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The 6th Day (***)
Directed by Antony Hoffman
Written by Cormac and Marianne Wibberley
The 6th Day
Principal Cast
Arnold Schwarzenegger -- Adam Gibson
Michael Rapaport -- Hank Morgan
Tony Goldwyn -- Michael Drucker
Michael Rooker -- Robert Marshall
Sarah Wynter -- Talia Elsworth
Wendy Crewson -- Natalie Gibson
Rodney Rowland -- Wiley
Terry Crews -- Vincent
Ken Pogue -- Speaker Day
Colin Cunningham -- Tripp
Robert Duvall -- Dr. Griffin Weir
Wanda Cannon -- Katherine Weir
Taylor Anne Reid -- Clara Gibson
Jennifer Gareis -- Virtual Girlfriend
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

Enjoyable earthbound science fiction. Arnold Schwarzenegger's comic timing is impeccable.

In written science fiction, Earth-based novels such as The Caves of Steel are clearly in the same genre as stories set in space, such as The Naked Sun. This despite Alfred Bester's remark that he included a scene on a space station in The Demolished Man just because he felt science fiction should have some space travel in it.

With movies, I don't think that Earth-bound SF is in the same genre as SF set in space. Certainly Blade Runner and Star Wars have a fundamentally different feel to them.

We can break Earth-bound SF into two sub-genres. One is hardly SF at all, because except for a few references to a date ten years in the future, everybody looks, talks, and acts exactly like they did ten years in the past. I complained about this when I reviewed Dark Angel, but other examples abound.

The 6th Day, like Demolition Man, is a different breed of cat. Both films have a lot of fun with ways in which the future is different from the present. Stallone knits a sweater. Schwarzenegger smokes an illegal cigar.

The primary genre is, of course, big action movie, which can be recognized by explosions that make the Hindenburg look like a firecracker and by the fact that when people are shot, they don't immediately go into shock. In fact, my only complaint about an otherwise fun movie is that the action seems just a little tame. A deliberate move to tone down movie violence to satisfy President Bushgore? I doubt it. More likely it is just the new smaller screens at the multiplex.

Several critics have made the crack that you can't tell the Schwarzenegger clone from the real thing, which misses not one point but two. First, that the clone is not supposed to be different. It's supposed to be identical in mind and body (except for one tiny mark). Second, that Schwarzenegger does what he does supremely well. To remark that he is not playing Hamlet (****) is to belabor the obvious.

Quick trivia question: in what film does Arnold Schwarzenegger play Hamlet?

Copyright © 2000 by Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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