End Of Days

3 out of 10


"Terminator" remade with Satan

Some films are timeless..

Some films mature like a fine wines.

Some films are passe so fast, reality looks like CGI.

...And then there's "End Of Days"

Thrown together to cash in on the paranoid environment of the Y2K bug at the time of the millenium celebrations, End Of Days" was as stale as last Wednesday's pizza before it even reached the shelves of Blockbusters.

The basic premises is utterly ludicrous. Every time the Almighty chalks up another 1,000 year anniversary on his way to his senior citizen's bus pass, he allows Satan out of jail so he can stalk down some innocent girl, born with the right astrological star sign. If he can mate with her by midniht before God's birthday bash, for some inexplicable reason it will give the Devil total control of the Earth and its inhabitants. Hmmm, call me ignorant if you like, but this doesn't quite sound like mainstream Christianity... nor even extreme fundamentalist.

Taking on the guise of a Wall Street trader, the Devil employs a personal security detail, even though he is, at least in this world, effectively immortal. More curiously, he only does it one time - once an assassination attempt has been made, he decides just to stroll around unguarded, the opposite of how any rational person would behave. After the usual car, gun and pyrotechnic stunts, including the mandatory chase in the the subway, Jericho Cane (Arnold Schwartzeneggar), his bodyguard is baffled to discover that the would-be killer was a Catholic priest. With a few unlikely twists in the story, Arnie has soon hitched up with the Devil's intended bride, Christine York, played by Robin Tunney, the Queen of the movie bombs, and now finds himself in a life and death battle, not only from the Devil's henchmen, but also from the Pope's own hitmen, the Vatican Knights..(Interestingly enougfh though, these actually exist. My ex-employer was one!)

So why is Mr Schwartzeneggar in a apocryphal horror flick? After the first half an hour, writer Andrew W. Marlowe ("Hollow Man") appears to have simply run an old "terminator" script through a word processor. Once again, there's Arnie running around, trying to protect an innocent girl in tow from a relentless and dispassionate monster in human form with superhuman powers, it's just that he's called "Satan" here, rather than the "T-100". As the Satan, Gabriel Byrne must certainly be beginning to think of hmself as damned. Athough he brings his own innimitabe Irish charm that can so endear and spook out an audience, after also being the priest in "Stigmata", he must surely be concerned about becoming typecast in campy horror flicks with heavy-handed religious overtones.

With "Timecop" as the most highbrow production he has worked on, director Peter Hyams is able to drop in all the usual stunts. Pity he lacks what it takes when it came to the lighting although it probably would little improve a story of almost zero originality to the point of seeing all the illogicalities that dog most other films of this genre being introduced. For instance, in films as diverse as "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" to "Young Sherlock Holmes, why do subversive cults at the edge of their moment of triumph never post more than one crippled cretin as a guard on their ceremony?

At one point, the priest says that the greatest trick the Devil ever did was to convince us he did not exist. With films with this level of credibility around, did he really have much difficulty?

No originality,

No credibility,

No logic...

No thanks!

Film Critic: Robert L Thompsett