Publicity Stills of "The Island"
(Courtesy from Warner Bros)

Genre: Sci-Fi/Action
Director: Michael Bay
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Hounsou, Sean Bean, Steve Buscemi, Michael Clarke Duncan
RunTime: 2 hrs 15 mins
Released By: Warner Bros
Rating: PG

Opening Day: In Cinemas 21 July 2005


Lincoln Six-Echo (McGregor) is a resident of a seemingly utopian but contained facility in the mid-21st century. Like all of the inhabitants of this carefully controlled environment, Lincoln hopes to be chosen to go to the “The Island”—reportedly the last uncontaminated spot on the planet—until he makes a terrible discovery that everything about his existence is a lie…and that he is actually more valuable dead than alive. Together with a beautiful fellow resident named Jordan Two-Delta (Johansson), Lincoln makes a daring escape to the outside world he’s never known. Now, with the forces of the institute that once housed them relentlessly hunting them down, Lincoln and Jordan engage in a desperate race for their lives.

Movie Review:

The Island is a kinetic, visually stunning and a thoughts provoking film. The film begins in a not so distant future where survivors of a disease that had contaminated most of the world are being placed in a sterile enclosed environment. In this environment, the males and females are segregated and close proximity is not allowed. With limited knowledge, their only way of life is to perform simple tasks and obey the given rules. Their only aim? To be picked from a lottery draw and transported to the only uncontaminated island in this world: the ultimate destination and fulfillment for the residents.

Lincoln Six-Echo was growing to be dissatisfied with his existence in the enclosed area. Unlike the rest of the residents, he soon questions the validity of his surroundings and what really lies in the ideal destination. His curiosity accelerated when his fellow female resident, Jordan Two-Delta, whom he was growing fond of, was selected through the lottery to go to the Island. His curiosity leads him to discover of the real and awful truth behind the lottery picks and it’s up to him to rescue the girl of his dreams.

The trailers and plot summaries should have given away the truth behind the lottery, so some spoiler alert for those who do not wish to spoil their viewing pleasure. The residents “survivors” are actually clones of human from the outside world and they are used to grow the spare body parts. The Lottery pick was just an excuse to harvest the body parts for their donors in the real world.

Ewan McGregor did a great job as Lincoln Six-Echo, especially in his dual roles as Lincoln Six Echo (the clone) and Tom Lincoln (the donor) who had same scenes at some points. His usage of different accents to differentiate both characters was a nice touch and in mere minutes, Ewan McGregor managed to convince me that there were two different people with the same face.
Now I have never seen Scarlett Johansson in an action film before and after watching the Island, I am sure that I won’t mind watching her in another action film. This lady can pack a punch as well as she could with emotions.

Another notable actor in this film would be Steve Buscemi who played the technician that helped Lincoln and Jordan’s escape. As in most of his films, he managed to steal the limelight in every scene he appeared in. His sarcasm was sharpand witty and often delivers some of the best lines in this film. The most memorable line in this whole film had to be his comments on cows and burger.

Loud Explosions, high-speed car chases on highways, aerial pursuit and death defying pulsing scenes! All the traits of Michael Bay’s films are back with him on his latest sci-fi production, the Island. Action sequences were choreographed to excite the eye and quicken the pulse. Slow motion and quick cuts result in stylistically visual and stunning images that will always stand out as a Michael Bay film.

The difference with this film from his previous ones would be the absence of Jerry Bruckheimer who had been his collaborator for all the films that he had directed. However, The Island proved that Michael Bay is able to present a decent blockbuster on his own.

The Island offers everyone something to look out for. There's betrayal, romance, humor, and moral dilemma, all wrapped into a well-produced package. If you are looking for science fiction, the first half of the film will keep you intrigued and wondering. If you are looking for action, the later half of the film is laden with a series of sequences involving huge spectacular destruction that will thrill you till the edge of your seats.

Movie Rating:

Review by Richard Lim Jr











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