Starring: Arnold Schwarzenneger, Michael Rapaport, Tony Goldwyn, Michael Rooker, Robert Duvall
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
We’re vaguely told that it is sometime in the future and while human cloning is outlawed, the cloning of animals has become an acceptable way to replace that dead pet situation that we all hate to deal with. Replacement Technologies, the major cloning institute in the US, is run by businessman Michael Drucker (Goldwyn). Although they advertise their animal cloning services and research, behind the scenes they have already been involved in the sinister cloning of humans, using the expertise of Dr Griffin Weir (Duvall).
A “sixth day violation” occurs when Replacement Technologies mistakingly clone Adam Gibson (Schwarzenneger) believing him to be killed in a shoot-out. Gibson returns home to find that his clone has already assumed his life and now Replacement want him captured and murdered in order to keep their secret safe. If anyone sees Gibson and his clone together, then those people will be killed and Gibson realises that the only way he can put an end to the nightmare is to infiltrate Replacement and stop their operation.
“The 6th Day” can be pretty much be summed up by the word ‘flawed’. The idea of human cloning throws up numerous interesting premises, and indeed director Spottiswoode (“Tomorrow Never Dies”, “And the Band Played On”, “Stop or my Mom Will Shoot”) plays on the unique idea with some genuinely amusing lines (“Doesn’t anyone stay dead anymore?”) and situations. His direction never really excites though: the action scenes are sloppy and interest wanes very easily throughout.
The best element of the movie is the humour. Arnie gets to play with some genuinely funny lines and the scene which sees Michael Rooker convince a cop that his Replacement colleague is perfectly alive and not suffering from a broken neck, is hilarious. The cast, mind you, is uninspiring. Outisde of Robert Duvall and his screen wife Katherine (Cannon), there is little talent or charisma present between the motley crew of Rooker, Goldwyn, Rapaport and Crewson. Schwarzenneger performs with his usual strong-arm vigour. Cloning is a great subject for the big screen and I think we will see better movies than this. Not recommended.