Arnold Schwarzenegger is, and has always been, a crowd-pleaser. Let’s face it. He shoots a few thugs, blows a few buildings up, breaks a couple of necks, and rarely fails to give the audience good, old, unadulterated, action fun.
Although his latest film suffers from mild disappointment and a few uninspired sequences, ‘The Sixth Day’ is still an exuberant and engrossing ride. Director Roger Spottiswoode (‘Tomorrow Never Dies’) brings this futuristic action thriller to life without attempting to fascinate the audience with inane camera tricks and unnecessary digital effects.
The mayhem begins when the sixth day ordinance (the ban on human cloning) is broken, and pilot Adam Gibson is illegally reproduced by a corrupt genetics company. Why they would do this is never really discussed, but it is not really important (c’mon, it’s a sci-fi).
The bottom line is, they screwed with the wrong man. Destroying the evidence (his existence) proves more difficult than they anticipated, and before long, Adam single-handedly faces an entire legion of henchmen bent on quickly and quietly destroying him.
The events that proceed are predictable and reminiscent of past projects, but that doesn’t seem to harm the film too much. It’s still fun to watch Arnold do the things we always expect him to do.
The bland supporting cast includes Michael Rooker (‘Mallrats’), Robert Duvall (‘A Civil Action’) and Michael Rappaport (‘Men of Honor’).
The PG-13 rating hindered ‘The Sixth Day’ from being the film it tried to be. The violence was noticeably contained, giving the movie an annoying censored feeling. This feeling also tainted the dialogue in many scenes. Obviously, this movie does not cater to the adult market that Arnold usually connects with but is able to divert attention from this fact by leaning heavily on the plot.
‘Terminator 2’ this film is not. It’s not even ‘True Lies,’ but it’s certainly not boring, either. Arnold fans may want to go enjoy what may be one of his last shoot-em’-up adventures. The fleeting era of action superstars is rapidly coming to a close. Perhaps it’s time to jump on the bandwagon one last time and wave goodbye to a man who gave us two great decades of dry one-liners and fiery explosions.