Archive for November 19th, 2012

No rest for the unworldly Schwarzenegger in uneven ‘6th Day’

November 19, 2012

Several weeks ago, I watched the 1993 Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle The Last Action Hero for the first time and found it engaging, if somewhat underwhelming. The other night, I watched a more recent Governator flick, The 6th Day; sadly, this 2000 picture is rather more leaden.

The setup is fine. In the near future, a human cloning experiment ended badly, for reasons which aren’t made clear, and the endeavor has been outlawed. Still, black-clad rich guy Michael Drucker is pursuing cloning by a variety of means, some but not all of which are legal. Drucker’s motivations are varied, with his desire to preserve his own empire playing a significant role.

One day, Drucker takes a few hours off for high-altitude snow-boarding. It’s a fateful excursion. After an anti-cloning extremist attacks the party, heroic family guy and helijet pilot Adam Gibson is covertly, illegally and mistakenly cloned by Drucker’s cronies. When he returns to his own house at night, Gibson is astonished to discover an identical version of himself enjoying a surprise birthday party with his wife, daughter and friends.

Gibson is standing by himself on his own front porch, still trying to process this unnerving sight, when a man and woman walk up. In a matter of seconds, the pair attempt to murder Gibson. This being a Schwarzenegger film, he escapes. A car chase and gun battle ensue, during which two of Gibson’s four pursuers are killed.

Ultimately, Gibson infiltrates Drucker’s corporate headquarters not once but twice. Before all is said and done, he achieves a sort of reconciliation with his identical twin. Guns are fired, goons are killed (some more than once), morality is debated, expensive-looking sets are wrecked and justice is served.

What surprised me about The 6th Day (a reference to Genesis, when God created man and woman, and the awesome power that some humans threaten to usurp) was that the movie’s nods to philosophy are more convincing and intriguing than its action sequences. Read the rest of this entry »

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