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15 reviews, 70 user ratings

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6th Day, The
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by Eugene Novikov

"I might be back."
4 stars

Arnold Schwarzenegger is at a point in his career where he has to at least partially resort to self-mockery in order to make a living. He is getting old and continuing to take himself seriously would be a devastating misstep that would quickly turn him into a nationwide joke. With "The 6th Day," however, the former (and future?) Terminator seems to be taking steps in the right direction.

The futuristic thriller, by Tomorrow Never Dies helmsman Roger Spottiswoode, features all the standard-issue Ah-nuld action but is also armed with a genuinely clever script and even a few ambitious, if simplistic ethical statements. Not all of it works, but enough does -- certainly more than in your average Schwarzenegger movie.

The film opens with a shot of a football stadium and the subtitle "The near future. Sooner than you think." We watch an "XFL" (?) game in which a star quarterback takes a bone-crunching fall and is soon being wheeled out of the stadium on a stretcher. We then see him in unconscious in an ambulance, with some sort of team official telling him that he's "gonna have to take one for the team" right before pulling the plug. Next week, he's right back in the game.

In the world of The 6th Day (the title refers to a line from the Old Testament: "On the 6th day, God created man"), the science of cloning has been all but perfected. A company called "Re-Pet" even offers to clone your deceased house animal for you so you can bring him home as good as new (even better, the ads promise) in no time at all. The only obstacle left to overcome, it seems, is human cloning. The one publicized attempt was a disaster and the clone had to be put to sleep. Since then, human cloning has been outlawed, though pharmaceutical companies are using a loophole in the law to clone individual organs to allegedly save lives.

But all of this doesn't help Adam Gibson (Schwarzenegger), a helicopter pilot who comes home on his birthday, looks in the window and sees himself there, already celebrating with his family. Pandemonium. Gibson is ready to barge in there and start breaking things when he is stopped by a mysterious squad of armed people dressed in black who demand at gunpoint that he come with them immediately.

Gibson finds out that a media tycoon named Michael Drucker (Tony Goldwyn) is utilizing the services of brilliant Dr. Weir (Robert Duvall) to perform covert cloning operations. People who are alive are not usually cloned -- if a person were to see his clone the results would be disastrous -- so Gibson was a mistake. Now, one of them must die; which one is irrelevant.

There are chase scenes, laser-gun shootouts and fights galore, all of them reasonably well-directed by Spottiswoode, but the pleasure here is in the details. The little quirks of the futuristic world that The 6th Day shows us are the main reason to go see this movie. Most of them are little throwaway gags -- a virtual reality aquarium ceiling in a mall, the advertisements for Re-Pet, the futuristic helicopters that Gibson pilots -- but they all add up to paint a convincing picture in the viewer's mind. There's also some very funny stuff here: at one point, Schwarzenegger tells a salesman "I might be back" and then later gives a speech about how he doesn't want his daughter exposed to unnecessary violence because "she gets enough of that from the media." All in all, this is a very non-self-conscious effort from Schwarzenegger and my hat goes off to the guy for having the guts to poke a little fun at himself.

At times, The 6th Day gets mired down in action movie conventions (I wonder if he's gonna be hanging off the helicopter now...) but it generally does a good job of not insulting the audience. The "statements" it makes on the ethics of cloning are glaringly simplistic -- cloning is BAD -- but are still more than one expects from a film like this.

Its a shame that this intriguing movie's ending is utterly gutless, putting a phony and saccharine spin on everything that has gone before it. Still, it's hard to dislike a thriller that's as smart, clever and exciting as this one. And it's good to see that Arnold might still have a career in his golden years.

(Review reprinted from FilmBlather.com)

