The Sixth Day (2000)
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Review Date: November 13, 2000
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Writer: Cormac and Marianne Wibberley
Producers: A. Schwarzenegger, Jon Davison, Mike Medavoy
Arnold Schwarzenegger as Adam Gibson
Michael Rapaport as Hank
Robert Duvall as Dr. Graham Weir
Set sometime in the near future, this film features a world in which cloning your dead pets minutes after they pass on is considered normal. Human cloning, on the other hand, is forbidden, but do you think that will stop the rich evil guy and the unethical doctor from having some fun of their own? Not a chance! Unfortunately for them, one of the dudes on whom they decide to test their brand of fun is named Arnold Schwarzenegger (in real life, that is). And yup, you guessed it...Arny is not happy about having another "man" take over his life.
A really great premise, some cool futuristic doodads in the first half hour and a surprisingly strong humor element don't make up for this film's cheesy production value, stereotypical bad guys, weak score and lack of energy in the second half. Not exactly sure what went wrong here but I was really enjoying this movie during its first thirty minutes or so. There were plenty of cool technological gadgeteries presented, a nice setup for the whole cloning scenario and one of the creepiest "dolls" to ever see the day of light (her name is Sim-Pal Suzie and trust me...you won't ever forget her). Even Arnold seemed to be back to his old self. Delivering goofy lines, being that burly nice guy husband we all love so much and setting us up for some good ol' fashioned cloning fun. But the bottom seemed to drop out of this film at around the halfway point. It's as if they didn't have enough budget and decided to place everyone in one building and have them run around playing laser tag. And how annoying were those laser guns and repetitive scene transitions? Plenty, but not as bad at the obvious blue screen used in some of the later helicopter stunts. I mean, c'mon people, is this a Hollywood movie or a phony baloney TV production set to the big screen? Not enough gloss, not enough punch, not enough of much.

And I'm really kinda pissed about it all because the film did actually seem to have quite a bit of potential. It's a great subject for a movie, one that actually manages to spark several cool moments throughout, but too much talking and not enough interesting developments in the story ultimately stunt the film's growth. Arny was pretty good as his character(s) but the film never really seemed to emit any sense of impending doom. Maybe it was because the characters weren't that well developed. Maybe it was because the bad guys were so cheesy (red and blue hair, people...c'mon...get with the program!), or maybe it was because the film didn't look that believable after its gratifying start. Whatever it was, it certainly didn't prevent me from enjoying enough of the film to recommend it just slightly, especially to Arny fans. But there is no revolutionary sci-fi flick in here, folks. Just another dud to add to the long list of sub-mediocre sci-fi movies plaguing the industry this year. But I did enjoy this film's many funny lines (and yes, Arny even says "I might be back" at some point), its cool techno fun stuff early on and its intriguing proposition. Sadly, it is in its execution that this film ultimately fails. Video fodder for sure, but nothing more than that. I do however look forward to a real good cloning movie in the future. In the meantime, I'm gonna go out and rent TOTAL RECALL again. Now there's a great sci-fi flick!

Oh yeah, and if you're looking for an "action" movie, this one doesn't fit that bill either. Unless of course, you consider laser tag gun games "action". And where was this clone fight between Arnold and himself that I had heard so much about? Hmmmm...wasn't in our copy.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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