The 6th Day

on November 17, 2000 by Wade Major
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   It's ironic that a movie about cloning should itself be such a terribly poor clone. A sloppy copy of older, better Arnold Schwarzenegger efforts like "Total Recall" and "The Running Man," "The 6th Day" is a tedious attempt to regain the luster of the action star's better days, a smattering of hackneyed action sequences laced into a very tired near-future science fiction scenario.

   Intentionally designed to emulate such Paul Verhoeven films as "Robocop" and the aforementioned "Total Recall," director Roger Spottiswoode's ("Tomorrow Never Dies") "The 6th Day" takes place in an America where cloning is commonplace and allowable for the replacement of pets, but illegal for human beings. That, of course, doesn't stop evil corporate mastermind Michael Drucker (Tony Goldwyn) from exploiting the scientific genius of his partner, Griffin Weir (Robert Duvall), to indulge in clandestine human cloning for his own diabolical purposes. But when those purposes accidentally wind up cloning an unsuspecting helicopter shuttle pilot named Adam Gibson (Schwarzenegger), Drucker puts a contract on Gibson and/or his clone to eradicate the evidence.

   Thereafter, "The 6th Day" becomes a fairly prototypical Schwarzenegger action picture of the "fugitive-on-the-run" variety. While that's hardly new ground for Arnold, whose career has been almost entirely based on revisiting proven formulas, "The 6th Day" can't seem to even properly assemble the ingredients. Confusing from the get-go and rife with plot holes and logical lapses, it lumbers through its predictable paces with little imagination and even less inspiration. Among the film's most ludicrous and inconsistent concepts is the notion that someone can actually attain a kind of immortality through cloning, as though identity were defined by nothing more than shared memory.

   Such nonsense ultimately makes "The 6th Day" more taxing than annoying, confirming the Godly wisdom of setting aside the seventh day to rest and recover. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tony Goldwyn, Michael Rapaport, Michael Rooker, Sarah Wynter, Wendy Crewson and Robert Duvall. Directed by Roger Spottiswoode. Written by Cormac Wibberley & Marianne Wibberley. Produced by Mike Medavoy, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jon Davison. A Columbia release. Action/SF. Rated PG-13 for strong action violence, brief strong language and some sensuality. Running time: 123 min

Tags: Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tony Goldwyn, Michael Rapaport, Michael Rooker, Sarah Wynter, Wendy Crewson, Robert Duvall, Directed by Roger Spottiswoode. Written by Cormac Wibberley & Marianne Wibberley. Produced by Mike Medavoy, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jon Davison, Columbia, Action SF
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