Movie Magazine International

End of Days

USA - 1999

Movie Review By Alex Lau

As the saying goes, "The bigger they are, the harder they fall." There aren't too many bigger than Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he takes a pretty hard fall in the new millennial action flick, "End of Days".

Arnold plays Jericho Cain, a former cop with a drinking problem and a crisis of faith, not necessarily in that order. Now he's an agent for a high-tech security firm in New York, and after he takes a bullet for a client, he gets involved in a supernatural cat-and-mouse game.

See, Satan has to have sex with a particular woman before midnight on New Year's Eve, in order to open the gates of hell and bring about the end of the world as we know it. In this corner, Gabriel Byrne as Satan; in the other corner, Arnold. You can imagine who gets the first knockdown.

My mom told me that if you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all, so here goes: The premise and setup were pretty interesting, and all the explosions kept my fragile attention span at bay. Kevin Pollak was amusing as Arnold's wisecracking sidekick.

That said, "End of Days" totally fell apart during a scene just past the halfway mark with Gabriel Byrne and Arnold. It was a make-or-break scene that required subtlety, charm, and the ability to project inner strength. Instead, we got some smarmy dialogue and more explosions. From then on, "The End of Days" just became a mockery of itself, right down to the laughable ending.

Director Peter Hyams and screenwriter Andrew Marlowe seem way over their heads with the subject matter, and it's hard to say whether it's the lines or the deliveries that lead to the most eye-rolling.

The best thing about "End of Days" is that in a few weeks, it'll be out of date.

© 1999 - Alex Lau - Air Date: 11/24/99

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