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What's Wrong With Endgame?

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  • #26
    Originally posted by Aleander View Post
    And that's Kell, too. His motivation is barely a credible one. Connor killed his father? Yeah, right, after he baited him to come back and burn HIM and HIS MOTHER to the cross. Especially the poor old woman, who's a proud Scotswoman that would never deny her son and they knew it. Its his father's fault from bringing Connor back in the first place, especially if they knew he could SURVIVE DYING! That's like inviting Godzilla to dinner - you will be eaten, no matter what!

    And its not that the motivation is flimsy, at best, its also that its a shaken and ludicrous foundation to making him a bad-ass Immortal that doesn't need to fight, but can when wants to. He effortlessly takes out a roughed up Connor, which is what Kurgan and Kane have done, too. He's literally one of the same.
    But that's still more to him than with Kurgan, Kane, Katana, or Guardian. He is a conflicted former priest with no interest in the Game or the rules, amassing a posse of other Immortals to little by little make Connor's life miserable while taking on little pet projects like Kate/Faith, yet still being able to command the loyalty of guys like Jin Ke. He's generally calm and collected, and a bit methodical in his planning. His fighting is more tactical than "RAHHHHGHHH!!! SMASH!!" like Kurgan, Kane, or Katana. Somehow, he figured out about the Watchers.

    All of that alone puts him way above those guys. Now, I'm not saying this makes him a BETTER character than Kurgan or the others, just a much more developed, multi-dimensional one.

    But thats the point of it. Its not supposed to be a triumphant movie.
    Nor is it supposed to depress audiences as some kind of art thing. They want people to actually go and see it.

    Agreed. The show took a definitive stance on it, but the first film (and arguably the second) was purposefully vague about it, hinting at respectful tradition. But to quote Jer, how many Immortals can actually be respectful to that rule, out of novice? History is literally filled with endless tales of religious non-compliance and intolerance. If Immortals are part of the world, why would they respect the no-fighting-on-Holy-Ground, IF it wasn't an instinctive one?
    Because it's ingrained that well in them, even the really rotten ones. It works better when there's significantly less Immortals (ala H1 without the series) and less so with the world of the series where there's thousands, but it's one of the things I like most about Highlander that even they will respect it.

    Originally posted by Wilusa View Post
    I don't know how to use Quote, so I'm using copy-and-paste!
    You just tap the Quote icon of the post you want to quote.

    I don't understand what you mean. What I meant is that the most sensible explanation of what we saw is that there never were any consequences for killing on holy ground; but neither the Watchers nor any living Immortals (even Methos) had known that. So Immortals wouldn't have gone into a Sanctuary unless it was on holy ground - Watchers wouldn't have dreamed of asking them to - and fans seeing this film wouldn't accept the idea either!

    Obviously, nothing startling happened when Kell took heads on holy ground. In reality, the writers hadn't given the issue enough thought. The way they could have gotten around it was by establishing that the Watchers, shocked by what they'd just learned, would subsequently try to keep more Immortals from learning the truth.
    Maybe so, though that would seem a needless tangent in the movie.
    Highlander: Dark Places

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    • #27
      Originally posted by Andrew NDB View Post
      But that's still more to him than with Kurgan, Kane, Katana, or Guardian.
      Barely. At least Katana didn't want his rule to end, and wanted to secure his position as tyrant of Not Zeist forever.

      He is a conflicted former priest with no interest in the Game or the rules, amassing a posse of other Immortals to little by little make Connor's life miserable while taking on little pet projects like Kate/Faith, yet still being able to command the loyalty of guys like Jin Ke.
      He's not conflicted at all. He's pure, cheesy evil who spouts lame one-liners endlessly.

      He's generally calm and collected, and a bit methodical in his planning.
      I'm fairly sure Kurgan was calm and collected. The whole point of him kidnapping Brenda was that the Prize was so close and within his grasp, he lost composure and wanted to be over with it sooner rather than later. Hell, even Rachel says this.

      His fighting is more tactical than "RAHHHHGHHH!!! SMASH!!" like Kurgan, Kane, or Katana. Somehow, he figured out about the Watchers.
      The film is incredibly vague about him knowing about the Watchers. And while its not an invalid argument to say that he did, it also doesn't actually empower him as a character. I mean, a gypsy found out about them, so what?

      And the fighting is also irrelevant. Aside from the fact that his fight scene with Connor is nigh unwatchable because of the constant one-liners spouting. Unbearable.

