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Vince Visits The Island!

Published July 25, 2005 in Movie Reviews
By Vince Palomarez | Images property of Dreamworks Pictures
The Island The Island
A few interesting things to know about the year 2019 according to Michael Bay (Pearl Harbor, Armageddon, The Rock), director of The Island:

1) Most of the people of 2019 are extremely beautiful, while the ugly ones are just around to do all the grunt work and provide occasional comic relief.

2) Even though technology is advanced enough to create flying bikes and trains that ride high above the ground, Helicopters and cars seemed to have stayed the same for the past 15 years. Apparently all foreign cars have been eliminated and all the citizens of Los Angeles prefer to only drive around in 15 year old Chryslers and Cadillac's.

3) Crime must be at an all time high in 2019, because whenever a gun fight breaks out in the middle of the day only two police cars tend to show up.

The Island Movie Review

If you're laughing at how ridiculous that sounds you haven't even scratched the surface on how bad The Island is.

Michael Bay's latest film centers on Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor), a member of a society of people that believe they are the last survivors of earth after a worldwide contamination killed everyone else. The only reason to survive, other than preservation, is to win a lottery that sends you to the island, the last non-contaminated paradise on earth. Growing tired of living such a simple life, Lincoln's obsession with finding the answers leads him to find out the real truth of the Island; they are nothing more than clones used for spare body parts to the rich and famous. When Lincoln's best friend Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johansson) is selected to go to the island, Lincoln makes a desperate escape to free Jordan and the remaining clones while trying to escape from a ruthless mercenary (Djimon Hounsou) and the mastermind of the clone project (Sean Bean).

The premise may sound mildly interesting, but put in the hands of a director who has no ability to tell a story results in goofy, anticlimactic letdown.

The Island The Island
Michael Bay got his start with commercials and made his mark in the industry by displaying a unique, flashy visual style that made everything look so cool. He eventually hooked up with producer Jerry Bruckheimer and the two formed a powerful partnership that produced a string of over budgeted, light on story epics which resulted in big bucks at the box office and made Bay an A-List director. The problem with that though is while visually Bay may be one of the top directors in the business; he has no sense of how important a story is to the overall production. With Bay all by himself this time (he is listed as Producer as well as director) he totally turns any type of interesting storyline into a boring lifeless husk. Even a talented cast can't help save the story. Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson's performances are pretty much wasted because they are spending most of the time running from one place to the other acting like clueless idiots. It's almost as if they were picked more for their looks than their acting ability, especially with Johansson who has no business being in this film.

The Island The Island
The one saving grace that The Island has is the fast paced action Bay excels so well at. Sure you have all the traditional "Michael Bay shots" that he's so famous for (slow-mo shots of various people displaying emotion, hundreds of aerial shots, miscellaneous shots that look like you've seen them in some magazine ad), but the man can direct some kick ass action. Unlike some other films that fail to live up to their production budget COUGH**Fantastic Four**COUGH, Michael Bay takes full advantage of all the $122 million dollars invested in this film. With every single explosion or car crash you can almost see the money oozing from the screen. If you're a big fan of action then you'll be totally satisfied for short amount of time the action takes center stage. By getting his start in commercials and in order to recoup the budget one big nagging thing you will notice about The Island is how much product placement is squeezed into this film. Aquafina, Xbox, MSN, Budweiser, Reebok and Puma all make many appearances throughout the film, with every logo perfectly placed right in front of our eyes so we all know that they paid tons of money to advertise their product. It may not annoy many people, but to this dedicated movie viewer it not only was incredibly annoying, but seriously distracted me from following the story…..what little of it there was.

The Island is further proof that even though some directors have talent, not all of them deserve final cut after a few successes. The action may be top notch in the short time it is given, but the lack of emphasis on story, the waste of talented actors and an extremely disappointing and ridiculous ending make this film one that you can wait for to come out on video. Michael Bay continues to show you that he has a great talent for picking incredibly attractive females to be extras and a superior visual eye, but lacks any type of talent in making a story interesting. Hopefully next time he can hook up with a credible producer, who can find a story to emphasis Bay's strengths and give the viewers the stuff we love about him, making really big explosions look cool.


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Vince Palomarez
Sources: Images property of Dreamworks Pictures

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