The Island

A Michael Bay film can’t be avoided, no matter how far he makes your eyeballs roll into the back of your head with his outrageous action sequences and massive, violent explosions. He knows thrill, he takes risks and knows no boundaries. It might even be said that this man deserves a great amount of praise for his work, but that would be taking it too far. Fortunately, I know boundaries.

Bay’s newest hit, “The Island”, is action-packed and full of violence. He humors the humanistic aspect of Caspian Tredwell-Owen and Alex Kurtzman’s story, which is very emotionally involving, then soars into outrageous occurrences that completely divert attention from the storyline. He’s a genius at creating audacious scenes and really utilizes the theatre’s sound system, making the eight bucks you spend on your ticket worth every penny if you are looking for visual and aural stimulation.

The first forty-five minutes are intellectually intriguing, grasping the controversial notion of cloning and the worst case scenario where people perceive the duplicates in an inhumane manner. Bay effectively demonstrates the clone’s controlled Garden of Eden from an innovative perspective with fast-editing and impressive camera shots. However, when Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor) meets his original, Tom Lincoln, there isn’t much more to anticipate aside from action sequences.

When it comes to car chases, Bay writes the book. It might even be said that he puts his “Bad Boys II” (2003) chase scene to shame with Island’s chase scene where Lincoln dealerships everywhere are singing Bay’s praise, even if it he does show these cars being sliced in half by flying, two ton cylinders. According to some Web sites (such as http://www.darkhorizons.com/news05/island.php), Bay used a Lincoln that cost 7 million dollars to make. It’s obvious cost was no issue in the making of this film.

The truth is that Bay is a fantastic filmmaker: he knows how to set up a shot, he’s a master at sound and he likes technology – almost too much. He’s far from a naturalist when it comes to film, almost to the point of incredulity and extremity. He also tends to stray from a deep connection to characters, but not this time. “Island” has a great cast with Scarlett Johansson and McGregor as the leads and a talented film crew that had just the right chemistry to produce a blockbuster action film.

“The Island” is a film for thrill seekers and anyone that wants to escape reality - for a bit longer than anticipated.

MPAA rating: PG-13 – for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexuality and language.
Running Time: 2 hours, 7 min.


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