Spottiswoode (”Tomorrow Never Dies”) says this thriller – set 10 years in the future – about a helicopter pilot who finds he’s been surreptitiously cloned ”isn’t designed as an Arnold flick as such.” After all, it has fewer action blowouts (three, by the director’s count) than usual, and the muscleman plays an ”ordinary” guy. Just don’t tell Arnold. ”It has what people like in my movies,” the star says. ”It has terrific action, and it has the ‘Total Recall’/ ‘Terminator’ look with a lot of dramatic nighttime shots. [And] the futuristic aspects were always interesting, because people like to see me in the future or in the past.”
He HAS been trying to make some alterations to the Schwarzenformula, giving his characters more dramatic moments (remember his ”End of Days” weeping?) and, in this film, cutting down on ”unnecessary violence.” For one rooftop shoot-out, Arnold insisted the gunfire be trimmed. ”If you have four guys shooting and one getting killed, it gets the point across as much as if 12 guys are shooting and six guys get wiped out,” he says. ”Whereas in the days of ‘Commando’ we wiped out as many as we could. But that was a different era.” Ahhh, those were the squib filled salad days. GOOD SIGN You heard the man: It has terrific action and takes place in the future! THEN AGAIN Did ”End of Days”’ $67 mil gross indicate Arnold’s era might be terminating?