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Film Review - 6th Day, The
I am amazed! This is one of the best written Arnold Schwarzenegger movies I have every seen. I know that sounds like a knock, but Arnold isn't known for making well thought out films. The 6th Day delivers fair commentary on the subject of human cloning while dishing up the action film we expected when we forked over our cash at the box office.
There is nothing more important in satisfying a movie audience than living up to expectations. Many of the movies I have hated have been films where I was sold one movie, but another was projected. If the trailers had just been honest about the subject, I might have liked them. It's sort of like when you're in the mood for steak and the plate shows up containing chicken. You still like chicken, but it's not what you wanted. The 6th Day satisfies our hunger for an action film. But it isn't so over-board as many of Schwarzenegger's films of the past have been. This guy isn't so young anymore. His character is a little less physically strong, but a lot wiser than previous characters. Perhaps this is a reflection of Schwarzenegger himself.
Schwarzenegger plays Adam Gibson, the owner of a helicopter company. He's got a contract to give a high profile executive a lift. Next thing he knows, he's been cloned. The big questions are who did it and why? This is enough to allow the writer to discuss both sides of the human cloning argument. Yes both sides. One where cloning allows people to be cured of horrible diseases, and the other where some people act like God over others.
Gibson is even against the cloning of the family dog when it dies. He takes the humanist approach that life consists of birth, and life-span, and death. To interfere with this progression of life is to lessen our humanity.
His foe is a the executive he was contracted to give a lift to. Drucker (Tony Goldwyn) reminds me of Bill Gates and Larry Ellison, men with a vision of their future. Men who aren't going to let anything get in their way. Drucker has some terrible secrets, and he'll kill anyone who might expose those secrets. Drucker even becomes the embodiment of the big corporation rolling over innocent people.
We all know going in who will die and who will triumph, but the journey to the ending we can all see is both fun and satisfying. One of the flaws you see a lot are those films that are bubblegum and fluff until the last reel, and then the director decides he needs to have some socially redeeming message which he then beats into your head for the last twenty minutes. The 6th Day does not do this. It actually discusses the subject and leads the audience to the writer's point. This is certainly a cut above when it comes to writing these days.
You can go to this movie knowing that you will receive what you paid for, and there's a bonus of a good moral story that will have you talking on the way out to the car. Skip the seasonal bubblegum and go see The 6th Day.
Directed by Roger Spottiswoode
Released in 2000
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Reviewed by Mongo