      All of that alone puts him way above those guys.
      In what way? He's a guy who used to be a Priest, who's now a loony with a gang. Sounds like a K'Immie with a touch of Kane (who also killed his follower).

      Now, I'm not saying this makes him a BETTER character than Kurgan or the others, just a much more developed, multi-dimensional one.
      Just because he has more character attributes, does not make him a multi-dimenstional character. He's literally a cartoon villain who chews the scenery endlessly. EXACTLY like all the others.

      Because it's ingrained that well in them, even the really rotten ones. It works better when there's significantly less Immortals (ala H1 without the series) and less so with the world of the series where there's thousands, but it's one of the things I like most about Highlander that even they will respect it.
      Realistically, all it takes is one bad egg. I will concede that it makes sense for it to be a tradition-only in a HL1-only reality, but for the show? You gotta have the supernatural. And is this even an argument after Ahriman AND the Abbott AND THE FUCKING Guardian?

      Comment


      • #28
        To make my position clearer: In the film as released to theaters, Methos said the Sanctuary was on holy ground. Not surprising, considering how it was described. But then viewers saw Kell take heads in that Sanctuary, with nothing "bad" happening! I'm sure there were fan protests. There'd never been any ambiguity about holy ground - it was just about the only thing on which all Immortals supposedly agreed.

        The producers' response: "Oh - in a new cut of the film, we'll just take out Methos's saying it was holy ground, and assume it wasn't!" But that wasn't a satisfactory response to the problem they'd created, because its not having been holy ground wasn't believable.

        Also, about the Producers' Cut's new opening scene: I remember Christopher Lambert's having said - despite the film's having been released in 2000 - that he thought its "present" should be 2002. Obviously, to preserve continuity with HL:TS: Connor had supposedly been in the Sanctuary for ten years, but we'd seen him with Duncan in the fall of 1992. But if we assume Season 1 of HL:TS unfolded in something at least close to real time, Duncan didn't relocate to Paris until about February of 1993!

        If we assume Duncan's having been in Paris, Connor's having asked him to come to meet him in New York - and then having brushed him off as cavalierly as he did - didn't make sense. If he wanted to keep Duncan safe from his unknown enemy, he shoudn't have asked him to come to New York at all! And if for some reason he'd decided to enlist Duncan's help - the only motive I can think of for having asked him to come - he should have done that immediately.

        It's only in the Rough Cut that we see what Connor was doing, after he "shook" Duncan: delivering a Christmas tree, anonymously, to an orphanage. Pointless. And probably dropped because the seasonal references were confusing. We saw somehing like a Christmas decoration atop, maybe, one building. But otherwise, it just looked like autumn.

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        • #29
          Originally posted by Wilusa View Post
          Also, about the Producers' Cut's new opening scene: I remember Christopher Lambert's having said - despite the film's having been released in 2000 - that he thought its "present" should be 2002. Obviously, to preserve continuity with HL:TS: Connor had supposedly been in the Sanctuary for ten years, but we'd seen him with Duncan in the fall of 1992. But if we assume Season 1 of HL:TS unfolded in something at least close to real time, Duncan didn't relocate to Paris until about February of 1993!
          See this thread: http://www.highlander-community.com/...-2004-weigh-in

          It's definitely December, 1994.

          It's only in the Rough Cut that we see what Connor was doing, after he "shook" Duncan: delivering a Christmas tree, anonymously, to an orphanage. Pointless. And probably dropped because the seasonal references were confusing. We saw somehing like a Christmas decoration atop, maybe, one building. But otherwise, it just looked like autumn.
          There's also the business about it very, very obviously being a stunt double for Lambert that's doing the tree delivering. I like the idea of it (especially the payoff at the end, Duncan continuing the tree dropoffs... you know... Connor is still in there, somewhere), but the way they actually did it comes off a little dodgy.
          Highlander: Dark Places

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          • #30
            I told a friend of mine that I was so pleased that the HL site was back, and she looked puzzled and replied, "But after all this time, you can't possibly have anything more about Highlander to discuss, can you?"
            “A sinner can always repent, but stupid is forever.”
            Billy Sunday

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            • #31
              Its relative. For Andrew and myself, I think I can safely say, its about talking about HL in some place, without reservation or holding back. Its comfort.

