Sunday, 17 August 2014

Highlander: Endgame

[Post #18 of the Blaugust Challenge!]

One problem the Highlander franchise has is with continuity on a few (but important) aspects of the overall story so for the benefit of this review I'm going to pretend none of the earlier films, series or cartoons exist and just base it on what I saw here. The story focuses on a bunch of immortals, aka people who have "a hard time dying" if they don't get beheaded, one of whom has a huge grudge to another that he has held for centuries, literally. Unfortunately the grudge bearer and main villain happens to also be stronger, so the two heroes of clan MacLeod have to combine their powers to stop him.

Throughout the movie there are various flashbacks to whatever time eras are called for. This is both cool and annoying. Cool in that the sets and costumes department did their job well. Annoying in that the characters speak with different accents (often humorous) within them, and that there are SO MANY of them sometimes strung one after another. Oh, did I mention that they have multiple flashbacks of things that happened earlier in the SAME movie? Well they do! It's like the director thought you would have forgotten at that point. Gahhh.

There's also a redundancy in characters. The entire bad guy group could have been reduced to main bad guy and main female. More importantly Donnie Yen's character could have easily replaced Bruce Payne's slightly overacted and much less skilled martial arts (actor wise) main villain. Well, the grudge would have been slightly shorter but it would have still worked. In truth the best part are the fights, especially with Donnie versus Duncan (Adrian Paul). I wasn't surprised to see Donnie acting as the combat choreographer in the credits.

Best yet most pointless fight in the movie.

In short, this is quite a flawed movie (I'm skipping a LOT of flaws such as obvious stunt doubles and reusing the same fight footage twice) - one that would probably only appeal to regulars of the franchise like myself. I give it one and a half katanas out of five.

Blaugust Bonus: I think I'm going to use another of Belghast's writing prompts today - "What is your favorite boss encounter in any game and why? What makes that encounter stand out in your mind and what can be learned from it?"

Like any gamer I have a pretty big list to choose from here, but I think I'll stick with the final Queen's Gauntlet match of Guild Wars 2 - a petite necromancer named Liadri. It took 140 attempts before I finally won the match against her, which is almost as bad as some of those Super Meatboy levels. Why is it my favourite? Because it was challenging (for me anyway, I'm not like Wethospu), solo only, and forced me to adapt. Don't know how many trait lines I switched between in all those attempts before I got one that worked.

Most importantly you could watch and cheer on others while doing so. I remember throughout that week meeting new people as we took turns laughing and advicing each other in between getting our asses handed to us in the various matches. Maybe that's why it sticks out most for me - it was the ideal social soloists setup. It was awesome.

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