The 6th Day (2000) starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Rapaport, Robert Duvall, Michael Rooker, Sarah Wynter, Tony Goldwyn, Wendy Crewson directed by Roger Spottiswoode Movie Review

The 6th Day (2000)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Adam Gibson in The 6th Day

Another Cloned Arnie Movie

It has to be said that "The 6th Day" is very much your stereotypical Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi movie which allows him to flex his muscles in numerous well choreographed but often over the top action sequences. Think "Total Recall" and you will know pretty much what to expect. But even on its cinema release it all actually felt a little dated, with Schwarzenegger feeling like a relic from the past having now been surpassed by stylish snappy action movies rather than the big bang, shoot outs which he very much made his own. Maybe it was a subtle nod to his character Adam being a big of a Luddite with his like for a few old fashioned things instead of new technology, but it makes "The 6th Day" at times feels quite dated and cumbersome compared to new super stylish action romps.

In the not do distant future the ability to clone had advanced to the point where you can go to the shopping mall to have your pet cloned when it passes on. But the cloning of humans is both more complex and more importantly illegal, that is until Adam Gibson (Arnold Schwarzenegger - End of Days) returns home one day to discover a clone living in his home. Before he can discover what has happened he is thrown into the world of illegal cloning and not only having to work out how to save himself but also try to put a stop to it all.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in The 6th Day

Feeling a little dated is a shame as "The 6th Day" uses the controversial issue of cloning as the base for the storyline and manages to acknowledge the various issues which come with it. But it all feels slightly wasted as if they centred it around cloning not because they wanted to explore the moralistic issues but to allow them to kill characters then bring them back to life and of course deliver the problem of a cloning cock up which sees a person who's not dead being cloned. You just feel that the underlying storyline had great potential for being both an exciting thriller and a though provoking look at the moralistic issues of cloning rather than the vehicle for action chaos which whilst throws a couple of twists at you is not overly clever, thought provoking or thrilling. It is though long, much longer than needs to be and becomes very repetitive with all the cloning going on and it favouring action over anything of real substance.

But whilst the dumbing down of the cloning aspect, so to speak, is disappointing it has to be said that "The 6th Day" is actually quite a good futuristic movie, setting it all in the not so distant future. So we still have cars not so much those we see today but they have realistic advancements such as auto drive, and the simplest things have gone through a makeover such as razors now use lasers for a nick free shave. It's a surprisingly realistic look into the future with just enough fantasy about it, such as the helicopters, to make it not dull. Plus of course you have Arnie playing a semi Luddite and so still likes all the old fashioned stuff such as the Classic Cadillac he has in his garage.

But the biggest problem which "The 6th Day" faces is the actual casting of Schwarzenegger in the lead role of Adam because he just can't do drama. His delivery of lines combined with his expressionless face just doesn't cut it when he needs to show any other emotion than rage. It also doesn't help that "The 6th Day" ends up parodying parts of Arnie's career with a play on the "I'll be back" catch phrase and dishing up humorous moments which rely on Arnie gurning. The thing is his character, Adam, is likable and for once is the underdog in the movie; it's just maybe Arnie wasn't the right man for the role because no offence to the man, he ends up dumbing down the whole movie.

Aside from Arnie the rest of the actors feel like supporting cast with Michael Rapaport seeming to play it for laughs as his pilot friend Hank Morgan whilst Michael Rooker goes for over the top reactions as Robert Marshall a sort of security officer for the cloning industry. The only actor who manages to deliver anything close to emotion is Robert Duvall who as Dr. Griffin Weir comes to realise through his dieing wife that maybe cloning is wrong despite having pioneered it.

What this all boils down to is that I can't help but think "The 6th Day" is a waste of a good idea. The issues around cloning are numerous yet whilst the movie acknowledges many of them it never uses them for anything more than an old fashioned Arnie action. Arnie is also part of the problem as he just can't do emotion or drama making scenes which are meant to be poignant ending up dull, lifeless and a bit comical. But it is the overlong and often repetitive story which really causes "The 6th Day" to struggle feeling like you are in a never ending loop. It's not a terrible movie but could have been so much more and will appeal to fans of Arnie's other sci-fi romps.