Tuesday, October 5, 2021

#2,628. End of Days (1999)


Schwarzenegger vs. Satan; if that match-up doesn’t excite you, nothing will!

In director Peter Hyams’ End of Days, Arnold plays Jericho, a former cop turned professional bodyguard who gets caught up in something he doesn’t understand.

Days away from the start of the new millennium, the Dark Prince himself has taken human form (Gabriel Byrne) in order to mate with the unsuspecting Christine (Robin Tunney), a 20-year-old brunette who happened to be born when the stars were in perfect alignment. According to the prophecy, if Satan and Christine do the dirty between the hours of 11 pm and midnight on New Years’ Eve, Christine will conceive and give birth to the Antichrist.

One thing Lucifer didn’t count on, though, was Jericho, who will stop at nothing to ensure the Devil never gets his due.

An action-packed supernatural thriller, End of Days is goofy fun; Schwarzenegger is convincing as the emotionally scarred Jericho (his wife and child were murdered some years back, and to ease the pain he drinks… a lot!), yet it’s Gabriel Byrne who steals the show (his first scene, inside a restaurant, is one you won’t soon forget).

Things do get a bit hokey at times; there’s a lot of talk about scripture, a couple of brief sequences with the Pope in Vatican City, and Rod Steiger as a priest who believes faith is all that’s needed to conquer pure evil. But if you can overlook its cornier moments, I guarantee you’ll have a great time watching End of Days.

I sure did!

Rating: 8 out of 10

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