The 6th Day

Dir: Roger Spottiswoode
Star: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tony Goldwyn, Michael Rappaport, Robert Duvall

I think there perhaps needs to be less legislation restricting cloning research, and more on cloning movies. For this is another lacklustre stab at the topic, which never manages to succeed either on an intellectual level or as a straight-up action flick. Schwarzenegger plays helicopter pilot Alan Gibson, who goes home to find himself already there - or, at least, a convincing facsimile thereof. When, seconds later, someone attempts to kill him, he finds himself plunged deep into a world of corporate double-dealing, political shenanigans religious fundamentalists and assassins who won't stay dead. Meanwhile, company head Michael Drucker (Goldwyn) is engaged in a battle to change the laws and also convince his top scientist, Dr. Weir (Duvall), not to bail on the questionably-legal operation.

There is an interesting movie in here, struggling to get out. It occasionally breaks the surface - most often in the scenes involving Dr. Weir and his wife - but just as you start to get interested, the script remembers that this is an Arnie film, and it's been five minutes since the last shoot-out, so we'd better get on with the next one. Which might be okay, except for Spottiswoode being one of the worst action directors in Hollywood [having given us both the worst Bond in recent memory, Tomorrow Never Dies, and the Stallone vehicle, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot]. He manages to suck the energy and excitement from just about every sequence. The result lumbers towards a conclusion that's just about as obvious as it is uninteresting. I did admire the efforts to construct a plausible future: however, when your opening scene features the one season and done wonder of the XFL, your credibility faces an uphill battle from there.

[January 2009]

Two for the price of one
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