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              • #32
                Originally posted by Coolwater View Post
                I told a friend of mine that I was so pleased that the HL site was back, and she looked puzzled and replied, "But after all this time, you can't possibly have anything more about Highlander to discuss, can you?"
                *giggle* Oh, don't we always have something new. And something old! New ways to argue, thoughts that have occurred over the years, and viewpoints that have changed...

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                • #33
                  There certainly are inconsistencies among the original film, the HL:TS pilot, and Endgame. Here's how I've tried to reconcile them.

                  In, say, the early Eighties, the two people Connor cared most about were Duncan (his first long-go student!) and his mortal adoptive daughter, Rachel. But to protect them from his mysterious Enemy, he kept his distance from Duncan, and didn't let either of them know about the other's existence.

                  By the time he killed the Kurgan (and thought he'd become the last surviving Immortal), he assumed the Kurgan had been his Enemy - and that Duncan must have been killed, somehow. If only because he hadn't been psychically drawn to New York for the supposed "Gathering."

                  Still in 1985, he learned both that he wasn't the last Immortal, and that Duncan was alive. But that meant his Enemy might still be alive, too! And before he could make contact with Duncan, his new wife Brenda was murdered. Proving the Enemy was still targeting his loved ones.

                  In the HL:TS pilot, Connor was probably hunting Slan Quince because he thought he might be the Enemy. (In the "over-the-top villain" category, he was no worse than the Kurgan!) And because he didn't want Duncan to be drawn into that, he never told Duncan he'd recently been married and widowed. (Duncan's not knowing about that is the only way to explain their joking about women.)

                  Later, Connor concluded Slan Qunce hadn't been the Enemy. Maybe because he hadn't been a good enough swordsman to have survived for that many centuries, when he could often have been caught in situations where he couldn't rely on "dirty tricks."

                  As I see it, Duncan went to New York in the fall of 1992 for his own, mundane, reasons - and casually "dropped in on" Connor. He was surprised when Connor didn't seem glad to see him. It was only then that he met Rachel - and learned about Connor's ill-fated marriage to Brenda.

                  So he was in New York at the time the Enemy killed Rachel - but not for the ridiculous reason that Connor had asked him to come from Paris! Connor would have wanted to keep him at a distance. That was what he always had wanted, and there was no reason why he would have changed his mind.

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                  • #34
                    Just read elsewhere that the film's "present" shows the World Trade Center still standing. I'd never noticed! It was suggested that the time periods involved should be not 1992 and 2002, but 1990 and 2000, with no attempt to reconcile Endgame with anything else. I'm still going with 1992 and 2002. I think reconciling the different elements in the franchise is more important than "externals." (And I also think Endgame takes place in the fall - in both 1992 and 2002 - as the scenery suggests, despite a few early Christmas decorations!)

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                    • #35
                      Well, this is also a reality in which it snowed at Waterloo (*GRIN* I loved that part of your story, Wilusa.), so it may also be a reality where the Towers went down later. Or not at all.

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                      • #36
                        I posted this in the topic dealing with dating of Endgame...

                        I advocate considering the years in question to be 1992 and 2002. Re using 1990 and 2000 because something in the "Present Day" showed the World Trade Center intact:

                        I rewatched the Producers' Cut yesterday, and the only place I'm sure I saw it was in the shot identifying the "Present Day." (It had also been in the identifying shot for "Ten Years Ago," but that of course poses no problem.) I'm not sure whether one street-at-night shot included the WTC or other tall buildings. And I don't think I saw it in the night-ttime sequence where Duncan took Connor's head - if it was in the background, probably no one else would have seen it either.

                        I certainly don't think that's any reason for using the years 1990 and 2000! We all have scenes we don't like, and would delete or change if we could. (With me, it's been the entire first scene in the Producers' Cut... the entire last scene...and the omission of Methos's original statement that the Sanctuary was on holy ground.) Now I'd also say that "Present Day" identifying shot should be cut, and some other scene be used with a simple voiceover for "Present Day." And to make the identifiers match, the same should be done with "Ten Years Ago."

                        To make "1990 and 2000" work, we'd have to ignore the all-important pilot episode of HL:TS. We could only justiy that by considering HL:TS and Endgame as taking place in totally different universes. And then, we'd have a situation where the film wouldn't explain who Joe and Methos are, let alone how Duncan knows them! The very existence of the Watchers would be unexplained.

                        Here, I'll say more.

