End of Days

Prepare for the end.

Action Fantasy Horror
121 min     6     1999     USA


On 28 December 1999, the citizens of New York City are getting ready for the turn of the millennium. However, Satan 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. The world will end, and the only hope lies within an atheist named Jericho Cane.


John Chard wrote:
Faith Or A Glock 9 Millimetre? End Of Days is directed by Peter Hyams and written by Andrew W. Marlowe. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gabriel Byrne, Robin Tunney, Kevin Pollak, Rod Steiger, Udo Kier & CCH Pounder. It's the end of the Millennium and as 1999 draws to a close Satan (in human form played by Gabriel Byrne) is in town and looking for his bride. That bride is Christine York (Tunney), who 20 years earlier on her birthday had been chosen by Satanists to be the one for the spawning of the anti-Christ. Enter retired cop Jericho Cane (Schwarzenegger), a suicidal security expert whose family were murdered, and who after being hired to protect an every day business man finds himself in a battle with evil itself. It's not just the fate of poor Christine that's now in his hands, but that of mankind too. Arnold versus The Devil, you couldn't make it up could you? Well actually "they" did, but hey, what's wrong with pitting modern cinema's action super star against man's ultimate enemy? The answer is nothing wrong with it at all; as long as the expectation level is set at brain left at the door for some mindless popcorn fun. Which when one sees the premise on offer is all one can surely expect to see. Surely? Budgeted at $100 million by Universal Studios, of which $25 million went on the Austrian Oak's salary, End Of Days, contrary to some beliefs, made over double that when all sales were factored in. However, it was still a poor return for such a big block-buster and Universal were most disappointed in the returns. As was Schwarzenegger himself, who was hoping to launch a big movie come back after a run of sub standard movies had seen his stock fall. Throw in the Razzie nominations for Schwarzenegger, Byrne (who was also up for Stigmata) and Hyams, and it doesn't make particularly inspiring reading. It's all very ridiculous, the film not the statistics, but End Of Days is a whole bunch of explosive, bonkers, action based fun. The flaws are many, not least that the plot is actually an adventurous reworking of T2: Judgement Day (Arnie playing it on safe territory one feels). While giving the big man some character depth was never going to be a good move considering his-ahem-range. Yet the film finds him on particularly good muscular form, machine gunning, shooting rockets and facing off against Byrne's (having a great time and playing it as it should be played) snarly, sarcastic Old Nick adversary. Tunney (wolf whistle that body) bats the eyes and screams as befitting the role, Pollak deserves better but runs with it in his usual dry dulcet way, while the wonderful Miriam Margolyes gets to kick Arnie's butt! Yes it's that kind of movie folks. With dashes of grue and explosions aplenty it was never about trying to win awards. If ever a film does exactly what it says on the tin then this is it. Arnie V Satan, it is what it is, relax and enjoy. 7/10
Wuchak wrote:
**_Solid action/horror with Arnie_** The devil (Gabriel Byrne) comes to New York City to impregnate a chosen female (Robin Tunney) during the last hour of the second millennium to bring about the end of the world. The hope of humanity falls on an atheist ex-cop, Jericho Cane (Arnold Schwarzeneggar), and his partner (Kevin Pollak). Rod Steiger is also on hand as a no-nonsense Catholic priest. "End of Days" (1999) is a comic book action flick with horror/fantasy elements. It's not meant to be an accurate depiction of biblical eschatology. As such, it's useless to pick it apart on those grounds; just go with it and enjoy the ride. That said, there are some real-life subtexts and accurate biblical aspects. For instance, disillusionment due to the unjust death of a loved one (or any number of other tragedies) happens all the time. The movie is R-rated not just for the violence and cussing, but because the filmmakers try to convey the devil's filthy lawlessness, like a threesome with a mother & daughter in a brief dream sequence (which may be "reality," but it's hard to tell). Byrne has fun with the role of Satan. As a holiday action blockbuster with Schwarzenegger "End of Days" delivers the requisite thrills where there's a massive explosion about every 12 minutes. These types of movies only work if the story and the characters pull you into their world and the film accomplishes this just enough. It's no where near as good as the first two Terminator flicks, but it's close to being on par with the third one. Of course, "End of Days" is its own animal due to the apocalyptic, religious subject matter. On that note, the palette the filmmakers use is fittingly dark. The entire film takes place at night, mostly in the urban labyrinths of Gotham with additional sequences in Gothic churches, shadowy subterranean rooms and eerie woods. The film runs 2 hours, 1 minute, and was shot in New York City and the Los Angeles area. GRADE: B/B-