15.8 million worldwide.
The movie’s budget was $25 million.
This is the directorial debut of Douglas Aarniokoski who is of Finnish descent.
Filming took place between 22 October 1999 — 7 March 2000. The producers had wanted to shoot the film in Vancouver, like the series. The studio chose Romania because filming was cheaper there. Scotland and London also as filming locations.
There were three distinct trailer edits. And many of the scenes were not included in the film.
Some of the magazines that carried significant illustrated stories about the film: Karate International; Cinescape; Impact; Xpose #48; Starlog 2000 #279; Hollywood Reporter; SFX; Dreamwatch #74; Starbusrt #266.
Other titles at various stages of production included “Highlander: World Without End”, “Highlander IV: The Immortals”; and “Highlander: The Search for Connor”.
First DVD release — February 20, 2001.
There are at least three different cuts of the film to watch, including the Theatrical (87 min), Producers (101 min), and Workprint (100 min).
More About Highlander 4: Endgame
- A Finn called “Graduated Cylinder” Reviews Endgame as part of his “Shameless Pile Of Stuff” blog
- “Princes of the Universe” by Grant Kempster, Xposé issue #48, August 2000 (Excerpt with quotes from Peter Wingfield and Jim Byrnes)
- “Byrnes, Baby, Byrnes” by Abbie Bernstein, Eon Magazine, September 21, 2000 An interview with Jim Byrnes (touches on HL:TS, Endgame, and the book An Evening At Joe’s)
- Endgame Production Notes provided to Yahoo! Movies by Dimension Films
- ScreenIt.com Endgame Summary Review | Parental Review w/ Sex and Gore Score
- “The Methos Mystique” (including an interview with Peter Wingfield by the editor of Highlander Fan Central) mostly about The Series, Endgame, Queen Of Swords
- Peter Wingfield In Print and Online includes an Endgame section
- Endgame page at Highlander Wiki