Seeing Double

Two Arnies? Gimme a break!

This winter, Columbia Tri-Star's "The Sixth Day" gives you a glimpse into the inevitable future where society stands on the brink of genetic alteration.

After incessant agitation and public disapproval, human cloning is eventually prohibited under the "6th Day Laws". However, powerful businessmen like Michael Drucker (Tony Goldwyn) work secretly to control votes and change the system by conducting medical experiments with the expertise of Dr. Griffin Weir (Robert Duvall). Drucker and Weir establish Replacement Technologies and try to gain a monopoly over the business of genetic engineering.

Simultaneously, war veteran and pilot Adam Gibson (Arnold Schwarzenegger) finds himself the victim of a bizarre cloning experiment. In the twinkling of an eye, Gibson's unilateral family life is rapidly appropriated by his double and the conspiracy takes a lethal turn. Unable to prove his status to the authorities, Gibson realizes the need to uncover the true purpose of his newly acquired clone and protect his family from Drucker's sinister cover-up.

The movie is directed by Roger Spottiswoode and boasts an intricate cast with an arsenal of special effects. The sets are extremely complex and recreated with the aid of superlative SFX and makeup to corroborate most of the scenes.

Unfortunately the screenplay is wholly misleading and overrun with cinematic cliches and predictable twists. Arnold Schwarzenegger's role as Adam Gibson is fairly substantial but his imminent transformation in the latter half of the film appears pale in relation to his compelling circumstances.

It's painfully obvious that the film is intended to be an entertainment package for a wide audience, but its needless violence and profanity negate its overall universality. Other than its prophetic undertones, this film doesn't evoke strong sentiment and treads on thin ice for the most part.

This article was first published on 25 Jan 2001.