The 6th Day (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Arnie told you - "I'll be back"

The Robbins Recipe: Total Recall meets Total Recall. Oops

Arnold Schwarzenegger has now reached that official iconic stage in his career that all of his projects are self-referential.

  • He doesn't need to do sequels of anybody else's pictures, because he has so many of his own. I'm not kidding about this. His next pictures are Terminator 3, Conan 3, Total Recall 2, True Lies 2 and Kindergarten Cop 2. OK, I was kidding about Kindergarten Cop, but the rest are true! Those are four of his next five projects.
  • All of the references in his films no longer have to consider life, literature, or even other Arnold-free movies. All he has to do is make in-jokes about his own previous pictures. When he leaves a retail store he says "I might be back". When he kills one of his enemies, knowing they'll be cloned and he'll see that face again, he says "you'll be back". They could do a whole movie on this concept. Make every line a reference to one of Arnold's catch-phrases. Gee, Arnold, what will you do in your next life to improve your hoops skills? "I'll be black"
  • He doesn't need to do genre pics except for the "Arnold genre". This film is of the Arnold genre: big effects, big action, thought-provoking sci-fi concepts, plenty of humor. It's an old Arnie pic, just like the good old days.
I enjoyed the humor in this picture. Arnold goes to the police station in this future world, and he is defended by a holographic virtual public attorney until he seems to be loony, at which point the holograph turns into a virtual psychiatrist. Later, when he's trying to defend himself against the goon squad sent to kill him, he ends up killing the same people over and over again. (You see, if they get them within 12 hours of death, they can clone them). So we've entered a future world in which death is meaningless for the rich. In another scene, Arnold tells the rich guy that he should clone himself while he's still alive. "Why?", asks Mr Big.

"So you can go fuck yourself"


Jennifer Gereis exposes her breast from the side/rear as virtual girlfriend.

Sarah Wynter does a middle-distance nude scene when she leaves the operating table after cloning. Her breasts are seen in rapid motion as she rises from the table, then her left breast is seen from the side, and her buns are visible on the table, then again as she walks off.

My favorite humor concept was "virtual girlfriend", which Arnold's partner has chosen instead of a family. When you get home, Virtual Girlfriend says stuff like "I hate Steel Magnolias. Let's watch Terminator 2 and The Dirty Dozen again tonight. As for now, would you like to watch some sports, clean your guns and drink beer first, or should I just blow you now for a couple hours?". Well, the film is PG-13, so she doesn't use those exact words, but you get the message just the same.

I liked the film in general, to tell ya the truth. It looks really cool; it asks some interesting questions about genetic engineering; it has some great action sequences, and a few good-natured laughs. I liked the old Arnold formula of muscles, tenderness, and irony, and this film really returns to those roots. In fact, maybe it returns a little too closely to Total Recall, because once again Big Arn doesn't know if he is who he's supposed to be, or if his memories really belong to him. But, who cares? It's basically the best Arnold picture since True Lies.

Unfortunately for Arn, moviegoers don't respond to the formula as they used to. This film had a mammoth budget from Columbia - nearly a hundred million - and it met with only lukewarm box office response. The critics didn't much like it, but then they never like anything Arnie does. But the people have always been in his corner.

Until now. This one looks like it may lose money.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • widescreen anamorphic, 2.35

  • 10 featurettes on the making of the film

  • two of the "re-pet" spots

  • animatics, and storyboard-to-film comparisons

That has to worry the studios when they take out their stud hoss, let him ride his own race, and they still don't win. They even tried using two Arnolds, since the original and the clone teamed up for a while. But I think I have identified the problem and the solution here. Two Arnolds just wasn't enough. I propose a movie where Arnold plays every role. They've done The Wizard of Oz with an all-black cast, why not with an all-Arnold cast? He plays Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Witches, Munchkins, Flying Monkeys, the horse of a different color, even Dorothy and Toto. Add some more special effects and a hundred million dollar budget to add some firepower to the battle against the witch. Replace the broomstick with an atomic-powered jetcopter. And set up the sequel when the melting witch says "I'll be back".

In fact, now that the Republicans are back in office, they may declare that ALL movies must star Arnold in every role.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: two and a half to three stars. Ebert 3/4, Berardinelli 2.5/4, Apollo 65.

  • Rotten Tomatoes summary. 39% positive overall, 46% from the top critics.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.2, Apollo users 73/100. These scores are consistent with the critical consensus.
  • With their dollars ... a mini-disaster. At $34 million, it is a fairly successful picture, but it was made with an $82 million budget. Old time Arnold movie, old-time Arnold budget, but not the old-time box office pull.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C+. Well-made genre pic, in the spirit of Arnie's oldies, but not much general audience crossover.

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