Anthony's Film Review

The 6th Day (2000)

The 6th Day delivers cool action plus an intriguing vision of the future...

In 1997, the scientific community had one of the biggest headlines of the year, when Dolly the sheep was cloned. It was such a big deal that it sparked bioethical discussions about cloning. Not surprisingly, Hollywood took advantage of this current event by producing The 6th Day, a 2000 science-fiction action thriller movie that is set in a world where human cloning is possible, though still illegal. The title is a biblical reference to God having created the world and all life in it over a span of six days. It's a good title for this movie that asks whether humans should be able to play God with cloning technology.

Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as Adam Gibson, a family man who has a strong stance against cloning. It's not just human cloning that he feels uneasy about. He's reluctant to accept even the cloning of animals, which is legal, as a company called RePet is taking advantage of this to offer the service of cloning dead pets. In the first 30 minutes of the movie, he learns from his wife that the family pet has died, and his wife asks him to go to RePet to clone it. While still against the idea, he nevertheless stops by a RePet clinic in a shopping mall to learn more about the service.

When Adam comes home, however, he is in for a real shock. He notices that there is a clone of himself in the house, already having a good time with his family. Immediately, he is approached by strangers who explain that there is a violation of the 6th Day law because of the existence of Adam's clone. Adam is suddenly in a situation where people are out to kill him. He is on the run from these dangerous people and also towards what he hope would be answers to the questions that are flooding his mind: the how, where, when, and why of Adam being cloned.

The person who might be behind it all is a doctor named Griffin Weir, played by Robert Duvall. He and his associates are strong proponents of cloning, as they are not just behind RePet but also companies that specialize in food cloning to end famine and organ cloning to address donor shortages for organ transplantation. But behind closed doors, they also have the ability to create a human clone within a matter of minutes. The human clones are practically flawless, because even memories from the brain and scars in the skin can be reproduced exactly.

The movie may be a sci-fi action thriller on the surface, but it definitely has scenes that let us think about the dark side of human cloning. This is, of course, good because an action movie should have a purpose behind the action. I won't say what questions about cloning the movie raises, but chances are that any moral or legal issues you may have about cloning are brushed upon in The 6th Day. Alongside such questions is the shocking thing that Adam learns: he is not the only person who has been cloned.

As for the action, it's what you expect, namely gunfights, a couple of close combat moments, and a bit of car chasing. Because the story takes place in the future, the gunfights do not involve weapons firing bullets, but rather laser guns. Thanks to modern Hollywood special effects, the action scenes are an eye-popping spectacle. The climactic action scene is pretty cool, too. From beginning to end, the action is typical Schwarzenegger fare.

I actually didn't expect much shortly before seeing The 6th Day. Now I can say it's not a bad movie. The opening sequence that introduces the setting and the first couple of minutes before the action begins are done well. The action scenes and the themes related to cloning are there to keep us watching. So while it's far from being the most incredible action movie, it's certainly not a huge failure. The 6th Day delivers enough goods for fans of sci-fi action thrillers.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about The 6th Day, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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