The Island review by Cinema Guru Boy

Cloning was a subject that popped in the news years ago and with it the reprecussions scientifically, philsophically and religiously. Eventually, it found its way into pop culture, and now years after Dolly the Sheep was, like, so five minutes ago, The Island is attempting to capitalize upon the rukus made by these scientists.

The film begins with a bang, a strong sweeping vision over the island in question. The majestic mountains, the glimmering oceans and the thick jungle make this gorgeous piece of real estate the exact object of desire it is meant to be in the film. That follows with a man we find out to be named Lincoln-Six-Echo (Ewan McGregor) riding a boat, immediately thrust into a montage of violence and imagery, building a sense of confusement and suspence and setting up a number of questions very well. At this point, less than five minutes into the film, it seems the impossible has been done. Over-director extrordinaire/Mr."Who-Needs-Plot" Michael Bay has finally made his masterpiece. But this movie is more than five minutes long.

As it turns out, Lincoln-Six-Echo and a couple million others live in a manufactured enviornment, which is actually little more than a building. They are in this environment to avoid the world-wide contamination, while waiting for the honor of being allowed to live on the island, the only uncontaminated outside area left in the world. Now although this film takes place in the year 2019, the society created within this building is nothing we haven't seen before in 1984. In fact it was done better in 1984. But rather than focusing on the oppression of the totaltarian government 1984 did so well, The Island breezes past it and focuses more on the head-to-toe Puma outfits everyone wears, the Aquafina they drink and the XBOX virual reality video games they play. Appearently, product placement will get extremely out of hand in the next 14 years.

Eventually Lincoln becomes suspicious of his society and starts poking around. Why? Becuase we need to get to the second act quickly! Plot be damned! But the second act can't get officially underway until Lincoln's good buddy Jordan-Two-Delta (Scarlett Johansson) gets summoned to the island and Lincoln decides they need to make a break for it. At this point Bay ceases to rip-off, er, I mean homage, 1984 and starts imitating Logan's Run, which really wasn't that good to begin with. But it puts a face on an opposing face with Laurent (Djimon Hounsou), the former Navy Seal hired to catch the runaways. Hounsou is completely slumming it here, appearently trying to break into the mainstream, but has nothing but a flat, generic character with whom to work. But this gives Bay an opportunity to be Michael Bay. The film becomes little more than a series of destructive chase scenes, and although McCord (Steve Buscemi), Lincoln's contact in the outside world, makes for some genuinely comedic moments, this is still just Michael Bay action. The first fight scene is pretty cool, although reminiscent of something out of Lethal Weapon 3. There's just not a lot original in this film at all.

This outside world is supposed to be Los Angeles in 2019, however, the filmmakers appearently felt LA couldn't pass for a 14-years-in-the-future LA, so to stand in for a dilapidated LA is my own Detroit, Michigan. It is nice for any Detroiter to see the city up on the big screen; that's pretty rare. 61* only gave the inside of the stadium, but The Island ran all over the city, past Comerica Park, flashing Jonny Rocket's near the Fox Theater, and at one point even flashed the large Steve Yzerman mural, implying a career that will continue an additional 14 years, which had to be mistake.

The film did have a few bright spots. In what might be a spoiler if explained further, McGregor did display a entertaining dichotomy of personalities, and appeared to be having a lot of fun doing so. And Johansson looked as stunning as ever, although it's still more fun to see her act rather than just look nice. But honestly, the audience really can't expect much more out of the man who gave us Armaggedon, Bad Boys, and Pearl Harbor.

This film had great potential. It was set up very well with some intriguing and interesting science-fiction principles in place. However, they were just abandoned way too early in favor of the silly action chase flick.

4 out of 10 Jackasses
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