it’s like a cross between the island and total recall only not as good as either. the father from “everybody hates chris” plays a tough guy in this. that’s two of his movies in one week. for being a second-rate sci-fi flick with an old arnie, it actually does a good job of raising fundamental questions. back in the day when i was obsessed with playing doom 2 on the computer i would get to certain levels which were really difficult and, rather than start the level over after each death, i would save the game compulsively in case i died. that way i’d only have to redo the part that i screwed up on. when you do this enough it sorta cheapens the game because it’s like cheating. you can go forward recklessly without having to worry about any mistakes you make, which is nice, but eventually you realize that it takes away a lot of the challenge.
this same idea can be applied to themes addressed in the sixth day. in it scientists have, in spite of international laws, perfected human cloning and have come up with a technique that allows them to save a person’s memories as well. in other words, for $1.2 million you can have yourself cloned and have your last saved memories applied to said clone. the film begins by showing a football game wherein the star quarterback breaks his neck and dies. the team has him cloned and he’s ready to play again next week. problem solved. arnold plays a pilot who is, through a series of complicated events, mistakenly cloned and must be killed before people realize that an illegal clone has taken place. he gets wise real quick and evades his would-be assassins and goes on a quest to figure out who is behind the whole affair. turns out that robert duvall and some other guy are responsible for a large illicit cloning operation. the head of operations justifies it as such: under international law most human organs can be cloned, but human brains cannot. how, he asks, can you justify to the father of a dying child the fact that the boy next to his, who has liver cancer, can be cured, but his son, who has brain cancer, cannot. to make things more devious the head of operations has included an insurance policy in each illegal clone he has performed – a degenerative disease gene has been implanted in each so that they have only 1-5 years of life post-clone. this keeps them loyal in case they change their minds. there’s more to the plot, but you get the idea. it’s pretty twisted shit and it’s pretty far-fetched, but so was slowing the speed of light.
it’s longer than i expected, but the time went by quickly so i guess that’s a good sign. production values are low and the acting isn’t anything special, but i liked the ideas presented. interesting side note: spottiswoode (the director) directed what was the most expensive bond film at the time. i’m on a little bond film watching spree, but watching this film was purely coincidental.