The Island

The Island


Reviewed by: Kotleta

"From the director of Armageddon and Pearl Harbor" - not words to inspire confidence. Would it have helped if they'd spelled "harbour" right? Doubtful. The mere suggestion of Michael Bay on a poster is enough to put most sensible people off, but the presence of Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson and Steve Buscemi may provide adequate distraction and consequently, an audience.

The opening scenes are of a Soviet parable. Echoes of Zamiatin abound in the antiseptic whites and carefully controlled uniformity of life in the compound, a rehab unit for survivors of an eco-disaster, which contaminated the entire planet, barring one small utopian island, to which lucky inmates are intermittently shipped off. But not everyone is content to wait their turn.

Copy picture

Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan) has questions. Why is he suddenly having nightmares? How did a moth get in when they should all be dead? Where did his left shoe go? The last question remains unanswered, but with the help of oil-stained janitor McCord (Steve), smirky Lincoln discovers the dark truth behind the myth of the Island - it's just a metaphor for death. With best mate Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett), about to learn this the hard way, he finds another shoe and they escape to the world outside, where there are lots more insects and people, instead of the barren dustbowl of a nuclear aftermath. More shocks are in store when it emerges that they're clones, spare body parts grown for rich and famous customers. Oh dear, it was all a big fat lie.

From here on in, what first appeared to be an interesting drama questioning the ethics of cloning, becomes Ewan and Scarlett running and shouting in snazzy white tracksuits, which are strangely flattering on even the most aesthetically unappealing compound inmates.

Orange explosions and noisy car chases are accompanied by dialogue both snappy and original; "Go, GO! Faster! They're coming back... run! After them! Let's go! Oh no." It's fast and violent, expensive and colourful, yet it's a product. It's soulless. Which is perhaps the message. A great cast is largely wasted by poor writing and undeserved emphasis on effects and stylised fast cuts. At times, this is fun and charming and the concept raises some important questions. But, like the shoe, they're soon forgotten.

Reviewed on: 13 Aug 2005
Share this with others on...
Futuristic clone colony action escape drama (in clinging white bodysuits).
Amazon link

Read more The Island reviews:

The Exile ***

Director: Michael Bay

Writer: Caspian Tredwell-Owen, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Hounsou, Sean Bean, Steve Buscemi, Michael Clarke Duncan, Ethan Phillips, Brian Stepanek, Noa Tishby, Jamie McBride

Year: 2005

Runtime: 136 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


Search database: