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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Highlander: Endgame
Highlander: Endgame
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // R
List Price: $24.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Chuck Arrington | posted March 12, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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HIGHLANDER ENDGAME

Synopsis:

Highlanders are Immortals. When mortal, they died a violent death only to be cursed/gifted with eternal life by some wave of a mystical hand. Connor Macloed (Christopher Lambert) has seen eternity in three previous films and Duncan Macleod has seen immortality on the smaller screen through syndication and a rabid fan base. Highlander Endgame begins ten years prior to the events that unfold within this film. In the present day and time, Connor and Duncan were to meet for dinner however; Connor's daughter was killed that day in an explosion at their (Connor's) residence. Grieving beyond solace and seeking the isolation and "peace" only available to immortals, Connor seeks out the "watchers" and becomes a willing member of "Sanctuary". Something of a sensory derprivation tank for immortals. While there we travel through Connor's memory stepping back several hundred years to a particularly gruesome event in the life of Connor Macleod that sets the stage for the whole of the events that may yet cost him his head. In the end, Connor and Duncan become locked in a battle to the death when they come against the strongest immortal that has ever been. In the end two will die for, as you know…there can be only one. The question is which immortal will remain and which will die?

Audio/Video:

The audio for Highlander: Endgame is a very active and loud DD 5.1 soundtrack. The directional and surround effects are pretty good and the LFE is very active as well. The dialogue however presents a persistent problem. There is so much action in the way of aural textures that the dialogue seems to be fighting to be heard. At times I had to crank my HT just to hear what was going on. This problem presented itself on more than one occasion. While the overall audio platform was great, the center channel was nowhere near as loud as it should have been in presenting the dialogue. TheDirector's Commentary track was full of the producer's visions in attempting to create a credible entry for the franchise as well as a film that a non-highlander fan could not only understand but enjoy as well. The Editor that chimed in on the final cut of the film provided a lot of information regarding the differences between the current final film and the 100-minute rough cut of the film that's found on Disc Two of the set. The track was rich with information and provided points of view not generally heard from in a Director's Commentary.

The Video is beautifully rendered. It's an almost artifact free widescreen transfer that really has some incredible visual treats. The blacks were deep and true and the colors were rich. Fleshtones looked a little pallid from time to time and a scratch or two can be found in the print. Other than that however, the transfer is pretty amazing.

Extras:

Dimension Films has devoted an entire disc solely to extras. On Disc One, the feature is contained as well as a Visual Effects feature entitled "A Historical Progression". Essentially, this forty-five minute feature identifies all of the special effects shots in the film and displays them in every stage of development. Additionally, a trailer gallery featuring eight (8) trailers for other Dimension Films as well as an interactive game entitled: There can be only one is included. It's a neat game but like the game demos on other discs (Planet of the Apes, James Bond, Alien Resurrection) the actual graphics fall short of the images presented. Disc Two features the real jewel of the disc in that it boasts the 100-minute rough cut of the film as it was presented to the bigwigs at Dimension Films for final approval. It has a lot of errors in it as well as a lack of color correction, which can at times render the print very dark. The special effects are not finished. As such they are not a part of the images or are supplemented with a screen identifying "VFX Shot". The audio is 2-Channel stereo with the LFE employed for various effects. Additionally, it fluctuates from widescreen to full frame and the film's counters are on top of the imagery and counting down the time/frames elapsed. There are a lot of differences in the two films in the way of angles, shots and effects, including the film's opening title sequence. It can be a little hard on the eyes to watch but it's definitely worth it to have the film in this rough version. Deleted Scenes are also included, they didn't really lend much to the film in the way of development or storyline and were better left as supplemental material as opposed to being integrated within the final film. A is included. Now generally featurettes are 15-30 minutes max. This one is whopping 55 minutes in length. It features cast interviews on the making of the film as well as the enduring Highlander mythology. It also features an interview with the film's director and Producer. I have to say though that this featurette should have been shorter simply because 20 minutes into it, they were already covering ground previously identified. The remaining 35-minutes were merely a re-stating if you will of all that had been said in the twenty-minutes prior.

Overall:

I watched the first Highlander film and thought it was a novel concept. I never saw any of the sequels or the TV series. Not out of a dislike, it just seemed that all that could have been done was done in the very first movie. Now, Highlander Endgame the "final" chapter in the immortal saga is full of some really intense fight sequences and carries a storyline that's decent enough to endure sitting through the film at least once. For fans of Highlander, it's probably already a part of your collection. For casual observers, rent it first. There's so much going on in the film that it can get very confusing for the uninitiated. Perhaps watching the three other entries in this series will answer the questions I have been left with. That having been said. First rate entry by Dimension Films and definitely a Collector's Edition entry!

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