- Michael Bay
- Reviewed by
- José Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Monday, August 22, 2005
Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor) and Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johansson) live every day wishing only one thing: to be the lucky winners of the lottery, meaning that they’re going to The Island. As it happens, the whole world has been supposedly contaminated so the survivors are secluded in a huge compound waiting until they’re called to the only place on Earth that hasn’t been affected. The actual truth is that they are clones. They are clones of people who paid to have them ready in case they need an organ transplant or whatever medical condition for which they could help. And when Lincoln discovers this with the help of a technician (Steve Buscemi) from the real world, he goes berserk, runs away with Jordan, and tries to survive amidst a colossal hunt from the military hired to kill them by Dr. Merrick (Sean Bean) and the cops who realize something is wrong.
The Island is many things in one: it kicks off as a sci-fi romp and then it gives an 180 degree turn to become a full-blown action picture. One could argue that this is a cop-out. Why on Earth, when having such an interesting premise, did its creators think it was a good idea to boil down the movie to explosions and chases? I think we might be missing the perspective here, for it is a Michael Bay movie, so we should think about it the other way around. He went out to create an action picture but on the way he found a very interesting premise to tackle. And for that I am thankful, because I don’t find a problem in having an action movie which is actually a bit more intelligent than usual. On the contrary, bring ’em out!
Still, I do wish maybe another filmmaker had taken hold of the project so they could have given continuity to its great first half and created a much better, smarter and complete movie. The whole cloning theme and the way it’s treated in the movie is certainly thought-provoking and fascinating in its depiction. It raises a lot of questions that have no easy answers.
To bring all this mayhem to the big screen its creators didn’t stop at nothing. There are endless action sequences. They go from the overly exciting (the truck chase sequence with the structures falling from it) to the utterly unbelievable (the red-sign fall, although they’re clever enough to insert a punch line admitting this). But it’s all supposed to be fun and big and splashy and it is. And I had a hell of a good time with it, even if the movie is a bit overlong.
Casting-wise the movie is a pleasure to behold. Scarlett Johansson has never looked this sexy, beautiful and yummy. She’s ravishing. And Ewan McGregor is hot to watch in anything, but here he creates an indelible character. There are even some scenes involving two Ewans that are flawlessly acted and put-together. Actually, the final showdown between both is one of my favorite scenes in the movie. Michael Clarke Duncan, Sean Bean, Steve Buscemi and Djimon Hounsou round out the extraordinary cast.
Kudos also to Mauro Fiore’s impressionistic photography and Steve Jablonsky’s angelical score.
“Why is my insurance policy sitting in my fuckin' sofa?”
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