Sunday, January 13, 2013

Try and stay dead this time

The 6th Day (2000)
Lo and behold, a completely pleasant surprise!  I knew very little about this one coming in, but found it to be quite fun, well paced, and reasonably well acted by all.  The effects are pretty dated and the color matching is distracting, but otherwise it felt like a typical big budget Arnold movie.  I'm probably going to over-state my surprise, but coming off the last few movies, I was really expecting an active irritant or a snoozer at best, and was genuinely entertained.  Pretty much the hidden semi-gem I'd been hoping to find in my Arnold marathon and I'm very glad I gave it a try.

Like many Arnold movies, this proved a challenge to my ability to suspend disbelief, but for the most part I was able to shut the "Hey, that can't happen!" part of my brain off and just enjoy a fun sci-fi action flick.  Honestly, other than the complete BS of "clone blanks", the rest of the sci-fi and story were quite self-consistent and worked well.  The near future they present was surprisingly engaging and plausible without going over the top or beating you over the head that it was The Future; it merely serves as the backdrop to the story.  The morality of cloning was touched on without getting overly preachy and for me was just enough to give motivation to the characters and provide some fun food for thought.

After the last few movies, I was beginning to wonder if Arnold still had it in him or not, but this was a real return to form for him.  He showed some nice range, excellent timing and humor, great physical acting, and seemed to be really into his role again.  He was again wonderfully open and direct with just the right amount of snarkiness without crossing into cheesiness.  Heck, I even thought he pulled off the dual-role scenes pretty well and found his bomb making scene with his clone to be one of the high points. 

Also one of the more star-studded casts I've seen in any of his movies.  He's had the occasional top draw co-star, but this one was riddled with lots of "hey, I know that guy!" people and everyone turned in great performances.  Robert Duvall was particularly touching in his scenes with his ailing wife.  The quality of supporting cast in this gives time to take a break from the action and I found myself enjoying the character moments every bit as much or more than the action.

Ahnold Quotient  - 7
Much more understated than the typical Arnold movie, but still full of charisma, one-liners, great action, and lots of shit blowing up. 

Rewatchability - Sure
Did I mention I was pleasantly surprised?  The sci-fi worked for me, Arnold was a lot of fun, and the supporting cast was great.  I don't think this is one I'd want to watch annually or anything, but I'm interested in watching it again right now.  Certainly would be happy to recommend it to an Arnold or action movie fan.

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