The 6th Day

For anybody still in the dark, the title refers to the passage in the Bible where God created man on the sixth day. So now that that's over with, The 6th Day marks a semi-return to Arnold Schwarzenegger's former glory days. Back before his strange trips into family fare and he had a happy-go-lucky attitude towards violence. Now, his action movies tone it down a little to attract a PG-13 rating and, hopefully, wider audiences. Schwarzenegger needs a hit film after his two most recent efforts, Batman & Robin and End of Days. The 6th Day is not that hit, but is a step in the right direction.

Events take place in the near future, where all cloning is prevalent except for the cloning of humans. Parents clone pets so their children will not know their dog died. In this world, Adam Gibson (Schwarzenegger) owns a chartered helicopter service. Gibson is adamantly against cloning, and is in the midst of a moral crisis. His daughter's dog just died, and her birthday is right around the corner. Since this is a Schwarzenegger movie and an action movie, he goes home at night only to look in the window and see himself with his family. He soon learns from Marshall (Michael Rooker, The Bone Collector, The Replacement Killers) and Talia (Sarah Winter, Lost Souls, Species 2) that he was illegally cloned. Since the clone got home first, Gibson must be the one to die.

Gibson soon makes the transition from loving father and husband to crazed stalker, setting out to kill his clone while Marshall and Talia gun for him. They work for Drucker (Tony Goldwyn, Bounce, A Walk on the Moon), a rich industrialist who may be secretly conducting cloning experiments (duh) with the help of Dr. Griffin Weir (Robert Duvall, Gone in 60 Seconds, A Civil Action). Screenwriters Cormac and Marianne Wibberly's story goes through the obvious motions. Is the clone of Gibson really the clone? Or may Gibson actually be the clone? The script seems to ignore this point entirely until near the end, when the answer is fairly obvious to everyone except Gibson. For those who cannot get enough of Arnold, the third act of this movie should satisfy.

The general look and feel of an action movie is still here, thanks to director Roger Spottiswoode (Tomorrow Never Dies, Hiroshima). There are big explosions, crashing cars, people falling and the like. None of it is spectacular, but none of it is subpar either. There are some very amusing scenes with a toy Gibson buys for his daughter. In terms of acting, everything is again mediocre, partially due to the action heavy script and partially due to what looks like a lack of enthusiasm. The most energetic presence in the film is Michael Rapaport (Men of Honor, Lucky Numbers), but Rapaport is merely playing the same person he plays in every movie, and lately, what seems like every other movie released. While it is fairly enjoyable, The 6th Day is missing a fresh look at the tired science fiction cloning story and/or over the top violence and stunts that draw people to these kinds of movies.

Haro Rates It: Okay.
2 hours, 4 minutes, Rated PG-13 for strong action violence, brief strong language, and some sensuality.

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