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Blockbuster action director Michael Bay delivers a striking look at a strange world of the future in this sci-fi action drama. Midway through the 21st century, Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor) lives in a confined indoor community after ongoing abuse of the Earth has rendered most of the planet uninhabitable. One of the only places in the outside world still capable of sustaining life is an idyllic island where citizens are chosen to live through a lottery. Or at least that's what Lincoln and his fellow citizens are taught to believe; the truth is that Lincoln, like everyone he knows, is actually a clone who is kept under wraps to provide needed organs when the person who supplied his or her DNA falls ill. When he becomes aware that his existence is a fraud, Lincoln escapes to the outside world with a fellow clone, Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johansson), though the powers that be are determined to see that no one gets away alive. The Island also stars Steve Buscemi, Djimon Hounsou, Michael Clarke Duncan, and Sean Bean.
- The Future in Action
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The Island is a really really badly done sci fi flick that would have you believe it is unique and new. It isn't. It is a very thinly (and poorly) veiled remake of Logan's Run (from the 1970's).
The Island borrows heavily from films such as The Matrix (didn't you think the clones were houses similarly to the people under control by the Matrix?), Minority Report (that piss poor film starring The Scientologist), and then completely steals huge chunks from Logan's Run.
The years is 2014 and Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johannsen are perky little citizens of a utopian society in which the citizens have no independent thought. Suddenly McGregor gets it in his head that he's going to go out on his own. Why? He has bad dreams (but aren't these the same dreams everyone else is having? Yes. Later,we're even shown that the others have these same "memories" implants).
He sneaks away and discovers that his civilization's life is all a big lie and that they are nothing more than the parts department for the rich and wealthy who can afford to have clones created for use as spares for when they are injured or dying.
The rest is a chase film wherein the bad guys try to keep the clones from blowing the whistle.
If you've ever seen Logan's Run, you'll remember all of this as well. However, Logan's Run did it far better - and surprisingly with better special effects.
The mere premise of this film is silly and feeds into the mentality of the mindless millions of television viewers whose salacious appetite for Jerry Springer-like reality has given television networks latitude to further dumb down the television audience. Ooooooo, what if it really happened? Ooooooo what if I ran into my clone?
The Island tells us that the rich are evil and should be stopped. Jerry Springer's core audience will eat that idea up.
At least in Logan's Run, the blame was given to all society for being such sheep and believing whatever was being told to them.
Are the rich evil for being wealthy and should they thus be punished or are those who want others to tell them what to think and do to blame for their lot in life? I think that's the difference between The Island and Logan's Run.
I'll take the message from Logan's Run any day of the week over that of The Island. At least it means that I'm not so stupid that I'll do whatever someone else tells me to do.
The Big: Well this film is massive in terms of its superficial flashy design. It looks a billion dollars and pretty much every moment is superbly well realised. Only the Americans can do this kind of total, balls out blindingly impressive stuff. And it's a long film too. You get a colossal amount of bangs for your bucks as vehicles explode in sheets of flame and tearing metal, buildings collapse and shatter into constellations of twisted sparkling shards of glass and heroes weave crazily in and out of the heaving maelstrom. Get the picture? It's just so overdone. Camera moves slide and out and veer as in a lunatic's dream. Even the quiet moments are beautifully designed but the whole monstrosity bears the brutally stamped imprint of US megalomania.
Which is fine if you're drunk and just want a seemingly endless burst of strobing violence interspersed with utterly weak and forgettable interludes.
Which brings us on to The Dumb: And how truly dumb this film really is. The script is so bad it seems written by a toddler. The plot (if you can call it that) revolves around the farming of cloned humans for their organs. And that's it. Nothing else. There are no revelatory leaps of vision. Not even a second act. Just chuck your stars into the mess and make them run, run, run. This might be a laugh if it was ironic or self-aware but this film has absolutely no brains. They even steal a moment from an old Star Trek movie and use it as a set piece. The direction is also similarly tragic. It stumbles about and falls on its backside so often that this film looks like a bunch of TV commercials badly stuck together.
And what of the actors? Well I'm happy they got the work and were paid very well but I was a little disappointed to see the marvellous Sean Bean (cast as The Nasty English Villain) die horribly yet again. Scarlett Johannson gets to look gorgeous (but is mostly made to scream a lot) and Ewan McGregor gets to show off his total inability to master foreign accents.
This is a heinous waste of time and money and I shudder to think how many millions of tons of carbon dioxide it's production pointlessly shoved into the atmosphere. I imagine Michael Bay as some kind of hideous blob on a yacht somewhere with his ignorant friends getting off on how rich and talented they are.
Rich he may be but there ain't much talent here. A film for dim-witted Republicans only.
The basic premise is that an "evil corporation" grows clones for these evil rich people to provide organs for evil rich people as they need them. We see a large room with hundreds of clones being grown on tables. But, for some reason, the clones are "awakened" and then kept in a fictional society, entirely apart from the real world? Why the clones are not simply kept in an incubative state, we are not told. Eventually one of the clones, our hero, finds out the truth and, after much car chasing, many explosions, and too much booming base music, kills his evil double and brings down the evil corporation single-handedly. Hurray!
A silly movie. Not for adults.
I would have to assume that many of the 5-star reviews come from young people; and maybe I would have enjoyed this many years ago, but not today.