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End of Days (1999)
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Review Date: November 22, 1999
Director: Peter Hyams
Writer: Andrew W. Marlowe
Producers: Armyan Bernstein, Bill Borden
Actors:
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Gabriel Byrne
Kevin Pollak
Robin Tunney
Plot:
Satan comes up to Earth to nail the "chosen" woman before the strike of midnight on New Year's Eve of the year 1999, in order to end all existence as we know it and unleash the gates of hell onto the world. A drunk ex-cop and his wise-cracking buddy are out to stop this Angel of Death. Oh yeah, the drunk ex-cop is played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Nuff said.
Critique:
Nothing new here, folks. This uninspired rehash of various other better thrillers left me indifferent at best and pissed at the missed opportunity at worst. Ambitious this film was in attempting to tackle the apocalyptic fears of the coming New Year. Ambitious was its star in attempting to tackle a new type of role for himself. Unfortunately for both parties, their respective ambitions lay unfulfilled in a script blotted with plot holes the size of Arnold's accent, and a star who is truly difficult to accept in any role separate from the ones which correlate his monosyllabism to strength of character. Granted, Gabriel Byrne was outstanding as the devil incarnate, chewing up all kinds of scenery in a role which finally allowed the man to have a little fun at his job. In fact, there is one particularly great scene between Arnold and Gabes in his apartment, but other than that, very little memorable material here. Looking back, there is even less than I remembered.

Did I totally hate this movie? Not at all. In fact, some of its action scenes were cool, Arnold "looked" the part and the pacing was okay, but overall, the film lacked that special oomph that one expects from an "Arnold movie", or even from an original thriller. The funniest part of this movie (And no, it wasn't Kevin Pollak's one-line quips) is the way Arnold's character discovers the identity of the girl who they are trying to locate at the beginning of the film. It has got to be one of the most ridiculously unbelievable scenes ever written into a serious thriller. "Christ in New York" is all I will say about that. Anyway, you'll see what I mean when you see the movie (On video, hopefully). Another little tidbit that ticked off both my friend and I was the fact that this film made no bones about selling itself via its hip, heavy soundtrack beforehand, but for some reason, the final result barely included one noticeable musical ditty. Slap all of that onto a weak ending, even weaker special effects and you've got yourself a disappointment waiting to happen. Now if all you Arnold fans are really high on this schtick or Gabriel Byrne is an actor whom you respect and admire, than I might suggest you see this one, if only just for the fun of it. For everyone else, skip this misfire and rent an Arnold classic like PREDATOR or TOTAL RECALL, or better yet, bite into a much better film which takes place during the last few nights before the big 2000, STRANGE DAYS.
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
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