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End of Days (1999)

  Directed by: Peter Hyams
Written by: Andrew W. Marlowe
Starring: Gabriel Byrne, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robin Tunney
Links: End of Days on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack
Genre: Action

This movie gets: 3.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Not exactly a Revelation" - a review by mino

Ahh, the ‘apocalypse movie’. It's a fine genre, and one that always promises a treat of crappy special effects, crappy dialogue, and even crappier poorly-thought-out plot. From the dizzy heights (um…) of The Omen (1976) all the way down to the total schlock of oh, I don't know, Omen IV: The Awakening (1991), there are any number of devil-coming-back-to-Earth imminent-end-of-the-world four-horsemen movies featuring various spooky supernatural happenings and good-vs.-evil shenanigans.

The fact that most of these movies are crap is simply a fact of life, on a par with ‘eggs don't bounce’ as a truism. There are, though, two kinds of crap, as we all know: the good kind and the bad kind. End Of Days is the bad kind.

We start in 1979 with the birth of a young girl, who gets snatched away from her mother and has some weird Satanic ritual performed over (yes, yes, I know; about 45 seconds into the movie, and we're already ripping off The Omen). Fast-forward to 1999, where she's now a grown woman (Robin Tunney) who is troubled by a bunch of very strange dreams about a mysterious-lookin' fella, which are frankly rather creepy. Meanwhile, Arnold Schwarzenegger is Jericho Cane (yeah, I know), a cynical former police officer who is now in charge of a security firm protecting VIPs. After a mission goes all pear-shaped, Jericho is put in touch with a mysterious churchy dude who lets him in on the goss: Satan is on the prowl, trying to find a certain young lassie so he can mate with her and get an apocalypse happenin' after all this time.

Needless to say, what follows is an action-filled ‘come with me if you want to live’-type drama full of the usual creepy goings-on and over-the-top performance by Satan (well, not Satan, but by someone playing Satan, in this case Gabriel Byrne; Satan playing himself in a movie would be good to watch though) and religious imagery and corny dialogue and people with weird haircuts.

Unfortunately, while End Of Days has some potential (note, I did say some), it doesn't live up to it at all. This should be right down my alley, interested as I am in this kind of semi-religious goings-on, but the whole thing just doesn't hang together right. Byrne seems to coast in his role as Satan, doing the suave-but-creepy thing that he does so well but does so easily that it doesn't really seem like acting — his heart's definitely not in it. Arnold isn't too bad (though not brilliant) but you can't help but feel that he's desperate to show that he can do ‘intelligent’ movies rather than just action — alas, not only isn't this movie very intelligent, it devolves into mindless action right when it shouldn't and ultimately leaves you feeling quite disappointed. The religious aspect is laughably feeble, the cashing-in-on-the-end-of-the-millennium thing seems just stupid now, and Rod Steiger is so horrifying to look at (and watch) in this, one of his last roles, that I don't think I'm ever going to be able to watch In The Heat Of The Night (1967) again. Oh, and Tunney is absolutely awful. And the music is painful to listen to. And the jokes are shithouse, and the ending blows. Apart from that, though, it's pretty good.

No, seriously, skip it. If you want an apocalypse movie, wait for the movie of Good Omens, if they ever get around to making it. That's bound to be better!

mino gives this movie 3 out of 10.
Review created on Wed 12 Jan 2005

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Reader comments

  1. shame on the man who gave this movie a three. You will find a better Arny movie, that is untill T3 hits the screens!

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Kris Edwards on Thu 10 Feb 2005 09:31 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (1 rating)

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