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Overall Rating
3.22

Awesome: 11.11%
Worth A Look42.36%
Average: 15.97%
Pretty Bad: 18.06%
Total Crap: 12.5%

10 reviews, 84 user ratings


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Island, The (2005)
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by Lybarger

"Only Michael Bay would remake a 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' movie."
2 stars

I can understand wanting to remake “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” or “The Bad News Bears” (somebody already did those, right?), but what sort of diseased minds would devote themselves to updating the 1979 flick “Parts: The Clonus Horror?” At least when you’re remaking a turkey, there’s nowhere to go but up.

“Parts,” despite its awful acting, stilted writing and a budget that would make a typical Roger Corman film seem extravagant, had a scary and provocative idea. What if we could clone ourselves and use our “offspring” as spare parts?

These troubling implications were lost thanks to a logically deprived plot and clumsy filmmaking. It was easy but rewarding fodder for Mike Nelson and the Bots on “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” In “The Island,” director Michael Bay (“Bad Boys 2”) has a more generous budget in order to create sets that don’t look modified summer camps.

Unfortunately, he manages to snuff out any sort of dramatic impact or really explore any of the ideas that he or screenwriters Caspian Tredwell-Owen, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci bring up. If a paltry budget and general ineptitude prevented the first movie from getting anywhere, explosions do the trick here.

Ewan McGregor stars as a fellow named Lincoln Six Echo who’s feeling a bit dissatisfied being stuck in a sterile community because he and everyone else he knows are reportedly the last survivors of some kind of ecological meltdown.

He and his other drones (who read Dick and Jane books they way most folks in school plow through Shakespeare) long to win the lottery to move on to The Island, a beautiful location where no contaminants exist and life is perpetual bliss.

Before he can get excited about his own turn at the potential prize, Lincoln discovers that he’s a clone and that he and his would-be clone girlfriend Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johansson) are being harvested for spare parts.

Needless to say, they flee. In the two hours that follow, Bay goes back to blowing things up, and the film’s intriguing (if derivative) opening takes a back seat to a routine but hysterical series of chases and explosions.

While I love a car crash twice as much as the next filmgoer, it’s striking how Bay can take the fun out of roaring down the highway at illegally high speeds. Because of his “I forgot to take my Ritalin” cutting style, his car chases become symbolic. Viewers never feel the rush with the characters, and following who’s ahead in the chase is a bit tough because it’s doubtful that even Bay knows.

Another appalling aspect of the film is that Bay’s vision of the “future” is not clearly defined and is loaded with hilariously ludicrous product placement. Isn’t it nice to know the same billboard ad for Calvin Klein that just happens to feature Johansson still stands 50 years later?

Visually, Bay can come up with some impressive shots. But he has little sense of how they can fit together well. What’s most striking about “The Island” is how lacking the film is in creativity. He borrows liberally from “Logan’s Run,” “Coma” and “THX 1138.” If you’ve seen these films, even the ones that aren’t classics, you’ve seen a better version of “The Island.”

It’s also hard to care much about action if the people involved aren’t that interesting. Yes, McGregor and Johansson are playing clones, but Bay has reduced them to a series of photogenic poses. McGregor seems to have more fun as the genetic father whose profligate lifestyle has led to his need for a genetically engineered surrogate. Nonetheless, the only actor who gets to do anything is Steve Buscemi, and he’s not around much.

“The Island” is a bit of a step up for Bay, actually, but like “Parts: The Clonus Horror,” it’s unwatchable without Mike and the Bots.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=12591&reviewer=382
originally posted: 07/25/05 09:35:09
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell decent no more no less 3 stars
12/29/12 Man Out Six Bucks Libertarian Logan's Run vs. a really, really big fan blade 4 stars
8/28/12 roscoe INTERESTING AND VERY GOOD, BUT THE ENDING IS WEAK. TOO MUCH ACTION THAT ALL LOOKS THE SAME. 4 stars
12/17/09 Philip It was okay, I agree completely that the first half was awesome.. 4 stars
3/06/09 Elaine My favorite movie!! I love everything about it. Cast is amazing and the story is fantastic! 5 stars
12/02/08 Shaun Wallner Thought this was a good film. 4 stars
7/11/08 Mr. Christian Notable for its viewpoint.Hardcore sci-fi coated in action.Good attention to detail. 4 stars
5/19/08 PAUL SHORTT BOMBASTIC, SILLY, HOKEY AND RETROGRADE 1 stars
2/08/08 Anthony Feor Bay delivers his estounding visual effects. If only more time was spent on the script. 3 stars
9/17/07 David Graham probably bays best film yet 5 stars
5/27/07 kitfo plot premiseundeveloped, the chase scene made me laugh, Buscemi phoned it in: a total waste 2 stars
5/26/07 Jim Better than I expected 4 stars
5/20/07 fools♫gold Has too many funny and even clever moments for me to give italowerrating. AT LEAST an 8/10. 4 stars
4/22/07 Jamie Jones I love the movie. The set is amazing and the cars are sweet. 4 stars
4/18/07 David Pollastrini Scarlett Looks hot in this! 3 stars
3/20/07 Stanley Thai Such a great popcorn film. It even has a great mysterious story. 4 stars
2/09/07 The chode Not bad, worth the rental. 4 stars
2/06/07 Matt Okay at times, but overall thoroughly ho-hum. 3 stars
1/05/07 jerg Not bad, but too flawed and familiar, Bay bullshit etc. 3 stars
11/06/06 Anne I enjoyed it. Great if you don't analyse it too much 4 stars
10/16/06 Steve Newman Great plot, not bad acting, film was 20 minutes too long 4 stars
10/03/06 annoymous whoever Lybarger is no offence but you obviously don't see many movies. your a dick!!! 4 stars
8/23/06 Anastasia Beaverhausen Entertaining, if you don't think about it too much 4 stars
8/22/06 Jill Great - not properly marketed as the fun sci-fi it is 4 stars
5/11/06 Yusuf Cassim Great plot with unlimited suspence! 5 stars
5/08/06 Doxiegal Utterly dull, derivative and brainless. 2 stars
4/25/06 Mer Hathaway i enjoyed it 5 stars
4/10/06 Blair Luvs it 5 stars
4/04/06 Mike great,loved it,good action packed film. 5 stars
4/01/06 island it rules 5 stars
4/01/06 Nobody Exciting with great FX (especially truck scene!) 4 stars
3/14/06 Eileen a little bit fun, not great 3 stars
3/09/06 Dk Bay has finely grown up and made a good movie 4 stars
3/08/06 Quigley the action was good, but it was nothing new. what killed it was the mood and the LENGTH! 3 stars
2/27/06 Doug Good, but action sequences were over the top 4 stars
2/27/06 Steven Lewis It's like Equilibrium + THX1138 + 6th Day. 3 stars
2/06/06 Anthony Feor Very good movie 4 stars
1/17/06 Indrid Cold Looks great + some good action + a passable script = above average 4 stars
1/05/06 me nothing great or terrible 4 stars
1/01/06 baba booey das a good movie. 5 stars
12/29/05 tony Done well with extremly styalized action! This ones a keeper! 4 stars
12/28/05 Taylor Fladgate worth a rental...makes you think! 3 stars
12/26/05 zhivago interesting take on future society, LOTS of prod. placement 5 stars
12/17/05 Caiphn A movie that tapers off into something simply awful. 2 stars
12/14/05 Jeff Anderson More entertaining & better than you would expect from Michael Bay! Buscemi STANDS OUT! 5 stars
