THE 6TH DAY
Rated PG-13 - Running Time: 2:04 - Released 11/17/00
The idea of human cloning has become quite a fertile field for science fiction ever since Dolly the sheep emerged from her test tube. It is a daunting consideration that people could be copied using a microscopic sample of their DNA, a blood sample, a hair, a bit of sloughed off skin and it should make for a fascinating film. But the combination of director Roger Spottis- woode's frenetic action-pic style (remember, he directed the high-tech, low-touch 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies) and the tendencies of writing team Cormac and Marianne Wibberley and star Arnold Schwarzenegger in the same direction, sacrificing believable action for one-liners and gunfire, make The 6th Day simply another fiery, loud shoot-em-up with overblown villains, over-the-top heroics, and lapses in simple logic. I ask you: why would a man who claims to be genetically perfect require glasses?
The opening readout of The 6th Day states that its story
takes place in "the near future closer than you think."
I can only assume from the cautionary nature of this message that
the film is intended to warn viewers of the moral dangers of human
cloning, something that could become a possibility in the near
future. Schwarzenegger plays Adam Gibson, a man who lives in a
world where dead pets can be reborn, sick people can have a brand
spanking new liver if need be, and nacho bananas are readily available.
Adam is a pilot who runs an air taxi company, flying these nifty,
futuristic helicopter/jets for wealthy people who need to get
somewhere expensively. One day after being asked to take a routine
drug and eye test at work, Adam comes home to find himself already
there, enjoying his birthday party with his wife and kids. Watching
through the window, he soon begins to wonder what kind of other
stuff this guy's doing with his wife. And then some people show
up and say, "Sorry, but we're going to have to kill you."
As it turns out, the thugs at the door (Sarah Wynter, Michael
Rooker) work for the wealthy, powerful Drucker (Tony Goldwyn),
the myopic superman mentioned above who is also chairman of the
multibillion-dollar cloning company responsible for everything
listed above except the bananas. It seems that despite the "6th
Day Law" banning the Xeroxing of human beings, Adam has indeed
been copied after Drucker's people mistakenly thought he had been
killed while transporting Drucker in his heli-majig. Now, since
there are two Adams, one must go.
The 6th Day tries to present an intelligent statement on the ethical considerations of cloning, but since Spottiswoode sees everything through Bond-colored glasses, too many details are glossed over in favor of high-speed Cadillac chases and red-orange explosions. Even the inclusion of heavyweight Robert Duvall as the conflicted scientific genius behind it all can't make this movie any smarter. Too bad I was thinking about investing in a mini-me. ***
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