End of Days (film)

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End of Days
End of days ver5.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Peter Hyams
Produced by Armyan Bernstein
Bill Borden
Thomas Bliss
Written by Andrew W. Marlowe
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger
Gabriel Byrne
Kevin Pollak
Robin Tunney
Rod Steiger
Udo Kier
CCH Pounder
Music by John Debney
Cinematography Peter Hyams
Edited by Steven Kemper
Production
  company
Beacon Pictures
Distributed by Universal Pictures (US)
Buena Vista International (non-US)
Release date(s) November 16, 1999 (Premiere)
November 24, 1999 (Theatrical)
Running time 123 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $80 million
Box office $211,989,043[1]

End of Days is a 1999 American action horror thriller film directed by Peter Hyams starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gabriel Byrne, Robin Tunney, Kevin Pollak, Rod Steiger, CCH Pounder, and Udo Kier.[2]

Plot[edit]

In 1979, a priest in the Vatican witnesses a comet arching over the moon, described as the "Eye of God", heralding the birth of the one chosen to be the mother of the child of Satan. The priest is then sent on a mission by the Pope to find and protect the girl from Satan's presence at all costs. However, a few Vatican Knights (led by a corrupted cardinal) insist that she must be killed to prevent Satan's plans. Meanwhile, in New York City, a newborn girl named Christine York is identified by Satanists—including her physician, Dr. Abel, and her nurse and future guardian, Mabel—as the one chosen to bear Satan's child during the last hour on New Year's Eve, 1999, due to a symbol on her arm.

Twenty years later, near the end of 1999, retired cop Jericho Cane, in a constant state of depression since his wife and daughter were murdered by hit-men, works for an elite security and protection company. He and his co-worker Bobby Chicago are assigned to protect a Wall Street banker. They are attacked by a priest named Thomas Aquinas, who is eventually captured and hospitalized. Unknown to Jericho, Aquinas somehow knew the real identity of the banker—he (the banker) has been possessed by Satan and now wields great powers. Satan locates Aquinas and brutally murders him. Jericho and Chicago see a name amongst many other things scratched into Aquinas's skin, and after some guesswork, begin searching for Christine York.

Jericho and Chicago find the now-adult York in her apartment and save her from the Vatican Knights who attempt to assassinate her. That evening, Chicago waits in a van while Jericho discusses the recent happenings with Christine. Satan arrives and blows up the van, killing Chicago. As Jericho and Christine try to flee, they are apprehended by Mabel who possesses preternatural strength despite her late middle age and lesser size. Jericho barely manages to subdue her. Satan then appears at the house and kills Mabel. Jericho and Christine flee upstairs and escape through a window. Outside, Detective Marge Francis, Jericho's superior from his days in the police force, and another police officer—both Satanists—confront him, demanding Christine. Jericho kills them both. A few moments later, Satan resurrects Marge for her usefulness as an NYPD detective to have the police search for Jericho and Christine, who have escaped to a nearby church, seeking answers from a priest, Father Kovak.

Kovak soon realizes Christine and the banker's roles. He describes how at the end of every millennium, Satan is released from Hell and possesses a man's body in order to consummate with the flesh of a preordained woman. If he succeeds in impregnating Christine with his child, he will have free rein over the world, which will result in the end of the world. After hearing that the only way to defeat Satan is to "have faith", Jericho tries to persuade Christine to go into hiding with him, but she prefers to stay with Kovak after he says that Satan's greatest trick was to fool Mankind that he did not exist and she felt Kovak's explanation was true. Frustrated, Jericho returns to his apartment, where Satan meets with him and tries to tempt him with his lost family and his anger at God in order to make him reveal Christine's location. Jericho resists and manages to throw Satan out of his apartment window. Chicago soon shows up, alive and well. Despite Jericho's initial suspicion, they make a plan to retrieve Christine.

At the church, where Kovak and his clergy inform the Pope of York's location, he orders them to hide and protect her at all costs. Unfortunately, the Vatican Knights arrive again, taking Kovak and his clergy into custody while they try to kill Christine again. Before they manage to do so, however, Jericho comes by and stops them, saving Christine and the clergy. Satan then appears, and Jericho runs away safely with Christine. The clergymen, in an act of bravery, confront Satan and try to send him back to Hell by using exorcism, but he resists them with impunity, killing the Vatican Knights, including the misguided cardinal. As Jericho and Christine arrive outside, Chicago then betrays the two; he leaves with Christine while Jericho is beaten by a mob of Satanists and left for dead. The next morning, Jericho is found and rescued by Kovak. Jericho immediately arms himself heavily to resume his search for Christine. He notices the resurrected Marge and follows her to Satan's hidden temple. There, he manages to rescue Christine and kill Marge for the second time. Chicago steps in to stop Jericho, revealing that Satan resurrected him in exchange for his help in capturing Christine. He manages to fight off Satan's influence after some persuasion by his friend; in retaliation, Satan burns him alive. Enraged, Jericho opens fire on Satan and escapes with Christine in the ensuing chaos.