12/04/05 Zigga Product Placement like a mother fucka!...good lord! 4 stars
11/24/05 noops some unbeleivable scenes... still ok 4 stars
11/22/05 Kurtis J. Beard Acting is weak - w/ exception to Buscemi. Story is all too familiar. Bay sucks! 2 stars
11/16/05 Sam sucks 1 stars
10/27/05 Michael Kondo this movie was not even close to good, my friend found it bearable though 2 stars
10/27/05 deadwiz Fun action, tipical Micheal Bay film. 3 stars
10/23/05 Aksentiy Gula I think this is the greatest movie aver espesialy that scarlet johansson in the movie 5 stars
9/21/05 Eric Fortune This movie was bad. I'm glad I saw it at the cheap theater. 2 stars
9/19/05 Jonathon Holmes please, for the love of God, somebody kill off Micheal Bay!!! 1 stars
9/09/05 Clayton A bit trying at times, but Ewan and Scarlett made it all worth while. 4 stars
9/07/05 y2mckay a mish mash of better sci fi movies, but some good chases. Drags on 30 minutes too long. 3 stars
8/29/05 ES Surprise, this movie had much more thought & detail in it than first assumed = pretty good 4 stars
8/26/05 JamesBorges pretty entertaining, dont know why it did so bad 4 stars
8/23/05 Alyson This movie was great. No idea why it flopped. Two Ewans<3<3<3<3 5 stars
8/20/05 malcolm MC Duncan wasted. not enough space to list movies borrowed from-matrix,coma,blade runner 4 stars
8/16/05 Quigley ewan and scarlett are great. cliqued, but entertaining. scarlett was drop-dead hot, man! 4 stars
8/15/05 Frenzy Realy not bad 4 stars
8/13/05 John Bale With references to 1984, Brazil, and The Matrix. Good chase sequences keep you from boredom 4 stars
8/09/05 Bubba Fish The best action-packed sci-fi thriller since Minority Report 5 stars
8/07/05 Aaron McGraw Not too shabby 4 stars
8/06/05 Greg Ursic I must have seen a different movie as I really enjoyed this one 4 stars
8/06/05 Kurt Birusingh Good idea squandered. 3 stars
8/05/05 carl no brainer fun 5 stars
8/03/05 DARRYL LAMBERT, SR a great movie from start to finish. I will definitely be willing to see this again. 5 stars
8/01/05 Maalstrom Somewhat bland. Failed to excite me at all. 2 stars
7/29/05 Green Gremlin An updated version of "Logan's Run" with elements of "The Truman Show" and "Coma" 4 stars
7/27/05 jcjs so entertaining, fun, fast, a delight..Johansson, wow...fast too 5 stars
7/26/05 Naka Booo. Great idea, typical shitcan Michael Bay execution. Skip it. 1 stars
7/26/05 Spednik Drlathlan A movie set in 2019 and the hottest cars they have are trickedout Mercedes and Chyslers?? 3 stars
7/25/05 Suke Rehashed plot, pretty uninspired attempt. Sci-Fi is in deep space right now. 3 stars
7/25/05 Mike Madryga An entertaining and, at times, thought-provoking movie. Decent. 4 stars
7/25/05 Balls MacGee Bay should be severely chastized for not letting Scarlet show her boobs. 1 stars
7/25/05 Frank Newhouse It was...ok..too much hype and advertisment for a shallow popcorn movie..tight effects tho. 3 stars
7/25/05 Bill Pryor MTV science fiction. I wasn't expecting much and didn't get much. 2 stars
7/24/05 KingNeutron Damn, I was looking fwd to this; but: SLOPPY STORYTELLING!! Some good parts tho. 3 stars
7/24/05 Josh Loved the first half, enjoyed the second half, gawked at the stitches holding on the ending 4 stars
7/24/05 Bobby The Squid Fun, but way too much product placement. Why are all cars in the future 2005-6 models? 3 stars
7/23/05 Kristina Williams it was ok 4 stars
7/21/05 Emily Damn you Michael Bay!!! I should have known! 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  22-Jul-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 13-Dec-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  28-Jul-2005




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