                        I think the whoe concern about "Christmas" should be dropped. All we see that would suggest it is a lighted tree on the roof of some obviously commercial building. And some retailers begin decoratng as early as October! one more thing we hear: Joe's sarcastically saying "Merry Christmas" after killing Matthew Hale. That line of, er, MONOlogue could easily be cut. (And Connor's "Christmas tree for the orphans" was only in thr Rough Cut.) I place the action, in both time periods, in October, because that's what it looks like.

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                        • #37
                          Honestly, setting such a depressing story in Christmas was a stupid mistake. And it had no relevance - why Christmas? What did it add, other than an explanation for their breaths showing during dialogue? The film doesn't feel remotely as if set in that period, beyond some lame decoration lying around.

                          But hey, that's just one more thing that's wrong with this thing, so bring it on.

                          Comment


                          • #38
                            Originally posted by Wilusa View Post
                            To make "1990 and 2000" work, we'd have to ignore the all-important pilot episode of HL:TS. We could only justiy that by considering HL:TS and Endgame as taking place in totally different universes.
                            Not totally different universes. Slightly different universes. Maybe Duncan would have killed Slan the Cat of the Clan the Cat in their first encounter if Cameo MacLeod hadn't shown up. No need to reestablish the in-universe rules for a universe that's barely distinct from the one we know.

                            I place the action, in both time periods, in October, because that's what it looks like.
                            It doesn't look like October. It looks like Romania.
                            __________________________________________________

                            "Really? We are trapped in a room with a machine that can cut off my head. Now that's a longshot."
                            --Connor MacLeod in Peter Bellwood's original Highlander II script

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                            • #39
                              This isn't exactly something "wrong," but it's an oddity I - for some reason - never thought of till yesterday. In the original version of the film - the one released to theaters (and the one I choose to think of as canon) - the Sanctuary is said to be on holy ground. Kell's taking all those heads, with no shocking consequences, proves the holy ground beliefs were a myth. A very understandable myth, invented so long ago that even Methos presumably heard it from others before he could learn from experience that nothing out of the ordinary would happen.

                              When Connor is about to fight Kell in Endgame, Duncan - instinctively? - reminds him that he's on holy ground, and he carefully steps away from it. Even though, by then, all of them know holy ground wouldn't cause a problem!

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                              • Tootsie Bee
                                Tootsie Bee commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Connor had a line there originally where he rejected the rules, but it was cut. You can see it on Disc 2 of the DVD release.

                            • #40
                              Originally posted by Wilusa View Post
                              This isn't exactly something "wrong," but it's an oddity I - for some reason - never thought of till yesterday. In the original version of the film - the one released to theaters (and the one I choose to think of as canon) - the Sanctuary is said to be on holy ground. Kell's taking all those heads, with no shocking consequences, proves the holy ground beliefs were a myth. A very understandable myth, invented so long ago that even Methos presumably heard it from others before he could learn from experience that nothing out of the ordinary would happen.

                              When Connor is about to fight Kell in Endgame, Duncan - instinctively? - reminds him that he's on holy ground, and he carefully steps away from it. Even though, by then, all of them know holy ground wouldn't cause a problem!
                              It's an inconsistency in the U.S. Theatrical Cut, but whatever comes out later supersedes any previous version. The whole "Holy Ground"-bit in the Sanctuary was a screenwriting gaffe on Joel Soisson's part, and the producers subsequently fixed it for the DVD cut. As such, the Holy Ground-error now never actually "happened" in the official continuity.

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                              • #41
                                Well, yeah, but it doesn't make a lick of sense. Why the hell would they build this place on anything but Holy Ground?

                                You know, its just mind boggling that this film even got made, considering this mountain of nonsense.

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                                • #42
                                  It only looked like holy ground, Al. It must have been designed with some input by Kalas.
                                  __________________________________________________

                                  "Really? We are trapped in a room with a machine that can cut off my head. Now that's a longshot."
                                  --Connor MacLeod in Peter Bellwood's original Highlander II script

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                                  • #43
                                    I have a theory... I think nothing happened when Kell took those Quickenings on Holy Ground because... THERE WAS NO BATTLE. This is the simplest way to reconcile it without saying that there really IS no consequence, or the foolish answer of retconning it that this was not on Holy Ground. No fight. No challenge. Just swick heads are taken. Might even be considered a mercy killing.

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                                    • #44
                                      I hate almost everything about this movie. I think it's worse then Highlander 2, but not as horrible as the Source.

