On December 28th, 1999, the citizens of New York City are getting ready for the turn of the millennium. However, the Devil decides to crash the party by coming to the city, inhabiting a man's body, and searching for his chosen bride, a 20-year-old woman named Christine York. If he bears her child between 11:00 PM and midnight on New Year's Eve, the world will end, and the only hope lies within an atheist ex-cop named Jericho Cane, who no longer believes in God because of the murder of his wife and daughter.Written by
Much importance is attributed to the date being exactly 2000 years since Christ's birth. The exact year is unknown, and even the best historians admit that the Roman calendar (which was established many years after Christ's death) is probably off by more than 10 years. However, one of the clerics in the movie 'reveals' that in the movie's universe, the Gregorian calendar was actually set up by the Catholic church so as to let Satan's return occur at the turn of the millennium. See more »
Allegedly, test screening versions of the film had the following alternate scenes:
on the train sequence, before Satan leaps across the carriages, he points and says "Jericho, I will cast you down like my Father did to me at the beginning of time". This was in the test screening, but cut in the final version;
Jericho impales himself on the statue of the angel, and is believed to be dead, but then opens his eyes and pushes himself off of the sword. His wound is miraculously healed, and then he and Christine walk out of the church.
Arnold peaked at the end of the '90s, I guess. He's battled Terminators, Greek gods, bears, alligators, planes, and macho men in fish net clothing. The only choice left is, of course, Satan. So they put together a movie about Satan and gave Arnie the lead.
I think everyone working on this thought it would be much better than it actually is. The script was in development for years and Arnie fought to get it made. It's kind of unfortunate because Arnold gives a fairly decent performance in a film muddled with clichés. Of course, it's hard enough to buy a guy with a body like Arnold being a slob who drinks beer and pizza smoothees for breakfast. Getting someone like Jim Belushi might have seemed more realistic.
Apart from the physicality, Arnold's performance is fine. He cries. He does the emotion scenes well enough - at least well enough to find bearable.
It's the direction that ruins this movie. Peter Hyams is a terrible director and has ruined some very unique films in the past (his most notorious butchering in my opinion was of a 1983 Michael Douglas film called "The Star Chamber" - great premise, awful directing).
"End of Days" is like "Exorcist" meets every supernatural thriller ever made. On top of that, Gabriel Byrne should be more menacing. Robin Tunney should be less butch-looking. The direction shouldn't feel like some low-grade TV commercial - all style, no substance.
Is the movie terrible? No. It's not as bad as everyone made it out to be. But it's pretty much the definition of "mediocre." Do I own it on DVD? Hell yeah. It's an Arnold movie - it's an automatic must-buy. But if you're not a fan of Arnie, I wouldn't recommend it - at all. It pretty much feels like any average made-for-TV scary-flick - with even worse direction.
The only other good aspect of this film was that it brought Axl Rose out of seclusion to record his first original song in seven years with a new incarnation of Guns N' Roses. The song, "Oh My God," didn't do too well with the critics. A bit of a shame, really. I dug it. It also fits the industrial, edgy tone of the film.
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