The two make their way through Satan's hideout and into a subway tunnel. They board a train and attempt to escape. Satan catches up with them and kills the motorman. In the ensuing fight, Jericho fires an M203 grenade launcher at Satan, wrecking the train and buying them enough time to escape. The banker's body is now irreparably damaged and so Satan leaves it to find a new host.

Jericho and Christine escape to the streets and into another church where he prays to God to help him fight Satan. Satan smashes through the floor and confronts Jericho in his true form: a massive, winged, demonic creature. He enters Jericho's body and possesses him. Now controlled by Satan, Jericho attempts to rape Christine, but with the help of her begging words, he is able to fight Satan's control for a few seconds. Using what may be his only opportunity to redeem himself, Jericho impales himself on the sword protruding from a fallen statue of Saint Michael The Archangel, thus disabling his body for the few remaining seconds before midnight. At the stroke of midnight beginning the year 2000, the will of God frees Jericho's body and sends Satan back to the depths of Hell for the next thousand years. After being granted a vision of his wife and daughter smiling and waiting for him on the "other side" (Christine also sees them), Jericho dies contented. Christine thanks the deceased man for saving her life as she holds onto him one last time mourning over his death. Police, firefighters, and medical services arrive to help Christine as New York celebrates the start of the new millennium.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Sam Raimi and Guillermo del Toro were originally offered to direct End of Days, but both turned it down as they were busy with other projects. Marcus Nispel was set to helm the movie, but he left due to problems with both the budget and the script, and Peter Hyams immediately replaced him.

The role of Jericho Cane was originally written for Tom Cruise, but he passed as he instead chose to work on Magnolia and Arnold Schwarzenegger was then cast. Liv Tyler was the first choice for the role of Christine York, but she backed out over contractual issues. Kate Winslet was initially set to play the character, but she dropped out and Robin Tunney signed on to replace her.

Reception[edit]

End of Days received mostly negative reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an overall approval rating of 11%, based on 98 critics. On Metacritic, the film holds an average score of 33, based on 33 critics. It grossed $66,889,043 in the U.S. and around $212,000,000 worldwide,[1] against a budget estimated to be between $80 million and $100 million. The film was only profitable because of its strong international numbers and DVD sales, but its final numbers were not what Universal Studios had hoped for. Schwarzenegger received a salary of $25 million for his lead role in the film.[3]

The film was nominated for three Razzie Awards including Worst Actor (Arnold Schwarzenegger), Worst Supporting Actor (Gabriel Byrne) and Worst Director, and was a pre-nominee for Worst Picture, but was removed shortly before the actual awards ceremony.

Soundtrack[edit]

End of Days Original Movie Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released November 2, 1999
Genre Alternative metal, industrial rock, nu metal, hardcore hip hop
Label Geffen
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 1.5/5 stars[4]
Entertainment Weekly B+[5]

The soundtrack to the film contained, for the most part, tracks by alternative metal and industrial rock bands. It also contains the first song to be released by the "new line-up" of Guns N' Roses, the industrial rock track "Oh My God". During the editing of the film, soundtrack selections were cut into the movie in a manner that none of the songs were left out, which meant overlaying songs in scenes that are typically silent in most thriller films. In several scenes we can hear a sample from the sounds library of Spectrasonics' "Symphony Of Voices".

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Camel Song" - Korn
  2. "So Long" - Everlast
  3. "Slow" - Professional Murder Music
  4. "Crushed" - Limp Bizkit
  5. "Oh My God" - Guns N' Roses
  6. "Poison" - The Prodigy
  7. "Superbeast (Girl On A Motorcycle Mix)" - Rob Zombie
  8. "Bad Influence" - Eminem
  9. "Nobody's Real" - Powerman 5000
  10. "I Wish I Had" - Stroke
  11. "Sugar Kane" - Sonic Youth
  12. "Wrong Way" - Creed

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "End of Days". Box Office Mojo. 
  2. ^ Maslin, Janet (November 24, 1999). "`End of Days': Satan Is Planning Millennial Mischief". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ "Arnold Schwarzenegger". The Numbers. Retrieved February 19, 2009. 
  4. ^ "End of Days - Original Soundtrack". Allmusic. 
  5. ^ Sinclair, Tom (1999-11-12). "End of Days (Soundtrack) Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 

External links[edit]