"There's someone in my house, eating my birthday cake, with my family and it's not me."
— Adam Gibson.
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, this Sci-Fi movie takes place in a not-too-distant future where limited cloning technology has come into use for a number of things, from curing diseases to re-animating your pet to cloning fish as a food supply. However, cloning people is illegal. Arnie plays helicopter charter pilot Adam Gibson, a man who unintentionally gets involved with a human cloning cabal, who will kill him to protect their secrets.The title comes from the top quote from the Book of Genesis, which ends up being plot-relevant. The official title is "The 6th Day," not "The Sixth Day," changed to prevent it from being confused with another film that came out the year before.
The 6th Day contains the following tropes:
Acting for Two: An interesting case with Arnold playing both Adam and Adam's clone, even though it's technically the same character.
An Arm and a Leg: Marshall has his leg blown off by Adam, prompting his furious rant about his new boots being ruined.
Anti-Villain: Drucker. While he's an overall Jerkass and is quite ruthless in protecting the secret that he's a clone — understandable since cloning is illegal, he'd be considered legally dead, and would be killed — his human cloning technology could change the face of human suffering and save many lives, and the technology is already used in-story for organ transplants and to solve depleted fish stocks.
Arson Murder And Jay Walking: Just before he finds out he is the clone, Gibson hates his clone for sleeping with his wife, eating his birthday cake, and smoking his cigars.
Artistic License - Gun Safety: Wiley shows us exactly why you check your target before you fire, when his itchy trigger finger results in him missing and blowing a hole in Drucker's stomach.
As the Good Book Says: The legislation that outlawed cloning is known collectively as "Sixth Day Laws," in reference to the above verse.
Automated Automobiles: Adam's friend, Hank, can briefly be seen driving one before switching to manual control.
Adam makes his way deep into Drucker's HQ by acting like he belongs there, making use of a Borrowed Biometric Bypass, and by tricking a guard into letting him pass with his gun by pretending his package actually contains a flesh-eating virus.
Marshall also manages to pass himself as an authorised person when attempting to retrieve Adam from a police station, though given that they're able to access the police database, it's likely he has fake credentials to back him up.
Brain Uploading: Upon death or near death, the most recent contents of your memory can be uploaded to a new clone; the upside being that you'll continue to live in one way. The catch, however, is that it won't be you. Your clone will look, think and act like you in every way, but your consciousness; your unique, individual perception of an environment, won't be transferred. In other words, you'll still die hoping that copy of you will carry out what was once your life.
Broken Masquerade: Clone Adam's existence alone is enough to break the masquerade, which is why he's such a threat to Drucker.
Cloning Blues: Adam suffers from this briefly when he finds out he's actually the clone.
Cloning Body Parts: The benefits of organ cloning are used as a plea to try to drive down the "Sixth Day Laws" that forbid the cloning of complete human beings. In reality, the owner of the cloning corporation only wants to achieve immortality via uploading your memories into the brains of Expendable Clones.
Cloning Gambit: Unusual in that it's a voluntary activity, at least for the villains.
Cool Plane: Adam and Hank's charter company owns a pair of helicopters that can transform into jet planes in mid-flight.
Decoy Protagonist: A unique take on this as viewers are led to think they're following the original Adam trying to get his life back when The Untwist shows they've actually been following Clone Adam the whole time.
Determinator: Drucker. By the end of the movie one of him has been shot in the chest and the other is in a half-formed body. And neither of him is going to let that stop them.
Electronic Telepathy: A variant. Once a backup of someone's mind has been taken, those memories can be played back on computer systems, in essence allowing a person's mind to be read, albeit with some limitations.
Energy Weapon: Firearms shoot some sort of energy instead of bullets in the setting.
Enforced Method Acting: Arnold nearly drowned while shooting the scene where he hides in the tank containing the incomplete clones.
Eternal Prohibition: Several of Adam's customers are spooked when they hear Drucker insists on Adam and Hank taking a drugs test, until Adam reassures them that only the pilots are being tested. Adam's wife, Natalie, also hilariously suggests her and Clara's abduction is for smoking cigars.
Natalie:: Is this because of the cigars?!
Evil Is Petty: After Vincent and Talia break into the Gibson home to try and kidnap Adam's family and not finding them, Vincent frustratedly steals several of their beers. And leaves their fridge door open.
Expendable Clone: Both subverted since clones are considered the same person as before, and played straight when several mooks are somewhat more reckless than they might otherwise be, since if they die they can be brought back using another clone.
Freeze-Frame Bonus: Sarah Winter's bare breast is visible for one or two frames as she sits up as the newest clone of Talia Elsworth.
