The 6th Day, Totally Recalled

Say what you want about Vince McMahon. That he’s an adulterer. That he’s a doper. That he’s a monopolizer. That he treats wrestlers like circus animals. That over the last fifteen years he’s encrusted professional wrestling with such a thick layer of exploitative, sophomoric sleaze that it will probably never fully recover. Say what you want, but ol’ Vince sure is an optimist. So much so, that he placed his beloved product, the XFL in a movie set in the future. In the 6th Day not only has the XFL surpassed the NFL in popularity - it’s expanded! This assured that a month after the movie was released on DVD, it was already a hilarious anachronism.

Ah, well, we never did get to see those Roadrunners and Centaurs play, but we did get Arnold back in fine form, in the sort of ludicrous sci-fi vehicle that the 80s were supposed to have left behind.

The story takes place in a future “sooner than you think” in which the science of cloning has been perfected. It has solved the problem of famine and losing your beloved pets. If the fancy strikes you, you can clone just about any living thing you want ... except for human beings. Laws have been passed that forbid that. But wouldn’t you know it, a bunch of greedy bad guys are cloning humans on the sly, and they’re making their services available only to the extremely wealthy.

Never mind all that, it’s an excuse to have two Arnolds in one movie and I tell ya, seeing two Arnolds exclaiming “Cool!” in unison is worth the price of admission alone. Where else do you get such glittering one-line gems as “All I know is that there is somebody in my house, eating my birthday cake, with my family, and its not me!” Okay, maybe Jingle All The Way ... but let’s not go there today.

If you’re having Total Recall-deja vu, you’re not alone - director Roger Spottiswoode seems to have taken his visual cues from Verhoeven. It’s littered with glittering, automated sights and sounds. The future is a busy and chaotic place and once again, Arnold is just of out step with it all. But alas, that PG-13 rating means there’s no triple-breasted babes this time out, boys.

Hollywood hack-meisters Marianne and Cormac Wibberley (I Spy, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle) try to imbue the movie with some deeper “message” but they lack the writing chops to pull it off. The 6th Day seems to want to ignite some stimulating after-movie dinner debate, but its done with the subtlety of sledgehammer to the face. Then again, if subtlety’s what you’re aiming for - don’t cast Arnold.


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