Not a bad trip at all!
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Hounsou, Steve Buscemi, Sean Bean
Director: Michael Bay
Genre: Sci-fi action-adventure
Storyline: A couple of ‘harvested’ clones escape their simulated environment and set out to the real world to fight for their freedom.
Bottomline: Fast food for thought.
You just cannot leave your brains behind when you watch Michael Bay’s ‘The Island.’
It has to be among the most thought-provoking flicks that he’s ever made. Yes, there are chases choc-a-bloc, endless explosions, guns going off like there’s no tomorrow but between all that, the screenplay gives you a fascinating premise of clones questioning their existence as ‘products’ bred in a special facility cut off from the world, only to cater to their sponsors should they need an organ or two.
But to put it in context, ‘The Island’ may not be entirely original (screenplay: Caspian Tredwell-Owen). The film was recently sued for copyright violation by the producers of the 1979 film Parts: The Clonus Horror. The BBC observed that “t he 1979 film tells the story of a secret colony of clones raised in case humans need spare organs. One escapes and is chased as he tries to expose the facility.”
The premise apart, every other scene in the film is distinctly Michael Bay stamped with his signature pace that ensures that you get what you stepped into the theatre for: entertainment.
The special effects are among the best we’ve seen recently and it is rather difficult to spot them even in RDX projection systems that expose even the minutest of lighting/detailing errors.
Ewan McGregor in a dual role, lends the film some of his character and charm, as Lincoln Echo Six, the first clone in the facility to suspect there’s something wrong with his environment and the promise of deliverance to the ‘The Island,’ a non-existent place engrained in the minds of the clones, just to give them some hope to live for.
The chemistry between him and Scarlett Johansson makes it that much more interesting, especially when you know that their minds are only as developed as that of 15-year-olds. Scarlett has to Generation Next’s Angelina Jolie with her pout, attitude and the way she kicks rear admirably.
That said, ‘The Island’ had the potential to be as philosophical and profound as ‘The Matrix,’ but it simply chooses not to. Hence, it does not tax your brain too much, just teases it a little and goes down fighting, all guns blazing.