The Island Reviews
As odd as it is watching Ewan McGregor spew out an American accent, one can't help but admit they were wrong in assuming he had been miscast in this action caper. In fact, McGregor demonstrates his ever expanding range and leaves audiences more then satisfied with his performance as an action hero.
The voluptuous Scarlett Johansson is not only a joy to gaze at but this pouty bombshell is a versatile talent to boot as her beauty is matched only by her ability. There is a natural and smooth chemistry between the two stars which is best illustrated in their first kiss which should snap up the MTV Movie Award for best kiss.
Dijimon Hounsou and Sean Bean rounds out an eclectic more then capable cast which also has Steve Buscemi and a brief appearance by Michael Clark Duncan in tow. Bean convincingly portrays the role of the sinister Dr. Merrick who suffers from the ultimate God complex while Honsou is perfectly cast as the hunter who is responsible for chasing down the 'products'. Buscemi had the audience chuckling with his performance while the gigantic Duncan who was nominated for best supporting actor The Green Mile, is hardly used at all.
The combination of an eclectic cast and vicious heart pumping action which leaves you gasping in awe as you jump back in your seat makes the Island a thoroughly enjoyable experience. This is what summer flicks are all about!
Things only get worse as the film transitions into the second and third act. Any semblance of character or plot are completely thrown out the window in the second act as Bay takes full control in the most predictable Michael Bay way: with loud, incoherent set pieces. Car/motorcycle chases, on foot chases, and perilous hanging from the side of a skyscraper plague this section of the film, and lack any fluid cinematography or direction that could at least make them enjoyable. The third act attempts to wrap up the potentially thought-provoking questions of the first act, to no avail. Bay has so many opportunities to make a statement about the ethics of cloning, but he's too preoccupied with his special effects to do anything worthwhile with them.
If you're looking for a fascinating dystopia story that actually delves into thought-provoking themes, look into any of the aforementioned works that The Island shamelessly borrows from. Perhaps the involvement of Michael Bay is a big enough indicator that you're not going to get anything intellectual out of this one.
Director Michael Bay brings us "The Island", with a run time of two hours and sixteen minutes. Starring Ewan McGregor as Lincoln 6 Echo, Scarlett Johansson as Jordan 2 Delta, and Sean Bean as Dr. Merrick of Merrick Industries. A cloning compound that grows human clones as life extension insurance policies.
"The Island" is an action packed thrill ride. Michael Bay creates a new world that can be related to the Garden of Eden. Based on the lie that the other inhabitants of the world have been killed by a "contamination", the clones are told they are the only survivors. They are also made to believe that there is still hope of a pathogen free zone called "The Island." They are selected to go to the Island by winning the lottery. Lincoln 6 Echo has a suspicion that the lottery is rigged. His suspicions are soon confirmed when he finds out the true meaning of the Island. A rescue then ensues for Lincoln's friend Jordan 2 Delta, and they make a dramatic escape. Their search for answers leads them on high speed chases on futuristic jet bikes and they must use their own pair of legs to escape.
Now there are a few things that don't quite add up in the movie. There is a chase scene where Lincoln and Jordan are running from hired mercenaries tasked with retrieving them. To escape the shots being fired at them, Lincoln and Jordan climb onto a moving semi-trailer that is hauling train wheels. They are also being chased by multiple other vehicles. The train wheels are let loose, and begin smashing into the pursuing vehicles causing explosions and pileups. The commotion might make the driver notice they had just lost their whole load and had caused multiple car crashes behind them. But no, the driver does not stop or slow down until the Mercenaries shoot out the front tires and the engine. Either the driver is extremely oblivious to all his surroundings or the director does not want you to notice that and stay focused on the cool jet bikes.
The overall theme is preserving life, by taking life, and unending car crash pileups, chase scenes and aimless shooting with no consequence about the carnage and destruction left behind. Overall The Island has some flaws in the storyline, and poor execution of the ideas and scenes. However, the movie hides some of its flaws by covering them up with intense action scenes that almost make you feel like you are there. The music was also well placed to create a mood. If you don't pay to close attention to the plot you will find this interesting take on human cloning, and dramatic chase scenes a movie worth watching.