Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
USA, 1999. Beacon Communications, Beacon Pictures, Lucifilms. Screenplay by Andrew W. Marlowe. Cinematography by Peter Hyams. Produced by Armyan Bernstein, Bill Borden. Music by John Debney. Production Design by Richard Holland. Costume Design by Bobbie Mannix. Film Editing by Jeff Gullo, Steven Kemper.
Lord, deliver us from evil studio executives who think the devil is an interesting subject for thrillers. Okay, maybe he is sometimes, but you’d never know it from this idiotic film. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s fans weren’t home when this film came knocking in theatres, starring the former Governator as a downtrodden cop who is assigned to protect a woman (Robin Tunney) from becoming Satan’s bride. Yes, you heard me right: the big bad guy (played with boring aplomb by Gabriel Byrne) is roaming the earth (actually just New York, where he fits right in!) waiting for the right moment to copulate with his pre-ordained mistress in order to usher in the end of the world, and thankfully the guy who found out about it has big muscles. There are some scary moments and a few times when the production designers have fun creating a creepy netherworld of religious mayhem, but the plot boils down to a regular thriller with a gothic twist and very little creativity. Peter Hyams directs with a wooden hand and gets nothing interesting out of any of his actors: even Arnold’s been much more charismatic, but here he just looks tired.