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Review: End not soon enough

With so much money and talented people at their disposal, its amazing the folks in Hollywood still regularly spill out creations with entertainment values equivalent to that of watching bread mould. The latest such yawner to come from glitzville now showing across the big screens comes in the form of another Schwarzenegger shoot-em up, "End of Days."
The movie follows down-and-out body guard Jericho Cane (Schwarzenegger) and his battle to protect Christine York (Robin Tunney), the chosen one who Satan himself must shack up with in order to bring about hell on earth. The catch is that old Mephistopheles can only do the deed in the last hour of 1999 (Eastern Standard Time) to fulfil the prophecy, so timing is everything. Worked into the story are a group of renegade Catholic Bishops with the idea to simply kill the girl to make the consummation impossible, and Cane's own death wish and loss of faith in God.


Schwarzenegger vs. Satan.
photo: TSS Courtesy

End of Days

Rating: 1/2 out of 5
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robin Tunney, Gabriel Byrne and Kevin Pollak
Directed by: Peter Hyams
Written by: Andrew Marlowe
Playing at: Hviezda, Istropolis.

With so much money and talented people at their disposal, its amazing the folks in Hollywood still regularly spill out creations with entertainment values equivalent to that of watching bread mould. The latest such yawner to come from glitzville now showing across the big screens comes in the form of another Schwarzenegger shoot-em up, "End of Days."

The movie follows down-and-out body guard Jericho Cane (Schwarzenegger) and his battle to protect Christine York (Robin Tunney), the chosen one who Satan himself must shack up with in order to bring about hell on earth. The catch is that old Mephistopheles can only do the deed in the last hour of 1999 (Eastern Standard Time) to fulfil the prophecy, so timing is everything. Worked into the story are a group of renegade Catholic Bishops with the idea to simply kill the girl to make the consummation impossible, and Cane's own death wish and loss of faith in God.

In an attempt to emulate the tried-and-true Schwarzenegger formula of guns, explosions and special effects, the creators of End of Days didn't even bother with a decent storyline found in other "Arnie" flicks like the Terminator films or Total Recall. This film is overtly contrived and a blatant attempt to capitalise on peoples' insecurities about when the clock strikes midnight on December 31 which of course now that it's January, leaves even less of an impact.

Plot holes run rampant. For starters, why in the world does Satan (Bryne) have such a problem killing Swarzenegger's character when, with such little effort, he can bring the dead back to life, set one guy on fire and create surreal visions? Also, why is Cane so willing to sacrifice the lives of dozens of innocent people (including a number of the renegade Bishops and his best friend) to save a girl he doesn't even know? If Arnold's character had a grain of common sense, he would just let the girl be killed - end of problem, the earth is saved.

The final showdown between Satan and Swarzenegger climaxes with run of the mill computer generated special effects and explosion sequences with guess who on top? The real effect of this film isn't so "special" - it comes from the frustration of having wasted hard earned money on such slop. With a film like End of Days, you wonder if the creators see any correlation between all the bombs exploding on the set and what ultimately ends up on the screen - a bomb to end all bombs.

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