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I haven’t seen this film since it came out on DVD a few years ago. I saw it just the once. The reason I was so eager to review it on Blu-ray was because I seem to remember this film being a solid yet underrated science fiction flick that was definitely worthy of a re-watch. Oh, how my film tastes have matured in the last few years. Putting it nicely, I loathed this film the second time around.

The 6th Day

Feature


Everything about it is contrived, forced and puts you in mind of a cheap television show rather than a multi-million dollar blockbuster with one of the most recognizable action stars of the twentieth century. If Stephen Spielberg’s well-crafted vision of the future in Minority Report is a staple by which modern sci-fi films are judged, then The 6th Day is at the opposite end of the spectrum. It’s lazy, unimaginative, even dull.

One of the main problems is the underlining concept. Cloning is the film’s core message and don’t get me wrong, it does have some valuable insights into the many problems it can cause, but the way the film presents its arguments both for and against cloning is delivered in such a way that the audience won’t give a rats arse. In fact they’ll walk away having no real opinion on the matter. The film is stupid, and it treats its audience as such.

The 6th Day
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the film is also a failure in terms of filmmaking as much as it is in delivering powerful messages worthy of discussion. Acting is at times painful to watch; even Arnie himself delivers a handful of wince-inducing lines that’ll make your stomach turn. He has the ability to do this in a few films, but not like he does here. And the oh-so clichéd villain must surely qualify for some sort of award for being one of the most embarrassing film villains in the last ten years. In his last few scenes towards the end I was forcefully reminded of Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers series.

So it fails to make us care about cloning, but at least it might entertain us with its visuals and pounding action sequences? No. Don’t even count on it. As with the mounting failures stacked up against The 6th Day thus far, perhaps the biggest complaint is that it simply fails to entertain. Putting it bluntly, it’s boring. This is meant to be an action film, but it contains surprisingly little of it.

The 6th Day
Instead you’ll find a muddled story, confused, disjointed characters and special effects that resemble something you might find in The Power Rangers rather than in a film that reportedly cost upwards of one hundred million dollars. You won’t find the usual Arnie sarcasm either, at least not in the quantity you’d expect. For me this was the finishing blow. What good comes from using Arnold Schwarzenegger if you aren’t going to make him dive though explosions or deliver some quirky one-liners?

It isn’t all bad though. There are elements I did enjoy, such as the mere presence of Arnold Schwarzenegger himself and the usual charm he brings to even the most uninteresting characters. He might not be very well used here but he’s the only reason I sat through it.

Other than this a few other minor things, the film is a giant disappointment and I can’t imagine what I saw in it a few years ago. Perhaps I was intoxicated at the time? Or perhaps I really didn’t have a great deal of taste in films back then. Whatever the reason the stark truth cannot be ignored: The 6th Day is a lousy science fiction endeavor you can certainly live without. In fact you’d probably be better off without ever seeing it.

The 6th Day

Video


The disappointments for this disc continue well beyond the film. This high definition transfer is going to show you the film better than you’ve ever seen it before, but that doesn’t make it good by any means. This is exactly the kind of Blu-ray disc you can show to somebody and they’d assume it was a regular DVD—a good looking DVD, but a DVD nonetheless.

Nothing really stands out as being high definition, save for a few close ups here and there. Black levels are not as deep as they ought to be either considering the dark tones used regularly in the cinematography, and the fine detail is, well, not so fine. This is a good transfer compared to what you traditionally see on DVD, but it just doesn’t have that high definition shine. Due to this, it comes across as somewhat lackluster.

The 6th Day

Audio


So, the film was a flop, the Blu-ray video wasn’t up to scratch with most new releases, but can the audio quality possibly redeem this disc? In a word, no. Again, it isn’t bad, it just doesn’t feel like anything special. For an action film you expect more. I certainly did at any rate. Dialogue here is fine and well delivered, but some of the action sequences don’t have that certain punch that reassures you why you spent so much money on your home theatre setup.

Extras


‘Showtime Special: The Future is Coming’ is a run-of-the-mill behind the scenes making of feature that you’re only likely to watch once. It features a selection of cast and crew members discussing the themes of the film. ‘Animatics’ has two animated storyboards for you to watch.

‘On The 6th Day’ is a collection of nine featurettes covering various aspects of production. Up next is a ‘Storyboard Comparisons’ feature which covers three scenes from the film. Lastly there’s a ‘Repet Informercial and TV Spot’ along with some previews.

The 6th Day

Overall


The DVD for this film a few years ago wasn’t anything to shout home about and things have not changed in the next generation. The disc isn’t exactly a dud, but it could have been a lot better. The film is deeply flawed and boring for a high budget science fiction film, the video is only marginally better than the DVD version and the audio isn’t much better either. There are a few decent special features to choose from, but nothing you’d watch more than once. This is a very mixed Blu-ray disc, and one reserved only for die-hard fans of the film.

* Note: The above images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page.


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