The 6th Day stars the great Arnold Schwarzenegger, that superintendent of the singular syllable, and (I’m afraid to say) a whole lotta dialogue. If you think Robert Patrick as a Terminator was a fearsome foe, wait until you see Arnold battle the printed page! Forget tongue-tied, Arnold’s downright tongue-bound-and-gagged whenever Mr. Vowel and Ms. Consonant meet and shake hands.
Arnold pilots a chopper – oops, I mean a “whisper craft,” which is a chopper that transforms into a Star Wars-style fighter. All the easier to race about in the mountainous ravines. In a bit of obvious foreshadowing, Arnold even operates one of the choppers with a wrist-mounted joystick – “Ahhh, dis is coooool,” says the man of the fewer words, the better.
Arnold buys his kid a Sim-Pal, which is a synthetic friend. Why not just scan through Producer Mike Medavoy’s PalmPilot, where you can find plenty of those? Evidently, Arnold was looking for a very special synthetic friend – in this case, one with a really bad complexion and eyes so unnaturally far apart, she can look straight ahead and still see Sean Young’s career.
Arnold’s an ordinary guy, albeit an ordinary guy as big as a house. The bad guys clone Arnold against his will and the Arnold clone essentially steals Arnold’s life. Now, all that’s left is to kill Arnold #1, which, as Arnold almost correctly points out, is “meurder.”
So Arnold is fitted with high-tech electo-goggles that take an exact picture of the mind, or in the case of actress/model Carmen Electra, an exact picture of a polar bear in a snowstorm.
See, it’s against the law to clone people, so naturally that’s just what the bad guys in this movie are doing. Fortunately for the running time, clones can be made instantaneously – none of that nasty growing up business.
The process begins with generic human “blanks” which are covered in plastic wrap and hung in a primordial soup tank. Flip on the switch, and the “blanks” move along a track like your shirts at the dry cleaners. Hint: If you’re cloning a presidential candidate, don’t forget the starch.
Apparently, these blanks are extraordinarily modest since even in their pre-processed state they are covering whatever flexi-sexual privates they possess. “Clone me using the one with the big Schwanzenuggah,” says Arnold in a desperate attempt to undo the incredible shrinking effect of steroids in his formative years.
In general, Arnold has two types of movies: Ones with choppers and ones with Danny DeVito, whose choppers are mostly of the soak-overnight-in-a-glass-of-water variety.
Cloning people is illegal, of course, primarily because people like you and me would die out while people like Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston would have to name their kids with 20-digit numbers.
Robert Duvall is in this movie with a hair color cloned from a much younger man. With movies like this in the hopper, the only thing Bob’s gonna add to his Oscar shelf this year are blowing tumbleweeds. But who can blame him – he loves the smell of a paycheck in the morning. Right on, Bob!
The 6th Day isn’t Arnold’s best effort, God knows, but it’s a helluva lot better than End of Days. If you want a nostalgic reminder of what movies were like during the Reagan administration, look no further.
Photos Copyright ©2000 Columbia Pictures.