“I think I’m a clone now.” — Weird Al Yankovic
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Predator) plays a guy named Adam, an easygoing pilot just trying to live a rewarding family life in the not-so-distant future. His biggest issue he faces is trying to decide if it’s not too creepy to clone his recently deceased dog. That’s right, cloning is the wave of the future, dogs, plants, wildlife, even internal organs — though human cloning is absolutely illegal.
So of course it comes as a giant surprise to Adam when he arrives home one night, stunned to see…himself…blowing out candles on a birthday cake, surrounded by friends and families. It’s not soon after that culture shock that bad guys show up and start shooting their laser pistols at his face.
Turns out someone up and cloned him, and are now trying to erase that mistake, forcing Adam to take the fight to some powerful, shifty customers and figure out who’s behind this human cloning business.
Decent movie. Arnold’s sci-fi action bonanza applies an interesting — and surprisingly timely — premise to the usual bombast of laser blasts and futuristic airplanes and virtual-reality home whores and ends up being entertaining and relatively thought-provoking, if not a smidgen on the bloated side.
Obviously cloning is a politically charged topic and the writers behind The 6th Day deftly utilize it to add some depth to what is essentially a visual effects-laden popcorn flick. Granted the perpetrators behind the cloning-palooza are straight-up dickheads and their arguments for smiting brain tumors, regenerating livers, and ensuring loved ones never die so that people won’t cry at funerals anymore are overshadowed by their sinister desires to achieve God-like power. Still, the material is weightier than the usual brainless shoot ’em up grist and the film is better for it.
Enough theology. Thankfully The 6th Day is considerably more entertaining than a dissertation on bioethics. You get some cool flying around with the helicopter jets, an extended car chase scene with bad guys getting run over, a snapped neck or two, and a half-hour incursion into the evildoers’ lair, all of which culminates in hand-to-hand combat amidst cloning goo, more laser blasts, big-time explosions, and a simple-yet-satisfying Final Bad Guy Death.
It’s all pretty good fun, though the runtime could have benefited from a pruning; two hours-plus is too hefty, and the pace lags in places (as spiked with action as the last act can be, it’s also chatty and exposition-heavy). Also, the dialogue can be corny. “When I said go screw yourself, I didn’t mean for you to take it literally.” Really?
The film benefits hugely with the Blu-ray upgrade. In its new 2.40:1, 1080p widescreen iteration, The 6th Day looks awesome. The clarity is stunning, blasting out perfect detailing and robust color levels. The opening helicopter race sequence, set in the snowy mountains is particularly awesome, both for picture quality and audio. In short, the visual update is definitely noticeable and a must-see for fans of the film. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track is welcome, and a mix we haven’t seen much of on Blu. It’s also aggressive and clean, and translates those action scenes with power. High scores all around for the technical merits.
The extras from the standard-def release make the trip to the new format: the Showtime making-of special, animatics, storyboards and a series of nine behind-the-scenes featurettes. These supplements are nice, but nothing high-def-specific is a bummer.
Not guilty. The A/V aspects are top-shelf, the movie’s not bad and the extras suffice.