Cloning Around
The 6th Day
Review by Ross Anthony

If your loved one fell ill with a fatal disease at a young age would you have him/her cloned? Letting the real McCoy die only to live with the clone? "Sixth Day" does a good job of raising ethical dilemmas in the potentially near future. But, if you weren't happy with the clone, would it be all right to just kill it off? Would you have the guts to kill your own clone?

This is a film to prompt a lively conversation on the subject of genetics and morality, but as an action film it's rather uninspired. Aside from an exciting car chase early on, the action sequences play rote, as if everyone involved had done them so many times that they were able to accomplish their tasks with their minds on something else. Autopilot.

Supposedly a mild-mannered family man and chopper pilot, when the poop hits the fan, Arnold switches into super-hero mode without the slightest hesitation. Killing people and dodging the bad guys as if he'd been doing it on a daily basis (or had an action-packed film career).

It's the not-so-distant future, computers have automated many of our normal tasks and genetics have made it possible to change lives in ways that are worth protesting over. Did your favorite puppy kick the bucket? Just bring the remains to REPET and they'll clone you a new one. "He'll remember all the tricks you taught him and even where the bones are buried." But the kingpins of REPET also own NU-ORGAN and, though it's been outlawed, they dabble in human cloning as well.

Hired as a charter pilot for the principal cloner and then presumed killed in a mishap; Arnold gets cloned illegally by the bad guys. So when the real Arnold sees another himself living his real life, the real and unreal bad guys decide to really kill the real him. This conflict brings rise for chases, capture and escape, and gunfights.

Stereotypical mod-squady thugs try time and again to nab the elusive Arnold. Cloned back to life after being run-over by a car, one bad guy complains of chest pains. "Your chest was crushed, completely crushed. This is a new one. It's perfect! The pain is all in your head!" Since clones have the memory of their sources ... do they remember the pain of death? Another mind toy.

The acting, aside from Robert Duvall as the head clone doc, is average. An imperfect pace, mundane direction, and rather blotchy dialogue (a few thought-provoking chunks mixed into rote action-film spewage) irritate the picture's effect, but the main problem is the action. It's just not a terribly exciting movie.

Quipped from the Bible, "On the Sixth Day ... God created Man." Anti-Cloner protesters make the point that the good book doesn't say "Man created man," hence the apropos title and the film's best question, "Do clones have souls?"

  • The 6th Day. Copyright © 2000. Rated R.
  • Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tony Goldwyn, Robert Duvall, Michael Rapaport, Michael Rooker, Sarah Wynter, Wendy Crewson, Rod Rowland, Terry Crews, Ken Pogue, Colin Cunningham.
  • Directed by Roger Spottiswoode.
  • Written by Cormac Wibberley, Marianne Wibberey.
  • Produced by Mike Medavoy, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jon Davison at Columbia/Phoenix.

Grade.......................... B-

Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:53:53 PDT