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=4583&reviewer=419
originally posted: 03/04/07 06:58:45
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell good imho 4 stars
4/07/16 David Hollingsworth Too derivative, even for Arnold. 2 stars
7/07/14 Kat Could have been good. Wanted to like it. Sadly, it was both boring and terribly written. 2 stars
7/31/11 Chris F not one of Arnies best films 3 stars
12/21/06 David Pollastrini must have sucked. I saw it but have no memory of it 1 stars
8/18/05 ES better than Total retard, I liked the way the villains kept coming back from the dead 4 stars
7/02/05 Quigley had some clever ideas, but it becomes a really forgettable film. watch T2, not this 3 stars
6/01/05 Chris Are you who you think you are? 1 stars
3/30/05 hannaho Just another Arnold film. 3 stars
3/04/05 Gloria Anderson love this movie 4 stars
3/02/05 David Tsung one of arnie's worst films 2 stars
2/27/05 Diane Stedner It wasn't so bad but wasn't so good either 3 stars
2/23/05 ALDO one of arnie's worse films...disappointing!!!! 2 stars
8/22/04 R.W. Welch Plot line is too far out to be very involving. Some snazzy F/X. 3 stars
6/09/04 Nobody I'm glad arnie went into politics, now he can't make any more crappy movies like this 1 stars
4/17/04 ALBERT H. TAYLOR JR. Not Arnold's better films! 3 stars
4/08/04 y2mckay One of Arnie's most brain-dead actioners - rent "Total Recall" . Sarah Wynter hot, though. 2 stars
4/08/04 Jack Sommersby Uninteresting, unexciting, and unmemorable. A real waste of fucking time. 1 stars
2/20/04 Stefan Halka The worst action I have ever seen in any A-level movie. 3 stars
1/28/04 stuntman A good idea ruined by poor writers 2 stars
7/01/03 Frank Lynch Decent flick 4 stars
4/19/03 Pratim Guha Biswas IT was really a waste of time which u would not normally expect from a Arnie Movie 2 stars
4/17/03 Matt Thiel An action film that tries to tell a story; but there are better examples than this. 3 stars
10/28/02 Jay Is this movie bad? No fucking way! Arnie at his best! 5 stars
8/01/02 Zefram Mann That Sim-Pal was so friggin' evil looking. 3 stars
5/26/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi when i told u to go screw urself i didnt mean it literally 3 stars
3/29/02 Evan The Critic An attempt to go back to the 'Total Recall' sci-fi action, and it hit on target! Must see! 4 stars
3/15/02 Zargo underrated 4 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Interesting premise. Not very exciting. 3 stars
11/28/01 The $1.98 Pyramid I had high expectations about this movie, and so I was disapointed. 2 stars
10/30/01 Connoisseur nice entertaining movie, quit carping! 4 stars
8/07/01 Mr. Hat Lots of fun for the first hour and a half. 4 stars
6/10/01 I love movies this movie absolutely rocked the world! Arnold's best in years but his acting hasn't improv 5 stars
5/12/01 Pete Wrigley just bad 1 stars
5/09/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Christ... 2 stars
5/07/01 Monday Morning Kind of a cross between "Total Recall" and "Twins". Fun futuristic appliances too. 4 stars
5/06/01 saleh sientific 4 stars
4/15/01 The Bomb 69 interesting look at the possibilities of cloning and the potential downfalls 4 stars
4/12/01 DREDD really bad plot, must have been really big hard drives to store all those memorys 2 stars
4/11/01 Del R One of me says he liked it, the other one says he didn't 3 stars
4/10/01 Jesse L Most boring Arnie movie ever made. Thin thin plot. 2 stars
4/10/01 Spetters Arnold sucks!!! He should make a Movie with Cameron again. 1 stars
3/29/01 The Reviewer it is better than last action hero, end of days, but not as good as total recall. 4 stars
2/04/01 Avenger girl Not to bad a movie,lots of action,but Arnie movies need some new insights. 3 stars
1/26/01 Sickofshitfilms comes a close second just after 'Battlefield Earth' 2 stars
1/25/01 Diego Romero Preet good movie,believe me,Arnie will return with T3 and true lies 2 5 stars
1/16/01 The Terminator As a fan of Schwarzenegger, I enjoyed this movie 4 stars
1/14/01 Action freak Good movie, should have been a huge hit, but people don't seem to like Schwarzenegger 4 stars
12/30/00 kevin AH im a clone i have two rings under my eyelid, this movie sucked D+ 2 stars
12/20/00 owen thought provoking action flik 4 stars
12/11/00 MAXOMENOS Good premise, boring execution. Could be the last gasp of the typical Arnold flick. 2 stars
12/05/00 Charlie.X "Did you get the info, !!Arnie,!! my soul wants 2, know, du plane will land, its gonu blow. 4 stars
11/25/00 FlickChick Kinda like Total Recall meets Demo Man meets 5th Element. Fills the flick need. 4 stars
11/25/00 Blubberbot Some good parts. Some bad parts. Some exciting parts. Some boring parts. 3 stars
11/24/00 FELaPorta Great Fun - my kids and I loved it! 4 stars
11/24/00 TigerShark Could've been so much better than it was. Ah-nold was good, but the plot was stupid. Rental 2 stars
11/23/00 KoHawk I guess it was okay... Damn those lasers ruined it, though 3 stars
11/22/00 Florida Voter 2 Too close to call.........lets recount!!! 4 stars
11/21/00 Greyjack An all right movie. Not blow-you-out-of-your-seat great, but a good matinee flick. 4 stars
11/20/00 Wyatt Earp Better than I expected. Nice FXs. Acting wasn't painful 4 stars
11/19/00 Stuntman not as bad as Red Planet, but worth watching 3 stars
11/19/00 TheRock Much better than M2M and Red Planet...not in Total Recall's class though 4 stars
11/19/00 frankko it's no COMMANDO. 3 stars
11/18/00 Will it was good simple fun. 4 stars
11/18/00 Brandon Bickford not bad when arnie isn't talking 4 stars
11/18/00 Bruce Has it's problems but it is entertianing. 4 stars
11/18/00 FLORIDA VOTER This movie was great! I disagree with the reviewer, this movie is 5 stars, A++ 5 stars
11/18/00 Eve Crisp visuals, some neat twists, and Arnold is always a reliable source of fun and heroism 5 stars
11/18/00 artifact great special effects, but missing a strong storyline 3 stars
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  17-Nov-2000 (PG-13)


  18-Jan-2001 (M)

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