Monday, August 27, 2018

Movie Review: "The Island" (2005)

Director: Michael Bay
Year: 2005
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 41 minutes

A large group of people lives in a subterranean authoritarian community. Each person goes through their day-to-day life in the hopes that they will win the lottery and get to go to a utopia known as the Island. All of this changes when one citizen known as Lincoln Six Echo starts to question authority and discovers the Island isn't what everyone thinks it is.

"It's in your nature to question things." (Image Source)
If you live in an authoritarian society that promises passage to a utopia for lottery winners who are never seen or heard from again, chances are, you aren't going to a utopia, but rather you will wind up being used for much more nefarious purposes. Apparently, this is what our world is supposed to be like in a year's time. "The Island" is directed by Michael Bay, who has directed films like "Bad Boys," "The Rock," and "Armageddon." This movie stars Ewan McGregor as Lincoln Six Echo, a man who lives in a sterile underground society that is said to protect its citizens from a post-apocalyptic world that is full of toxic chemicals. The people that live there do so in the hopes of winning a lottery that will send them to 'the Island,' which is said to be last uncontaminated place above ground. When Lincoln gets curious about what he and his fellow citizens have been told, he does some investigating and discovers the truth about the Island, which sends him and a fellow colony member named Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johansson), who has just been picked in the most recent lottery, on the run.
"The Island awaits you." (Image Source)
"The Island" is a film that has clearly taken inspiration from many past titles in the sci-fi genre. It has hints of movies like "Logan's Run" and "THX 1138" in its sets, costuming, and even in the premise. At its core, this movie does have an intriguing concept. As Lincoln Six Echo begins to get curious about his white-clad, high-tech, no-nonsense subterraneous society, he makes discoveries that shatter his world as he knows it, findings of clones, deep-seeded lies, organ harvesting, and a whole bunch of WTF. As they say, curiosity killed the cat. That being said, there is a bit to be desired in this story's execution. It feels like it wants to be a skillful and intelligent sci-fi thriller, but it can't achieve its full potential because it is directed by Michael Bay. Because of this, "The Island" winds up being loaded with cliche Michael Bayisms, including but not limited to an overabundance of explosions and overt patriotic imagery. The addition of such things doesn't mean it's not enjoyable and entertaining, because it surely is. It can also be a lot of fun. Bay does have the ability to put together some exceptional action scenes no matter how many unnecessary auto/building/insert-item-here eruptions they may contain. Finally, we also get pretty invested in the characters in this tale. McGregor's Lincoln Six Echo and Johansson's Jordan Two Delta have a charming naivete to them since they have always trusted everything they've been told. McGregor and Johansson both have a terrific on-screen presence and give decent performances considering what they had to work with script-wise.
"Why do I gotta be the guy who tells the kids there's no Santa Claus?" (Image Source)
"The Island" may not be the perfect movie, but we think it merits checking out for fans of sci-fi action flicks heavy on loud noises and symbols of patriotism.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 40%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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