In the near future, cloning is now technically advanced, but human cloning is still illegal. Adam Gibson (Schwarzenegger) returns home after working with his friend Hank Morgan (Rapaport), only to find a clone of himself with his family. Before he has chance to find out the truth, he is attacked by a group who want him dead. Adam must escape and find out the truth from the creator of the clones, Michael Drucker (Goldwyn). Adam knows for sure he couldn't have been cloned, but isn't ready for what he's about to hear. Written by
One of the best action thrillers in years--great special effects, characters and story. **** (out of four)
THE 6TH DAY / (2000) **** (out of four)
By Blake French:
Roger Spottiswoode's recent action film "The 6th Day" is of the best thrillers you will see this year, and possibly the next. Seldom do action pictures have as much thought, insight, and are this well written and developed. With a screenplay by Cormac Wibberley and Marianne Wibberley, the movie takes one of the most controversial current subjects, cloning, and applies it to a time when it may cause discern for public, the near future. This is a movie with ample prominence and proximity, and depending where you stand on the issue of cloning will determine whether or not we will side with the main character here. He is played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, now forgiven for his last several bombs, "Jingle all the Way," "End of Days," and "Batman and Robin." If one thriller can make up for those three hideous productions, you know it must be very good...and it is.
Schwarzenegger stars as Adam Gibson, a middle-aged everyman who has a lovely wife, Natalie (Wendy Crewson), and a young, pretty daughter named Carla (Taylor Anne Reid). Adam and his friend, Hank (Michael Rapaport), are pilots for the Double X Charter Company, a helicopter touring service. While most of society has adapted to the advancements in technology, such as the ability to clone deceased pets and to own a realistic looking and behaving doll, Adam is pretty old-fashioned when it comes branch of knowledge. At least until one night when he returns home to find his family and friends celebrating his birthday with him already inside. Outside his house waits several agents, including Talia (Sarah Wynter), Robert (Michael Rooker), and Vincent (Terry Crews), who attempt to kill him.
Adam and Hank were cloned by a multi-billion dollar food cloning company, Replacement Technologies. This corporation is run by an individual named Drucker (Tony Goldwyn), who supposedly used his cloning equipment to replenish the world's food supply. While human cloning is illegal, he and his chief scientist, Dr. Weir (Robert DuVall), are constantly cloning for various reasons. After they discover Adam escaped his assassins, they begin an all out scheme to destroy the evidence in which they have created.
The tedious measures the filmmakers take in development of the characters, situations, events, and motives are outstanding. We get to know the main characters. They are intriguing and the conflict is highly engrossing; even the antagonist's motives provoke thought. The film is engaging throughout because the subject and its execution are so relevant and controversial. "The 6th Day" does not feel like a high tech action film, although it is. But it also has a very authentic flavor because it uses the special effects to further the story, and the action sequences are all in context of the plot.
About those action scenes and special effects, they do not distract from the movie's themes or story. Roger Spottiswoode, whose most poplar work consists of "Tomorrow Never Dies," (1997) and "Turner & Hooch," (1989), keeps the story fast-paced but finely focused. The futuristic material, so often overused in movies nowadays, is kept to a believable realm here. The film handles the material with delicacy; if the movie was to use too little, its subject matter would be unconvincing; if there was too much, then the film would become too far-fetched. Spottiswoode contrasts just the right amount, and blends the effects with the various character's personalities beautifully.
What impresses me most of all about movies like "The 6th Day" is how the writers deny the urge to allow the special effects and action to take place of the passion in characters. In the year 2000, we received big waves in "The Perfect Storm," big explosions in "U-571," computer animated sequences in "X-Men," and all sorts of special martial arts stunts in "Charlie's Angels" and "Legend of Drunken Master." But what those movies were missing is depth and insight of the real world, and the movies that did contain heart, like "The Perfect Storm," were contrived and shameless. With "The 6th Day" we have a movie that contains all the excitement and special effects, but within a story that is character-based and relevant to our times. This is one of the top ten movies released in the year 2000.
31 of 55 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?