Film (2000). Phoenix Pictures presents a Jon Davison production. Directed by Roger Spottiswoode. Written by Cormac Wibberly, Marianne Wibberly. Cast includes Robert Duvall, Tony Goldwyn, Michael Rooker and Arnold Schwarzenegger. 123 minutes. Colour.
In the future, mankind has the Technology to replicate humans physically and mentally, but the process is illegal. Unsurprisingly, certain rich and powerful individuals are nevertheless being cloned (see Clones) in this way, under a programme run by a powerful business magnate (Goldwyn). A mistake during a cover-up by this corporation leads to an affable family man (Schwarzenegger) being cloned unknowingly. Violence and confusion follow as one Schwarzenegger seeks to restore normality and shut down the cloning operation, while the other remains ignorant of what is going on.
The film is clearly an attempt to recreate the successes of Schwarzenegger's early sf films, but it lacks the iconic designs and strong scripts that characterized his best work. Schwarzenegger's stiff acting is not improved by the demands of playing opposite himself, and there is a sense of absurdity in depicting the hulking Austrian as an American everyman.
The 6th Day does at least tackle an interesting issue, but it is a heavily conservative film that does not risk alienating its target audience with too much emphasis on the philosophical questions of Identity and ethics that clone stories raise, though these to its credit are glanced at. The movie is largely made up of copious, traditional action sequences, and its final "message" is strongly technophobic. [JN/PN]
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