There are films that are intentionally hilarious and there are films that are unintentionally hilarious. 'End of Days' is one such film. It tickles every sensibility till it gets offensive. 'End of Days' was an independent venture starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gabriel Byrne. Released very aptly in the year 1999,it came up with yet another bizarre doomsday theory, outdoing 'Rosemary's Baby','The Omen' and other Lucifer-infested films at apocalyptic histrionics.The film swept the U.S Box office and 'The Razzies' with equal panache.
Arnie plays Jericho,a decent yet drunken cop, disillusioned with God after the death of his wife and daughter. Gabriel Byrne plays a suave industrialist who is possessed by Satan,two days before the 1st of January 2000 (the supposed beginning of doom).Gabriel Byrne's Satan is an Armani clad smooth talker with an eye for the ladies. He is particularly interested in Christine York, the young woman ill-fated enough to bear the progeny of Lucifer (it has been decided well in advance, we know because she was born with a special mark on her arm). Christine York (played by Robin Tunney) is a troubled young woman who sees visions of being seduced by Byrne's character. She loathes him because she fears that she might end up liking him.
As I mentioned earlier, the film is a winner for its idiotic premise. Satan is slated to reproduce and swarm the world with baby Lucifers on the 31st of December 1999. It is important to note that 1999 has special significance. Since 666 is the ultimate Satanic numerical, when inverted it reads 999 as in 1999. Thus at the start of the new millennium, the world is in for a sinful treat! The catholic church is on a hunt to find Christine York and kill her so that she doesn't abet Satan in his quest to taint the saintly globe. Jericho becomes aware of all this through an illogical and grotesque sequence of events and vows to protect Christine from the devil and his advances.
The film has its share of one liners. 'I have come for my wife,Christine come to me!' seems to be the best pick up line Satan can come up with. Satan is anatomically very similar to the terminator. He is entitled to automatic recovery from gun shots, punches and grenade attacks. Arnie tries very hard to make it appear that he has been taking acting lessons. The dialogue is painfully crass and the plot even more so. The acting is wooden and had me rolling with laughter. It is sad that an actor of Mr. Byrne's caliber felt compelled to be a part of such a mindless box-office bungle. The ending is predictable and lame. Thankfully, as one of my girlfriends said, 'Gabriel Byrne looks hot!' He is definitely worth all the eye-candy.
Watch it at your own risk!