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                                      • #45
                                        One other issue I have with the film: Kate has a very good reason to hate Duncan, but she still sleeps with him and eventually gets back together with him. Kell has an almost nonsensical reason to hate Connor ("You killed a man who was responsible for your mother's death when he walked up behind you and surprised you during a chaotic fight!"), but he still manages to dedicate his entire life to building up an absurd head count and knocking off Connor's loved ones. Granted, he might have still slept with Connor if the elder MacLeod was up for it (based on that, ahem, interesting line choice, "What's wrong? Don't you want to be inside me?"), but he clearly wasn't up for reconciliation even though Connor's actions were easily more forgivable than Duncan's.
                                        __________________________________________________

                                        "Really? We are trapped in a room with a machine that can cut off my head. Now that's a longshot."
                                        --Connor MacLeod in Peter Bellwood's original Highlander II script

                                        Comment


                                        • #46
                                          That's when the film fails, for me. If the villain doesn't have an appropriate, lengthy reason to be a villain, if his villainy isn't conveyed with some depth, then what's the point?

                                          Comment


                                          • #47
                                            And it's not like in Highlander II, where everyone but the villain is aware that his plan is stupid. If Cracker Bob had smarted off to Kell about his "quest for justice," or if Connor had laughed in his face over the absurdity of his obsession, then maybe I could let it fly. Instead, we have Connor and Duncan both acting as if Kell has a point. We have a whole posse willing to support him in his mission. It's ridiculous.
                                            Last edited by Tootsie Bee; 07-06-2017, 10:06 PM.
                                            __________________________________________________

                                            "Really? We are trapped in a room with a machine that can cut off my head. Now that's a longshot."
                                            --Connor MacLeod in Peter Bellwood's original Highlander II script

                                            Comment


                                            • #48
                                              If Kell had been portrayed as someone who was hurt by Connor, who also still considered him his friend in a twisted way (as a fanfic once posited as a nice alternative), and if Connor had actually been written anything at all like his previous self, then there MIGHT've been a point. But as it is, you have the cemetery scene where half the stuff Kell spouts about is nonsense and oblique sexual jokes and the other is character supposition that totally doesn't stand up to scrutiny!

                                              And part of the reason why Kate should've stayed dead in the film (other than the obvious fact that she was never going to be picked up for any reason in any of the sequels) is because it would've added to Duncan's sense of tragedy, but also because utlimately, the film's best single line of dialogue (life brings hope and pain) would've applied, as it always did. But nevermind that, we have to have the happy ending, despite being totally unearned and incredibly idiotic, too.

                                              Comment


                                              • #49
                                                Another gripe I have: Duncan MacLeod is in super-hypocrite mode during the graveyard scene.

                                                In "The Gathering," which, as you may remember, featured both MacLeods together in the past and the present, Duncan goes to holy ground in order to escape the Game after a tragic loss. In fact, he does it TWICE in the same episode, and the only reason he doesn't stay the second time is because Connor brings Tessa to him. Halfway through the series run, in Season 3, we discover that Duncan spent some time on holy ground with other immortals until Kalas spoiled it for him, and he continues to be Brother Paul's friend for centuries even though Paul deems it acceptable to live in a monastery away from the Game (as he did with Darius in Season 1, for that matter). Later on, in Season 6, i.e. the last episodes to precede Endgame, Duncan temporarily abandons the Game and stores away his sword. Sure, he does end up taking it out again, but the point still stands: Duncan quits the Game all the time. Duncan holes up on holy ground all the time. Duncan approves of people who find sanctuary from the Game on holy ground all the time.

                                                So why oh why does he scold Connor for running away from his life?! What is it about the Watchers' Sanctuary that's so beyond the pale for Duncan? Is he still fuming over the events of "Judgment Day" / "One Minute to Midnight" and thus taking out his frustration on Connor for cooperating with the Watchers? Did he somehow forget about all the times he did essentially the same thing? What's the deal, Duncan?
                                                __________________________________________________

                                                "Really? We are trapped in a room with a machine that can cut off my head. Now that's a longshot."
                                                --Connor MacLeod in Peter Bellwood's original Highlander II script

                                                Comment


                                                • #50
                                                  It all comes down to the simple fact that Connor's written like Duncan was, complete with an ehtical crisis that seems, if not uncharacteristic, then probably largely unexplained (and it is, which is one of MY biggest gripes).

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