Not so much a horror film as an action thriller with horror icons, End of Days is yet another Lethal Weapon/Die Hard variation. A buddy cop movie with the ultimate villain: Satan himself. If that's not high-concept enough, here's another twist: the buddy cops (actually, buddy bodyguards) are assigned to protect a prominent Wall Street yuppie from assassins. But unbeknownst to them, their charge is Satan in human form, and the assassins are a hit team from the Catholic Church. So the bodyguard heroes are inadvertently defending Satan against holy assassins.
As an actioner, End of Days is paint-by-numbers excellent. Nothing extraordinary, but replete with Hollywood's usual first-rate production values, inventive stunts, extravagant explosions, and breathless high-speed chases. Thrilling while it lasts, forgettable when it's over.
The film does flirt with some appropriate supernatural horror themes. Arnold Schwarzenegger is Jericho Cane (two Biblical names in one, neither clearly symbolic of anything; nor any reason for the spelling). Cane was once a good cop. Then he testified against the mob, and the mob killed his wife and daughter. Cane did his duty, playing by the rules. But where was the NYPD for Cane's family? Where was God?
Unable to bear the guilt, Cane quit the NYPD and went private. He's lost his Faith, in both the system and in God. When we first see him, he's contemplating suicide.
Gabriel Byrne (a priest in Stigmata, also 1999) is Satan, made flesh to impregnate the unwilling Christine York (Robin Tunney, The Craft). This must occur the hour before the Millennium, AD 2000, because ... well, just because. Naturally, York will then give birth to the Antichrist.
(One film critic pointlessly sneered that Satan should know the Millennium wasn't until 2001. I'm sure he did. I'm sure the ENTIRE PLANET knew the Millennium wasn't until 2001, seeing as how EVERYONE was informing EVERYONE else of that irrelevant factoid throughout the latter half of 1999.)
But although End of Days features horror icons and themes, its story is structured as an actioner. When Cane realizes his employer is Satan, he turns his security skills to abducting and protecting York. Still lacking faith (despite witnessing Satan's powers), Cane rejects assistance from the Catholic church, preferring to battle Satan with testosterone-charged gunplay.