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Movie Review: The Island

Thursday, August 04, 2005

This is exciting! I caught The Island on an IMAX theater and although I sat second row from the front, it was awesome! No kidding! I suppose it was due to the contoured screen. Pleasing for the eyes and neck. Anyways, here's my review of the movie.

The movie tells the story of Lincoln Six-Echo (Ewan McGregor) who lives in a seemingly utopian but contained facility in the mid-21st century. Like all of the residents of this carefully controlled environment, Lincoln hopes to be chosen to go to the "The Island" - reportedly the last uncontaminated spot on the planet. Due to his curious nature, he soon discovers that everything about his existence is a lie. He and all of the other inhabitants of the facility are actually human clones whose only purpose is to provide "spare parts" for their original human counterparts. Soon, he realized that it is only a matter of time before he is "harvested," Lincoln makes a daring escape with a beautiful fellow resident named Jordan Two-Delta (Scarlett Johansson).

IMHO, the plot was excellent! In the first half of the movie, director Michael Bay captivates the audience with a sci-fi-ish drama feel (sorta like Gataca) and gets the audience thinking about the moral implications of human cloning for insurance purposes. Ah.. a thinking movie (finally!). Just as my brain was enjoying the cleverness of this movie, the storyline deteriorated exponentially and in the second half, it was just explosions, car chases, and black helicopters all the way to the end (action Michael Bay-style). This was a waste in the part of character developement. When the action starts, I somehow didn't feel for the characters and the gravity of their predicament. I guess the movie could've been more fun IF the writers and directors spent more time on the storyline in the second half (something like The Rock).

The actors, McGregor and Johansson who were suppose to play bright but somewhat inexperienced children, somehow seem too intelligent. Regardless, they did a good job instilling life and excitement to this somewhat stiff movie. Two other guest actors were Michael C. Duncan and Sean Bean. However, their talents were utterly wasted playing forgettable characters in the movie.

The special effects in this movie was IMHO stunning. I like the technology the directors try to sell across to the audience. The futuristic atmosphere were not over done and not too outrageous. Here, we get to see more concept cars (like Minority Report), gaming system, public transport system, public phones... you get the idea. One obvious thing about the future technology was the product placement in the movie. There was Nokia, X-Box, MSN Search, Aquafina, Puma, CK, Tag Heuer... there are everywhere. Now we know where Mr. Bay get's his 'extra' income. :P

Overall, an interesting and exciting movie at the same time. For me, it wasn't too boring and the action scenes were not too heavy. So if you're looking for a well balanced movie to watch, I recommend The Island. If you want all action or Sci-Fi drama, give this a miss.

Ratings (Scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest)

Cast : 3.5
Sound : 3.5
Picture : 4
Storyline: 3

OVERALL : 3.5
posted by Ivan Choe, 2:23 pm

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