‘The Fist Of The Condor’ Ending Explained & Movie Recap: Is Guerrro Dead Or Alive?

A tale of twin brothers who have dedicated their lives for learning a kind of holy grail of martial arts originating in the ancient Inca civilization. The Fist of the Condor is a love letter to the practice of martial arts. Fresh off of John Wick: Chapter 4, Marko Zaror stars in a double role, portraying both the good and evil brothers to perfection. The highlight of Ernesto Díaz Espinoza’s film is surely the high-octane action sequences set against the backdrop of beautiful Chilean landscapes.


Spoilers Ahead

What happens in the movie?

Guerrero is a fighter who has taken shelter in the mountains and hasn’t fought anyone in six years. Rumors say Guerrero possesses the sacred manuscript of “the Fist of the Condor.” In the 16th century, when the last Inca emperor Atahualpa was captured in the Spanish conquest, the masters of Inca martial arts, Rumi Maki, taught the surviving tribesmen a deadly form or technique, which was captured in the book. Legends say that the book has only been passed down to future generations of fighters who have an honest heart. Guerrero was betrayed by his brother, and it’s certain that it was the evil brother who took possession of the book after killing the Condor woman and urinating all over Guerrero. The evil twin even pretended to be Guerrero to take his wife and little girl, leaving nothing for him. After years of practicing and perfecting his methods of fighting, Guerrero seeks revenge from the man who stole everything for him. 


Who trained Guerrero and told him about the Condor woman?

Guerrero was trained by Master Wook, who’s like a father to him. Master Wook taught him everything he could in the field of traditional martial arts. Then he told Guerrero about the mountains where The Fist of the Condor is and the master who protects it. It’s something of a school, and one can seek to be taught if the master allows. Master Wook couldn’t complete his training there, and the other student went on to become the Condor Woman. Guerrero wants to be the best, and he and his brother made a pact that the one who gets admission will teach the other everything they know. Condor Woman selects Guerrero and rejects his brother for lack of passion, even though he was the more skilled of the two. Guerrero wiped floors and did chores for a year, and that’s how his training started. Who can forget Mr. Miyagi teaching karate to Daniel in the 1984 classic Karate Kid? When his formal martial arts training begins, that’s when Guerrero realizes the actual endurance it takes to reach the top. The two students who started the journey with Guerrero gave up, but he didn’t. Guerrero mastered everything the Condor woman taught him, and he finally got rewarded with the manuscript. All this while, the evil twin taught himself the same techniques while hiding in the bushes nearby. Eventually he kills the Condor woman, severely injures Guerrero, and leaves the hut with the manuscript after taking a leak on his brother’s face. 

What does the evil twin want?

The evil twin already has everything, but he still doesn’t want to let Guerrero live. He has trained a white man and created an absolute specimen called Kalari. He tells Kalari that Guerrero must have made a copy of the manuscript and broken the tradition. Kalari asks his master to give him permission to duel with Guerrero, and he gets that. The evil brother suggests Kalari focus on breaking his mind rather than the body. Guerrero’s Achilles heel is photophobia, and to add to his misery, the brother asks Kalari to take a souvenir from the man Guerrero loves the most, Master Wook. 


Why does Guerrero leave the mountains after six years?

The first time Guerrero left his home, he returned to see that his family had been taken over by his brother. He had perfected his fighting all this while, and now he seeks revenge. This time he has nothing to lose, and he takes his motorcycle out on a road trip to hunt his brother down. On the way, he meets a burglar who wants to take the manuscript from him. This is not the first time people have mistaken him for his brother, and Guerrero takes the man down before continuing his journey. He meets a cocky martial arts fighter in a pub who has heard rumors about the master of Condor. He’s obviously gutted that nobody gives any importance to him, and that’s when he sees Guerrero walking in the pub. He pours beer on Guerrero’s head, and Guerrero decides to leave the pub. But soon he remembers the trauma he suffered when his brother did something similar, and he comes back to the pub. He beats the fighter and his buddies left and right, and that’s when Kalari shows up, inviting him to contest in a duel. Guerrero agrees, and the two fighters are set to fight for their lives.

Why does Kalari kill Master Wook?

Master Wook is a man who has lived his life in honor, and that’s what he passes down to his disciples. Kalari introduces himself to Wook as a student of the very school he failed to graduate. Kalari mocks Wook for how he couldn’t complete the training, but Wook replies that when he went to train, the school wasn’t a breeding ground for assassins. Kalari challenges Wook to a duel, and the fight is unfair from the start. Wook is old and barely has any strong bones left in his body, but the man still tries to save his dignity. Kalari completely crushes Wook in the fight, and Wook lies helpless on the floor. Wook asks for a last wish, and it seems like it’d be a message for Guerrero, but Kalari puts his foot on his throat and kills him before he could speak another word. Before leaving, he rips off the badge from Wook’s GI as the souvenir he is going to use later on, Guerrero. 


How does Guerrero survive the threat of Kalari?

During his training with Condor Woman, Guerrero learned two techniques that would be valuable in saving his life. The first technique is to fight without using the legs, as one can encounter a situation where their legs can stop working. The Condor woman made Guerrero train with his legs tied up for the entire season of spring. The other technique Guerrero learns is how to trust his inner animal. In a fight to the death, there’s seldom any time to think, and it’s often fought purely trusting one’s own instincts. Legend has it that some fighters used to be so incredible that they could turn into naguals. When a human being can shapeshift into their inner animal, they become a nagual. Guerrero connects with the condor he sees gliding through the air, and he summons the condor inside him to empower him. When his training was finished, Guerrero could float a couple meters into the air with his legs tied up. 

Kalari and Guerrero meet each other in an abandoned warehouse, and Kalari dominates Guerrero in the early exchanges. Guerrero tries to convey that his brother is fooling Kalari only to measure his strengths for their eventual duel. Kalari refuses to hear anything about his master and continues to throw lethal punches and kicks. Guerrero gets back in his groove soon, and within a minute, he makes Kalari kiss the floor. Kalari takes his shirt off to reveal a mirror that reflects sunlight right into Guerrero’s eyes. Guerrero won’t be taken down by this silly attempt, and he closes his eyes to implement the punches he has practiced for years on the Wing Chun. He breaks the mirror soon, and Kalari has no option to fight back except using the dirty mind games on Guerrero. Kalari narrates how he murdered Master Wook and how Guerrero’s wife and daughter thought he killed them when the evil twin finished them off. Guerrero falls on his knees, and Kalari thinks he’s got him under control. But Guerrero isn’t going to give his brother any more wins after all this, and he levitates in the air just like the condor, and his thunderous punch squashes Kalari’s face on the ground. A literal condor soon arrives to eat the flesh off Kalari’s head, and Guerrero drives off into the sunset. The condor is a supposed messenger between men and the divine world who once delivered prayers but also brought good and lousy omens with them. Guerrero’s life hasn’t been much different than that of his spirit animal, and he might’ve just overcome the last barrier in Kalari, which separated him and his brother. 


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Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket is a literature student pursuing his master's degree while trying to comprehend Joyce and Pound. When his head is not shoved in books, he finds solace in cinema and his heart beats for poetry, football, and Adam Sandler in times.

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