Arnold peaked at the end of the '90s, I guess. He's battled Terminators, Greek gods, bears, alligators, planes, and macho men in fish net clothing. The only choice left is, of course, Satan. So they put together a movie about Satan and gave Arnie the lead.
I think everyone working on this thought it would be much better than it actually is. The script was in development for years and Arnie fought to get it made. It's kind of unfortunate because Arnold gives a fairly decent performance in a film muddled with clichés. Of course, it's hard enough to buy a guy with a body like Arnold being a slob who drinks beer and pizza smoothees for breakfast. Getting someone like Jim Belushi might have seemed more realistic.
Apart from the physicality, Arnold's performance is fine. He cries. He does the emotion scenes well enough - at least well enough to find bearable.
It's the direction that ruins this movie. Peter Hyams is a terrible director and has ruined some very unique films in the past (his most notorious butchering in my opinion was of a 1983 Michael Douglas film called "The Star Chamber" - great premise, awful directing).
"End of Days" is like "Exorcist" meets every supernatural thriller ever made. On top of that, Gabriel Byrne should be more menacing. Robin Tunney should be less butch-looking. The direction shouldn't feel like some low-grade TV commercial - all style, no substance.
Is the movie terrible? No. It's not as bad as everyone made it out to be. But it's pretty much the definition of "mediocre." Do I own it on DVD? Hell yeah. It's an Arnold movie - it's an automatic must-buy. But if you're not a fan of Arnie, I wouldn't recommend it - at all. It pretty much feels like any average made-for-TV scary-flick - with even worse direction.
The only other good aspect of this film was that it brought Axl Rose out of seclusion to record his first original song in seven years with a new incarnation of Guns N' Roses. The song, "Oh My God," didn't do too well with the critics. A bit of a shame, really. I dug it. It also fits the industrial, edgy tone of the film.