|HOME | MOVIES | REVIEWS|
|January 25, 2001||
Double the Arnold, but not twice the fun!
If you're an Arnold fan, take a moment to hug yourself with joy. Go on, don't be shy!
Because for the first time, you get two Arnolds for the price of one movie ticket!
And it's Arnold in full, mature form: acting, shooting, wisecracking and battling his way through a bevy of baddies in a series of action set-pieces.
Yes, the big guy's back, and he looks a little older (as he did in End of Days too). But he's become wiser, and there's some good acting here even from the ex-Conan, mixed in with all the mayhem and masala.
You probably know that Arnold's a great science fiction fan. And we don't mean science fiction as in the fake sci-fi kind of B-grade film. We mean true SF, with an original story that's actually based on scientific fact.
Total Recall was one such film, and Arnold himself commissioned and bought the script way back in his Conan-Predator days. He stuck to it through the ten years that it took to put the project together and when it finally got made, the results were worth the wait.
Similarly, he and longtime collaborator James Cameron made SF movie history with their Terminator movies. And even their non-SF pairing True Lies turned out to be perhaps Arnold's career best film.
The Sixth Day is neither as unusual as Total Recall or as stylishly stunning as T2.
This is because Arnold had to settle for a more average-level director, Roger Spottiswoode, whose Bond films and other action flicks were fine, competent, and well executed, but nowhere near the brilliance of a Cameron or even a Voerhoven.
Still, T6D (another T in the Arnold pantheon, he's getting almost as bad as Ekta Kapoor and her K fixation!) delivers a solid entertainment package.
The script and concept are superbly conceived. As you probably know already, Arnold plays a person who is cloned without his knowledge and has to fight to wrest his life and family back from the clone as well as from the bad guys who cloned him.
The first half is much more than a simple action movie, delivering a very original and well-scripted SF story that's supported by some classy production design and sets. Arnold even gets to act and deliver dialogues that are more meaningful than his standard one-liners.
And he doesn't start off with a gun in hand, for once!
But the gun appears soon enough. So does the action.
Director Spottiswoode and the film's stunt and action-choreography team does a great job of delivering the usual suspense and thrills that we've come to expect from an Arnold action flick.
The problem is we've also come to expect a lot more than the usual from Arnold. And with the build-up of the near-future world and the clever premise, you keep expecting to see something totally unexpected and new, like in the historic 'morphing' scene in T2.
If T6D disappoints a bit, it's in the fact that it never rises above an average action film with a good SF premise and script.
But then, maybe Arnold chose to downplay the action and focus more on the storyline this time.
After all, he's visibly aging and it can't be long before he phases out the action and stunts and sticks to more 'human' roles. That he'd do a great job of those too is evident in the 'acting' scenes of this film.
T6D does have a few more tricks up its sleeve.
The script (or is it director Spottiswoode?) keeps making a number of little salaams to other SF and horror films: The RePet centre is clearly a wink at the Recall Centre in Total Recall. The villain's attempt at cloning turns out to almost resemble Freddy Krueger. The 'live' doll is a definite reminder of the Child's Play movies featuring Chucky.
All these little horror-film tributes, as well as the other horrific scenes in the film are delivered with the sense of humour that you'd expect from a big-name blockbuster. Nothing too intense or shocking for younger audiences.
After all, he may be graying, but he's still a star to the popcorn-and-candy audiences!
Still, this didn't stop the Indian censors from slapping an Adults certificate on the film. Presumably for the general violence and mayhem, and one scene of strong language.
Which is crazy, because T6D is made mainly with young viewers in mind. And the violence is not much more than Mission Kashmir or any action-oriented Hindi film.
For that matter, Gladiator was much more savage and gory, yet it got through with an U/A rating and minor cuts.
But who can argue with our double-standard scissors brigade?
Maybe two Arnolds was two much for them to handle! Next time, Arnoldbhai, make one clone just to deal with our desi censors, okay?!
Tell us what you think of this review
BROADBAND | TRAVEL
ASTROLOGY | NEWSLINKS | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEDDING | ROMANCE | WEATHER | WOMEN | E-CARDS |
HOMEPAGES | FREE MESSENGER | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK