Projections - Movie Reviews

The Island

Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Michahel Clarke Duncan,
Sean Bean, and Steve Buscemi

Rated: PG
Reviewed by: Chris  
Release date: July 22, 2005 Released by: DreamWorks Animation

Director Michael Bay (Bad Boys & Pearl Harbor) has a new science fiction thriller filled with high energy and nonstop action.

Ewan McGregor stars as Lincoln Six-Echo and Scarlett Johansson as Jordan Two-Delta, clones who live with thousands of other clones in an antiseptic underground bunker-like city.

Set in the year 2019, the clones are like children in a posh boarding school. They all dress alike in utilitarian white outfits, the men and women are separated in different sleeping quarters and they eat cafeteria-style from a menu that has been chosen for them making their bodies perfectly balanced chemically.

The only excitement is a lottery. Periodically one of the clones is selected to be sent to The Island, a lush green tropical paradise. Big screens pop up in the common areas, where a soothing female voice reads off the name of the lucky winner. That clone is then led off to The Island, as onlookers applaud, yet grumble under their breath as to why they hadn't been chosen.

The inmates don't know they are clones, and most just follow orders and obey the rules. They believe they reside as they do because of a cataclysmic event has contaminated earth. Lincoln, however has questions such as: why are there healthy new arrivals if the earth is unsafe, and how come he found a flying bug down in the bowels of the compound.

When his friend Jordan wins the "lottery," he persuades her that The Island is a big sham, and that she's about to be killed for her internal organs. The two escape an elaborate security system, gun toting burly guards and ex-military forces hired by the head of the compound (Sean Bean) who's trying to protect his multimillion dollar investment.

Michael Bay is a master of action scenes, and he comes up with a few doozies here. The couple whiz around on a flying double motorcycle, speed down the highway on the back of a trailer with giant train wheels falling off the back and dangle from a sign 70 stories off the ground - good thing they're both in good shape.

Michael Clarke Duncan has a small roll as a fellow clone and Steve Buscemi plays a quirky civilian boiler worker. Although Johansson is mostly there to look good, McGregor is effective in the role of inquisitive upstart.

The sets are high-tech and elaborate, and the story keeps your interest, but the main thing The Island offers is terrific action and almost nobody does it better than Michael Bay.

  Frank Chris Tony Jim Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
The Island B B   B C- B   B

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