CORPORATE LINE: Michael Bay (“Armageddon,” “Pearl Harbor”) directs the futuristic action thriller “The Island,” starring Ewan McGregor (“Star Wars: Episodes I, II & III,” “Moulin Rouge!”) and Scarlett Johansson (“Lost in Translation,” “Girl With a Pearl Earring”).
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.
Rounding out the main cast of “The Island” are Oscar® nominee Djimon Hounsou (“In America,” “Gladiator”) as the leader of the security team pursuing Lincoln and Jordan; Sean Bean (“National Treasure,” “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy) as the head of the Institute; Steve Buscemi (“Ghost World,” “Armageddon”) as a man who befriends Lincoln despite working for the institute; and Oscar® nominee Michael Clarke Duncan (“The Green Mile,” “Armageddon”) as another resident who is elated and envied when he is selected to go to “The Island.”
THE GOOD (barely), THE BAD, & THE UGLY: Michael Bay always takes his formula and rides it until the end whether or not its going to be good or not. Bay figures you throw in $100 million and you’ll get it back and then some. The Island isn’t going to reap those rewards.
The Island could have had more plots—maybe Bay didn’t think brain-dead viewers could handle that. There could have been a message and yet that chance goes flying by like so many other high-wire effects.
The Island is little more than a big film ripping off a whole bundle of other, usually lesser known films. Some obvious rip offs are “Logan’s Run,” “Brave New World,” and “Minority Report.”
FRANKLY: The thrill is gone. Bay might want to revamp his formula if The Island is any sort of blueprint. Most of the time spent is dull and innate. Bay wants us to believe The Island is more than an action flick—its not. With a title like The Island what do you expect? That’s about as generic a title there is—and you get exactly that—a generic film.
+ Charlie Craine