Friday, January 11, 2013

Between your faith and my Glock 9mm, I'll take my Glock

End of Days (1999)
Still reeling from the after-effects of Batman & Robin, but excited to be seeing another Arnold movie I've never seen before.  Not sure why I gave this a miss the first time around in theaters, but I'm sure it had something to do with having seen Batman & Robin, being an obvious Y2K cash-grab, and not looking at all good. 

It's certainly not at all good, but it's thankfully not in the same league as Batman & Robin or The Villain.  I do have a bit of a soft spot for supernatural prophecy stuff when done well, which unfortunately is not the case here.  It's at least a passably interesting underpinning to an overtly action-oriented film with a weak attempt at horror, but they missed the mark at sparking my imagination.  Hell, even The Omen III, as forgettable as it was, had a very cool prophecy/discovery angle to it that livened up an otherwise dreary and predictable movie.  No such luck here.  This movie actively demands that you stop trying to make sense out of it and to kindly overlook a massive amount of plot holes and non-sensical character actions.  I found myself periodically saying "Hey, wait a minute... that's stupid" but was mostly successful and shutting off rational thought and just going along for the ride.

The supporting cast is adequate enough, they just seem to mostly be going through the motions.  Gabriel normally kicks ass in pretty much anything he's in, and while he does have some occasional moments of spark, he largely sleepwalks his way through it.  Likewise with Kevin Pollak, who I generally quite like.  He has some good one liners and a reasonably decent rapport with Arnold, he's just not given much to do.  Robin Tunney is usally very good, but here has sadly reverted to the "dull surprise" acting of her early career.  Sven sighting: Sven shows up again as one of the thugs who breaks into Arnold's apartment when he relives the past.  He not only survives another Arnold movie, he helps murder Arnold's wife and young daughter.  Must be revenge for all those times Arnold's offed him in previous films.

Given how dull the rest of the film was, I was pleasantly surprised to find Arnold turning in a pretty good performance.  He's a little wooden (can hardly blame him given the script) but has some honest-to-goodness acting on display.  He's pretty dull for the first half of the movie, but shows some of the old Arnold panache from the mid-point onward.  Particularly enjoyed his religious debate with Rod Steiger when he brings Robin to the church.  Actually got a few smiles and laughs out of that sequence and put me in a better mood for the silly shenanigans of the last half.  He also surely set the record for the most times Satan has been shot with projectile weapons in a single film.

Ahnold Quotient - 6
Very few one-liners, little muscle-showing, and I'd probably have gone quite a bit lower if not for the crazy amount of "Aaauuuaaaggghhhh!" going on in this one.  Quite possibly the most I've seen in any of his films.  Otherwise completely forgettable as an Ahnold movie.

Rewatchability - No thanks
Plot holes aside, it's not a particularly cringe-worthy film, but it's not a good one either.  I don't feel I wasted my time watching it and was actually entertained here and there throughout.  No real point in watching it again and it's not something I would recommend anyone else give a try.

Next up:  The 6th Day.  Another one I've not seen!  I hear it's a complete goof of a movie, but this one was mostly a stinker and it still entertained well enough, so there's hope!

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