(US); 2000; Rated PG-13; 123 Minutes
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Adam Gibson
Michael Rapaport: Hank Morgan
Tony Goldwyn: Michael Drucker
Michael Rooker: Robert Marshall
Sarah Wynter: Talia Elsworth
Wendy Crewson: Natalie Gibson
Rodney Rowland: Wiley
Produced by David Coatsworth, Jon Davison, David
Latham, Mike Medavoy, Daniel Petrie Jr., Arnold Schwarzenegger,
Cormac Wibberley and Marianne Wibberley; Directed by
Roger Spottiswoode; Screenwritten by Cormac Wibberley
and Marianne Wibberley
by DAVID KEYES
has made broad leaps in allowing humans to do what they
want to the Earth and its resources, but nothing quite as
powerful as the process of cloning living organisms. We've
read in newspapers and seen on television of how it is now
possible for scientists to actually clone adult sheep, practically
duplicating them without any fanfare or elaborate experimentation.
But the process, needless to say, has been attacked even
before it was technically possible, mostly by people who
are concerned that mankind may be digging its own grave
by practicing things it has no right to do. Now the concerns
grow thicker day by day, as scientists ever-so-steadily
creep towards the moment when they are able to successfully
duplicate an actual human.
"The Sixth Day," a movie where such experimentation is now
completely possible, laws have been established that forbid
the cloning of human beings, despite the fact that the process
can still be lawfully implemented with animals and plants.
The reasoning displayed by the movie's plot is similar to
that of the arguments that go on in our own reality: altering
the essential cycle of life may very well be a power that
mankind should have no authority over. There are other issues
to contemplate as well, such as the notion that unnaturally-conceived
organisms have no souls, or aren't even real beings. With
no specific answers to any of these concerns, performing
such experiments is simply too risky to attempt.
humans is what the Supreme Court has designated a "Sixth
Day Violation," which can lead to jail time and even more
serious forms of punishment if discovered (the "sixth day"
reference is taken out of the biblical context, incidentally).
But behind the shadows, these experiments actually do go
on, in a secret lab that is operated by Dr. Weir (Robert
Duvall) and enforced by rich CEO Michael Drucker (Tony Goldwyn).
In just a few easy steps and little amounts of time, practically
any human being can be successfully cloned; the problem
is, cloning is less identifiable when the original model
is deceased, and when the alive-and-well helicopter pilot
Adam Gibson (Arnold Schwarzenegger) returns home to his
wife and sees a replica of himself assuming his role, the
underground cloning establishment panics and sets out to
eliminate one of the two men before the lid on their illegal
operation is blown off.
a similar identity blockbuster named "Total Recall," "The
Sixth Day" is an effective action feature because of how
well it is packaged: with coherent action, exciting chases,
clever twists and intriguing payoffs. The script written
by Cormac and Marianne Wibberley has a certain introspective
feel to it, but doesn't hesitate to exaggerate certain details
and leave out others for the benefit of maintaining your
typical blockbuster formula. Schwarzenegger and his fellow
comrades, namely Duvall and Goldwyn, also have considerable
fun here, diving headfirst into the material and paddling
enough ferocity to keep the viewers not only interested
in the subtext, but in the characters as well.
like most of the other Schwarzenegger flicks, sometimes
the action elements can get drastically overplayed. There
are three sequences that I am instantly reminded of here
in which the element of fun is halted and replaced with
disbelief, particularly because they are not just overproduced,
but absurdly realized and crafted. The sound effects, likewise,
are increasingly annoying; why is it that filmmakers frequently
see the need to break eardrums in the process of striking
us with complicated action scenes? It's not as if we can't
hear what's going on. Turn the volume down already.
there is no need to mull over the disadvantages here for
long. "The Sixth Day" is what it is: an absorbing, compelling
and fascinating studio effort that would have undoubtedly
been seen in a more appreciative light had it been released
during summer, when most of the competition was merely crap.
Because it is being released among the ranks of the more
insightful, thought-provoking series of movies this fall,
the picture will likely be viewed under less of an enthusiastic
scope. That shouldn't prevent anyone from still having a
good time, though.
David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org.
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