The Island
Director: Michael Bay (Bad Boys I & II, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor)
Writer: Caspian Tredwell-Owen
Screenplay: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
Producer: Michael Bay
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Hounsou, Sean Bean, Steve Buscemi
MPAA Rating:R
read my spoiler disclaimer



If you don't know what the basic plotline of this movie is about, only read the first paragraph of this review. Sometimes it's better to go into a movie not really knowing what's going on. Which is the case with this film. So here is the gist: introduce characters, identify antagonist, run run run, look at this neat gadget of the future, run run run, stop, take a breath, look at this neat gadget of the future, run run run, explosions, whew! that was close, run run run, look at this neat gadget of the future, run run run, more explosions and bangs, run run run, look at this neat gadget of the.... Got the idea? Good. Well, not really good, but OK. It definitely keeps the action at high intensity (one of the more fun car chase sequences in recent memory), but the story could've been so much more.

     Now down to the nitty gritty. Not really spoilers ahead, but if you prefer not to know the basic plot line, STOP READING NOW. Everything in the film starts off really clean and anti-static as we are introduced to the futuristic world of 2019. It seems there has been some sort of contamination and everyone lives in this contained structure where everything is regulated....everything; including diet. It reminded me a lot of "THX 1138." It takes a little while to figure out what is going on without having things spelled out for us. I like that. We're thrust into this world and must discover for ourselves how and why things work they way they do. It was full of ideas and the potential for the story to blossom was unending. Soon enough though, instead of a thoughtful, philosphic look at cloning, it became a rat-race of gigantic, ubsurd proportion.

     We find out that the people in this white world are all there due to a contamination in the outside world and are simply waiting to win "the lottery" when they will be taken to a magnificent island where they can breathe fresh air and live a "normal" life. Our hero slowly begins to realize that there is much more going on here than we first thought. Suddenly the film is no longer within the strange world in which we started. Now it's just another action movie that happens to take place in the not so distant future.

     Seriously, I can't really even think of what to write about. If you're in the mood for car chases, exploding buildings and grandiose sets, this is your film. It definitely delivers on that. I mean, it's Michael Bay ("Armageddon," "Pearl Harbor," "Bad Boys I&II") what did you expect? It's the typical summer popcorn movie. In that vein, I had a lot of fun. Otherwise, it's pointless. There is a moral to the whole story, but it's so obvious right away that it doesn't even matter. It's basically a pro-life film, but everything in this movie has to offer has been done before. There's nothing new and it's so predictable it almost hurts.

     Decent star power abounds, and I found myself liking the characters (even the bad guys), but their presence is unneccesary next to all the huge effects and sets. Steve Buscemi was fun (per usual) but limited screen time (his explanation of God is fantastic). Ok, I'm actually gonna quit writing because I honestly don't know what to say. It's a brain dead attempt at a philosophical/political question about cloning. I had fun with the action on a Saturday afternoon, but that's it. I rarely hand out grades but... 2 out of 5.



List of movies (and TV), that were original, borrowed from to make the unoriginal "The Island":
THX-1138
Logan's Run
A.I.
Star Trek (about 50 different episodes)
Total Recall
Running Man
Gattaca
Minority Report
countless Twilight Zone episodes
The Clonus Horror (which I've never even heard of until today
The Matrix
Coma









drewbacca@moviepatron.com