Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gabriel Byrne, Robin Tunney, Kevin Pollak, CCH Pounder
Directed by Peter Hyams
Distributed by Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Remember 1999, man? People thought that the world was coming to an end because no one had the foresight to teach computers how to count. Ponder that if you will. The simple act of going from the number 1999 to the number 2000 was considered to be the scariest prospect of all time! People were stockpiling canned goods, loading up on bottled water, and saying goodbye to their loved ones. Me? I was hanging out drunk, with no pants, waiting for Dick Clark to go full-blown Reaper on us during New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. Y2K fever was everywhere, so it was only a matter of time before filmmakers exploited it. Enter Peter Hyams, Schwarzenegger, and the Devil.
Jericho Cane (Schwarzenegger) is a former cop with a troubled past having to do with some really bad family matters. He was ready to cash in his own chips until he found a reason to live — keeping alive a hot chick who holds the fate of mankind within her womb. What’s threatening her, you ask? Computer bugs? Paranoid survivalist stooges? No. She has the Devil himself on her trail, and when the clock strikes midnight, he plans to see to it that she and her puny friends don’t make it to the new millennium.
Schwarzenegger has battled all manner of bad guys. Having him take on Big Red? Cinema genius! This, my fiends, is a popcorn dream! Or at least it should have been. End of Days, while still lots of fun to poke fun at, comes off as a bit too much on the heavy-handed side, thus canceling out some of the good time. In fact, as you’re watching it, you’ll find yourself asking, “Why am I not enjoying this more?” This could very well be yet another Y2K mystery!
Speaking of which, when this flick hit DVD over ten years ago the disc was fairly stacked. There was a location featurette, a look at the F/X, a thing on the music, etc. Sadly, the only supplement that has made the jump to this hi-def release is Hyams’ commentary track. Everything else is gone. What the hell happened here? Laziness? Color me clueless. Sure the movie looks and sounds fantastic running at 1080p, and there’s a Blu-ray exclusive feature that saves your favorite parts of the movie to be watched independent of the feature, but come on, man!
While not the best doomsday flick ever made, End of Days is worth a look if only to see Gabriel Byrne’s deliciously evil portrayal of Satan. While that’s all fine, well, and good, no matter how you slice it, there are only two reasons to buy this re-release — if you don’t already have it, or if you’re a hi-def stickler. People who own the DVD should sit pretty and rest easy.
2 1/2 out of 5
2 out of 5
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