As Christopher Wallace said, mo years, mo problems. I’m almost positive that is how it goes. It is now 2010, but here we stand, forever at the precipice of an enormous crossroads. With every step we take forward in the bad movie canon, we slide three steps backwards, or something. My point is that it feels like we are standing still, but we are not standing still. Maybe. It’s entirely possible that we are standing still, now that I think about it. But we must at least pretend that there is forward momentum, or we will die. I think. I’m not really sure how life or death works. Jeez, I need a VACATION just to get over my VACATION.
This week’s nominee in the Hunt for the Worst Movie of All Time is an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie called The 6th Day, and this year marks its 10th Anniversary. Congratulations, The 6th Day, you have been awful for a very long time!
The 6th Day is set in the very near future, when everything is a computer, and major cities with no mountains on the horizon are within helicopter distance of incredible, majestic mountains. Obviously, in the very near future, mankind hates the idea of human cloning. Duh. This is a movie set in a realistic world like our own. Anyway, Arnold Schwarzenegger wakes up one morning and it is his birthday and then he goes to work at his job as a helicopter leasing agent for snowboards. (It’s the fucking Catalina Wine Mixer!) That day he has a big snowboard trip planned for a high powered client, but he also needs to go to the hover mall because he needs a present for his daughter (because in the future, we give our kids presents on our birthdays) so his work partner, Michael Rappaport pretends to be him and gets ASSASSINATED. Although, we don’t know that yet. Shhh! Arnold Schwarzenegger wakes up in a cab at the mall. He was so tired, I guess! I’m sure it’s nothing! This movie is so clever and smooth about working in its plot points that it is probably just that Arnold Schwarzenegger got tired is all. He buys his daughter a really normal looking doll that every girl in the future is going to want and not find terrifying and disgusting at all.
Neat doll! The future is going to be great and full of sensible products that people just want! Anyway, when Arnold gets home, he is already in his home! WHAAAAA? Then some goons show up and they are like “come with me sir, there is a problem,” and he is like “RUN AWAY!” So then he jumps The Fugitive-style into the river, but he’s probably not safe yet, I bet. Not until he unravels the mystery of what is happening! Well, what is happening is that the Bill Gates of the future is secretly conducting human cloning experiments. Well, not so much experiments as just cloning. He is doing it. The experiments seem to have worked and now is just the regular post-experiments phase of the operation. When Future Bill Gates was assassinated on his snowboard excursion (sure) he was re-cloned, and so was Arnold Schwarzenegger, because they thought he was Michael Rappaport. REMEMBER THE SWITCHEROOO?! Anyway, now the corporation (Microsoft? IBM?) is trying to kill Schwarzenegger (whose name is Adam Gibson because obviously he is a normal American born in America with an American name and an American accent). Anyway, eventually he enlists the help of his clone to blow up the IBM building and save his family (who were captured using remote-controlled clone dogs?) but that is where he learns that HE HAS BEEN THE CLONE THE WHOLE TIME! THE OTHER GUY IS THE REAL ADAM GIBSON! Oh man, what an existential dilemma. Then, Bill Gates gets shot in the stomach. He begins to clone himself, duh, but too little too late.
Stuff starts exploding and the swimming pools and fish tanks full of alien bodies start pouring out, and the computers stop the cloning process at 84%! Oh no! Only 84%? That’s not enough %! Then he has a fight with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Arnold Schwarzenegger tells him to look in the mirror and then he asks him, how do you feel about your precious cloning now? Because you know that the strongest argument against human cloning is that some of the clones will only be 84% complete because the fish tanks got shot with lazer guns while the building was exploding.
In any case, I think Slime Clone feels mostly OK about his precious cloning, because he still tries to chase Arnold Schwarzenegger onto the roof of the building and shoot him, blazer all flapping in the wind. Then the building explodes and there is almost a problem with the Schwarzeneggers driving their helicopter into a building, but they don’t drive it into a building in the end, what a rush. So the clone has to move to South America with one of the helicopters because if he stays then Congress will kill him (Congress, the jerk!) and I think he does helicoptering for an oil company or something? I’m sure we will figure out who he is flying helicopters for down there in the much-anticipated sequel, The 7th Day.
For the most part, The 6th Day is just a crappy futuristic action movie, of which there are dozens, but this one aged particularly badly. Like, the opening scene is an XFL game. XFL! The sport of the future, I’m sure! And while I recognize that everything in the future is going to be a TV, no, it’s not. Like, bathroom mirror, maybe:
I’ll give you bathroom mirror, sure. But, like, XFL football helmet?
No. And probably my favorite Unnecessary Monitor To Make Things Seem Futuristic is when Arnold Schwarzenegger starts eating his cereal and almost throws up because the milk has gone sour, so he…puts the milk in the fridge…to have it analyzed?
What? It would be one thing if this movie was made BEFORE COMPUTERS AND ALSO REFRIGERATION, in which case we would have to use our imaginations to understand what was happening here. But in a world of both computers and pasteurized milk, I feel confident in saying that we will never reach a point in our evolution where we require a computer to tell us whether the milk that just about made us barf is worth saving or not. Did you know the human brain is a computer? Did you know a potato is a computer?
We already know how to spit stuff out, The Future! Thanks, anyway!
Speaking of things that we don’t need, it’s one thing to get a luxury car that drives itself, but even if that ever happens, I am not sure we will turn around in our seats and stare deep into each others eyes? Do we really get that WEIRD in the near future?
But my favorite thing in The 6th Day is a thing that happens in a lot of movies and TV shows and is so great and hilarious to me, and that thing is Normal Human Being Plucked From His/Her Regular Humdrum Day-to-Day Existence Who Suddenly Feels No Compunction About Brutally Murdering Other Human Beings And Also Seems To Be Highly Trained in Close Quarters Combat. Like, what? I thought Arnold Schwarzenegger was a helicopter leasing agent in Catalina? Within five minutes of someone coming to his house and saying “there seems to be a problem,” he snaps a dude’s neck with his bare hands. Yay? I am supposed to cheer for this man who clearly spent his entire life tiptoeing along the edge of becoming a full-blown sociopath at the slightest nudge?
Oh wait, no, my favorite thing in The 6th Day are the scenes where Arnold Schwarzenegger acts alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger:
Hey California, remember how this guy is the governor of you? ALRIGHT, ENOUGH PHILOSOPHY, INDEED.