The Fundamentalist: Tripp, a religious anti-cloning fundamentalist, who murders clones for being "abominations", and is more than happy to murder any innocent person who gets in his way to stop Drucker.
Future Copter: Arnold's transforming jet copters, which can lock the rotors into place to become wings for high-speed cruising. Oddly enough, the far wealthier villain travels in a far more mundane Real Life helicopter.
Gone Horribly Wrong: A vaguely alluded to early cloning experiment, producing something that was thereafter mercy killed, is among the reasons for the Sixth Day Laws.
Heel-Face Turn: Kind of. Dr. Weir seems generally good, but he has knowingly gone along with the underground cloning operation (though he's horrified by the suggestion that Drucker's mooks are trying to kill/threaten Adam and his family). He then decides to help Adam after discovering that Drucker gave the clones, among which included Weir's wife., congenital defects to shorten their lifespans.
Legally Dead: One of the reasons why Drucker is so keen to keep the fact that he's a clone secret, is because with the laws the way they are he would be considered legally dead and would lose everything. The other is because he would also likely be destroyed.
Memory Gambit: An interesting variation. Adam fakes his own memories, knowing that the bad guys will read them to find out where he stashed the evidence.
Mistaken Identity: Played for drama. Hank pretends to be Adam for Drucker's charter contract (which specifically requested Adam), in order to free Adam up to run some errands. However, after Hank and Drucker are murdered, they initially believe Adam was killed instead as a result, with the superfluous Adam clone being what kicks off the plot of the movie.
No OSHA Compliance: Dr. Weir's cloning lab sure likes catwalks across pools of water with no guard railings...
Open Says Me: Drucker's mooks kick down several of the doors when breaking into the Gibson family home. Without any reason to think they're locked.
Papa Wolf: When his family is held to ensure compliance, Adam comes to the rescue, hard.
Pet the Dog: Drucker is polite and courteous to his pilot, and even gets him some complimentary tickets to a sports game after learning Hank (pretending to be Adam) is a fan. Unfortunately things go downhill from there.
Police Are Useless: The police are pretty useless when the real Adam tries to get help from them after his family are taken.
Super Window Jump: Adam does it to escape from Drucker and his mooks. It's played slightly more realistically in that Adam is clearly hurt a lot by the process.
Survivor Guilt: Adam, after finding out that Hank ended up being murdered due to the two switching places for Drucker's charter flight.
Adam: It should have been me...
Television Geography: A lot of locations around Metro Vancouver stand in for locations in the film; the Vancouver Public Library is the Replacement Technologies headquarters and the helicopter lands near Pacific Centre (with Science World clearly visible in the background).
Twenty Minutes into the Future: The movie takes place "Sooner Than You Think." On the "The Future is Coming" DVD featurette, Schwarzenegger states that the film takes place in 2015.
Uncertain Doom: It's unclear exactly what head Mook Marshall's final fate is. He can be seen to still be breathing when Adam retrieves his gun, but whether he survived the explosion is uncertain. He's also the only villain not seen to be killed on-screen, though he does have his leg blown off.
Utopia Justifies the Means: How Drucker tries to justify his cloning, saying with his technology, the world won't have to lose its Einsteins and Mozarts.
Video Phone: Interestingly showcased a video phone call with an automated machine... for 911 emergencies.
Villain Has a Point: Drucker points out that human cloning could save many lives, and ensure that humanity doesn't have to lose its Einsteins and Motzarts. The laws on cloning in-story are also heavily implied to be out-of-date, and influenced by religion.
Villains Never Lie: Double subverted: When Drucker tells Adam Gibson that he's really the clone, Adam just laughs him off, saying he's lying. Then Drucker provides proof.
Waking Non Sequitur: Whenever a clone is being brought back from a violent death the memories of said death come rushing in when they wake up that they shout their last words upon waking.
Talia: GODDAMIT SONOFABITCH!!!!!
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Drucker thinks himself this way. He even made a speech about how if cloning was possible and legal in the past that many of history's greatest influences could be brought back. What really cements it is that he was willing to kill Dr. Wier, the real well-intentioned extremist, so he could bring him and his wife back, because he thought it would make them happy.
You Have Failed Me: It's bad enough that Wiley keeps screwing up and getting himself killed, but when he accidentally shoots Drucker, Drucker decides not to bring him back again.
Zeerust: The film opens on an XFL game. The XFL was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it American Football league, which was meant to compete with the NFL. It ended so quickly that most people don't even remember it existed, yet is featured in this movie's futuristic setting.