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6th Day, The

Ahnuld gets cloned. Now there are two of him. Otherwise, it's back to the big guy's usual sci-fi action formula.


In the near future, the neat-O scientific advances include the widespread cloning of dead pets, but geneticists have stopped short of duplicating humans. Or have they? Charter pilot Adam Gibson (Arnold Schwarzenegger) returns home one day to catch a glimpse of his family and friends partying down with... him. Cue the goofy villains and an "I want my life back!" plot that travels the well-worn path of the hulking star's "Total Recall" and "The Running Man."


As in previous films, the properly pumped-up physique and preposterous accent that can be so much fun when Schwarzenegger is playing a comic book character like Conan or The Terminator make him exactly the wrong actor for an Everyman-on-the-run part like this one. It's hard to generate much suspense when the leading man seems like he could tear the bad guys' heads off between puffs of his stogie. In this setting, it's downright jarring to see Robert Duvall draw a few touching moments out of a conflicted scientist character with his own reasons for conducting illegal cloning experiments.


Roger Spottiswoode ("Tomorrow Never Dies") keeps things fast, light and focused on the impressive special effects. There are a few nifty ideas buried in the script, but the cheesy dramatic work should keep any but the most sympathetic viewers (read: teenage males) from paying much attention. (Harold Ramis' comedy "Multiplicity" had many times more fun with the clone idea.) Tellingly, Schwarzenegger's only memorable one-liner is a reference to an earlier flick, delivered to a hard-selling store clerk: "I might be back."

Bottom Line

If this is the best Schwarzenegger can do to break out of his post-"Eraser" slump, it could be "hasta la vista, baby" to his days as a top action star.