`End of Days': Flat, ugly, idiotic

Movie review

November 24, 1999|By Ann Hornaday | Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC

While "Toy Story 2" and "Princess Mononoke" show audiences that animated features can be just as fluid and expressive as their live-action counterparts, there are live-action movies that seem determined to be as two-dimensional as possible.

Enter "End of Days," as idiotic, ugly and ridiculous a case in point as can be imagined.

Arnold Schwarzenegger (just what computer animation program created him?) plays a burned-out security guard who foils a plot by Satan (Gabriel Byrne, changing accents more often than Kathleen Turner) to impregnate an unsuspecting girl and take over the world on New Year's Eve.

Champagne, anyone?

Unlike "Dogma," another comic book-like movie that deals with religious issues, "End of Days" is too cynical and corrupt to qualify as campy fun. And, unlike Kevin Smith's devotional comedy, this travesty doesn't seem to have elicited a peep from self-described Catholic activists, even though the Church and its tenets are woefully ill-used here.

So sadistic as to make "Fight Club" look like "Little Women," this effects-mongering mess seems aimed at little else than printing Arnold more money and bumping up Glock sales. A better title: "End of Ann's Patience."

`End of Days'

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Pollak, CCH Pounder Directed by Peter Hyams

Rated R (intense violence and gore, a strong sex scene and language)

Running time: 118 minutes

Released by Universal Pictures

Sun Score: Zero stars

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