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I Took a Trip to The Island

Published July 30, 2005 in Movie Reviews
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of Dreamworks
The Island Ewan McGregor in The Island
After Bubba bit a new @sshole out of the Michael Bay thriller The Island, I am almost afraid to say this; but just almost. After visiting my local theatre to check out a film from some one I believe to be one of the most entertaining directors out there [even with his small filmography], I left The Island feeling it would be some place I wouldn't mind visiting again.

The Island- Review

Again, I have got to point out that I have enjoyed every film from Michael Bay save Pearl Harbor, which I thought found Bay a little too caught up in a love story. However, Bay's last film, Bad Boys II, showed a renewed director willing to put love on the back burner to throw amazing action in our faces. Sure, Bad Boys II may have been a little over the top at times, but you have to admit that the one thing Michael Bay knows how to do is entertain the shit out of us at the theatres; and at home for that matter.

I found Michael Bay's new film, The Island, to be no different. Actually, there is one major difference here-- the story. Unlike all of Bay's previous films, The Island takes a try at a complex story that forwards us into an imaginary future. Bay therefore had to not only spend time and energy creating intense action sequences, which The Island definitely has, but a believable cloning facility and a futuristic look at urban life. Save the fact that cloning can be a complicated subject, and now we have a movie that could be hard to pull off.

The Island Sean Bean heads the cloning facility
For what The Island is, it did the one thing that I knew Michael Bay could do-entertain the shit out of me. The five main characters to The Island, which include Ewan McGregor [Lincoln Six Echo], Scarlett Johansson [Jordan Two Delta], Djimon Hounsou [Albert Laurent], Steve Buscemi [McCord] and Sean Bean [Merrick], do the job that is expected of them and not too much more; the film felt like it needed a little adlibbing. I especially appreciated the scene when Tom Lincoln finally meets his clone Lincoln Six Echo [both played by McGregor]. Watching McGregor play two roles on screen at once was a real treat.

Other than that, this group of actors is like the casting dream team for me. I think each person played his or her character to the best of their abilities, even though the story and dialogue could be a little soft at times. I would have also appreciated a shot of Scarlett Johansson in her underwear, but that may have been asking too much.

The Island Djimon Hounsou goes dick to cool by the end
When it comes to the story, each of the listed characters has something to do with, or are related to, a secret cloning facility that secretly breaks United States cloning laws by creating living, breathing, and thinking copies of human beings in the 'real world'. The center, run by Merrick, gets paid millions of dollars per clone created for those wealthy enough to cover this sort of 'insurance plan.' Rather than have these clones created to be pets or best friends, each clone had been harvested for one reason-- to later kill for its body parts when the original host finally becomes in need of them.

Unfortunately for the center, Lincoln Six Echo, whose curiosity and ability to question has grown with age [he is three years old], discovers the secret to the facility and quickly alerts his they - won't - let - us - touch girlfriend, Jordan Two Delta, which later allows them to aid each other in escaping from the facility. Because the world can't know that the cloning facility is creating full scale clones, Merrick immediately requests the assistance of Albert Laurent, head of a special ops unit, to hunt down and kill both the runaway clones. While this job should have been fairly easy, the escaped clones had already invoked the help of a facility technician named McCord.

After their escape, the greater portion of The Island concentrates on chasing the two clones down for the purpose of disposal. You can tell this is Michael Bay's favorite part of the film, while he uses techniques applied to Bad Boys II to create some of the coolest chase scenes that you will ever soon on film.

All in all, I cannot complain too much about The Island. Those who know Michael Bay films should already have a good idea of what to expect before entering the theatre. However, while the formula remains the same, it is nice to see Bay take a semi-successful approach to the distant future; even if people still drive 2000 model cars in that time.


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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Image property of Dreamworks

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