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End of Days (1999)
WARNING - SPOILERS BELOW.
It's 1979 and a girl child is born in New York City. All is normal except she has the marking of the beast, and it is said that she will be the one to carry the spawn of Satan. Satan (Gabriel Byrne) will appear on earth in 1999 to claim his bride. Evil and Good circle the wagons. The Vatican sends a priest to watch over her, while devil worshipers intertwine themselves into her life. From psychologists to nurses, all of them keep an eye on her.
Fast forward to 1999. Jericho Cane (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is the head of a security firm. He is a bitter ex-cop; it's never fully explained why he is an ex-cop who has a drinking problem. He drinks away the pain of having lost his wife and daughter, who were killed because he testified in some case. It's never really made clear what happened. He and his partner (a very funny Kevin Pollak) are assigned to provide security for a wealthy stockbroker who just happens to be Satan.
Meanwhile, the baby girl has grown up. Both of her parents are dead and she lives with her stepmother. Christine York (Robin Tunney), as she is known, leads a fairly normal life with one exception. She has visions, visions that terrify her. She has always had them and has tried to suppress them with drugs, but lately things have gotten worse. The visions are becoming more vivid and more frequent.
Due to circumstances that I will not ruin for you by going into details, Jericho begins searching for Christine. He knows that he must protect her, but he is not sure why. Once he finds her, the movie picks up speed and doesn't stop until the quite predictable end.
Wow. That's about all I can say. Even though Arnold is playing the same old character, I didn't care. Yes, I know some folks are going to hate this film. It's chock full of plot holes and corny one-liners. What Arnold Schwarzenegger film isn't? I cannot say enough good things about Gabriel Byrne's take on Satan. Absolutely fabulous! My only advice to you is to see this movie with an empty mind. Don't go there expecting to see an Oscar winning performance. Take it for what it's worth. Go sit in front of the screen and "veg" for 2 hours. I did.
Hot Damn! This was my kind of movie! A "Summer" movie in November, go figure! Let me say this right now... Gabriel Byrne is hands-down the best Satan. Ever. He totally made this movie for me. He was just plain ugly, mean and nasty. They even had my "gurl" C.C.H. Pounder in a pivotal role. I like these kinds of movies. I like to see stuff blow up and I just love Good vs. Evil flicks. I can watch "The Exorcist" all day long. I don't touch "The Omen" though. That movie is too much for Ms. Diva. "End of Days " on the other hand, was just about right for me. Mind you, I yelled out and jumped more than once, but I was able to walk down a dark hallway by myself so I'm cool.
I did have one problem with this movie. Okay. Spoilers... A priest states that only the purest of heart and faith can fight Satan. Soooo why is the Pope sitting on his behind kicking it in the Vatican? Isn't he like the holiest and most faithful person on earth? So why was he in Rome while everyone else was in New York getting whupped by the Devil? I mean the equation wasn't hard for me. Satan jacking people up. So "who ya gonna call?" The local parish priest? The archbishop? The Cardinal? I think not! I'm going as close to the top as I can. Rome! Operator, connect me to his worshipfulness. I mean dang... "Idnit" his job to fight the Devil? Not this Pope. He was safe in Rome praying on it. I think I'd have an attitude if I were one of those priests. It's not enough that I have to get on my hands and knees and kiss a ring, but now he wants me to go toe-to-toe with Lucifer? What's he getting paid the big bucks for? Show me the money! He'd have to get out of his wheel chair and zap the devil with that ring everyone has to kiss. Or better yet, I'd be on the first plane to the Vatican with bride of Satan in tow, requesting an audience. And yes, I know The Pope was in a wheelchair. You ain't gotta walk to fight Satan. Am I going to hell, now?
And how much do I love C.C.H. Pounder? "Eyyyeeeee am Caalllling yooooooou [C.C.H.] I know you hear me" Yes, I'm proud to say I own "Baghdad Café" . C.C.H is so under appreciated as an actress. Maybe I'll start my own fan website for her. Her role in "End of Days" wasn't all that remarkable, I 'm just happy to see her working.
Get thee to the theater.
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