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Movie Review: The Island

Friday, December 23, 2005
The Island, Michael Bay's latest action film, is certainly a return to form after having made a string of movies that culminated in the oft-maligned (and rightly so) Pearl Harbor (a movie I'm not going to link to because it was so terrible.) However, he's since made Bad Boys II, which has everything a car chase lover could want crammed into like 3 hours. His latest film is The Island.

The plot is somewhat thin - an element not atypical for his movies. Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson play characters that are clones of people, grown for replacement parts. Of course, they don't know this and are quite surprised to find out that the paradise island that they're supposedly headed to is, in fact, a euphemism for death.

Much action ensues as the hero and heroine escape and plot to free everyone else. My favorite scene is when Ewan McGregor's character "Lincoln 6 Echo" meets the person he was cloned for, Tom Lincoln. Tom talks with a scottish accent, Lincoln doesn't. So Ewan McGregor tries to imitate himself. It's quite fun, though some of the car chase scenes seem like exact copies of Bad Boys II and there's enough product placement to pay down the national debt.

The movie would have been a lot better had it not been pretty widely announced that they were, in fact, clones. Much of the movie is spent examining their world and a greater sense of mystery could have been generated if that secret were kept. Additionally, had everyone not been driving around 50 years in the future in cars that were made this year, that would have reinforced the image, too.

Anyway, the final take on the movie is that it's worth renting if you enjoyed Michael Bay's earlier films, such as Bad Boys and The Rock. If you don't like choppy action, quick one-liners, thin plot and unexplainable character knowledge, skip this movie. If you're willing to temporarily suspend disbelief, it's okay. :)

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