The Island – A Big Misdirect

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By: Corey Lack

The Island was a 2005 sci-fi movie starring Scarlett Johansson, Ewan McGregor, Sean Bean, and many others. The movie starts out with seemingly the last surviving settlement after an unknown event ruined a majority of the Earth’s environment with only the bunker and the titular island, where people from the bunker were allowed to live in only when they win a lottery that takes place in random times. Ewan McGregor is a man known only as Lincoln Six Echo and is living in the bunker with the other survivors. He desires more than the life he’s currently forced to live and constantly starts seeking answers, usually with his friend Jordan Two Delta (Johansson). They quickly find out that things are not all that they seem to be. It is at this point I need to post a big ole SPOILER WARNING for my readers. Lincoln stumbles upon scientists in a secret area harvesting the organs of a lottery winner. Lincoln and Jordan are forced to flee the bunker only to find that they were lied to and the Earth is fine. On top of that, they are clones of two rich people for when they needed “spare parts.”

As a movie directed by Michael Bay, it is expected that the action sequences are very well done and keeps the viewers on the edge of their seats. This movie certainly achieves this as the actions sequences are unique and very entertaining.

Additionally, the characters, specifically the two aforementioned protagonists, were very entertaining and well-written. McGregor and Johansson both manage to give their characters a sort of naïve innocence one would normally see in children. While it is understandable given the situation, these two manage to pull it off so well that the viewer can easily believe it.

The biggest thing about this movie that I can praise is that it managed something no other Michael Bay movie has: it made me think. Cloning is not a new concept in movies, video games, and even comics. Most of the time it is treated as like an extra life in a video game and doesn’t get dwelled on, typically used as some McGuffin before the story moves on, but this movie actually made me consider the ramifications of the idea of cloning. Not even the Sixth Day, another movie focused heavily on cloning and starring one of my favorite actors, managed this. In the movie, these clones were given no rights, no freedoms, and were essentially moving sacs of replacement organs, but the movie not only made us get to know many of them personally, but actually care about them. They showed that even though they were genetically identical to their “sponsors,” they could still be very different. They each had a life, a, if one wants to get spiritual, a soul. They have fears, desires, wishes, and joys. You could forget that they weren’t just photocopies of people, but actual people themselves and I applaud the writers for accomplishing this.

The Island is a very enjoyable movie and has a surprisingly philosophical premise. I would definitely recommend this movie even if just for the impressive cast and awesome action sequences. I’d give this movie 9 transferred medical tags out of 10.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Delia Binder says:

    ::The Island is a very enjoyable movie and has a surprisingly philosophical premise.::

    Not to be snide, but since it’s Michael Bay — why not?

    It lifts its premise whole and bleeding from the 1979 SF/Horror movie PARTS: THE CLONUS HORROR, starring Peter Graves, Keenan Wynn, Dick Sergeant (yes, the OTHER Darren!) — and a couple young actors you’ve barely heard of, Tim Donnelly (best known as a supporting character on Jack Webb’s EMERGENCY!) and Paulette Breen, a former actress on ALL MY CHILDREN who seems to have done better as a television producer according to her IMDB. I first saw it on its own as a smarter-than-average low-budget ($257K) SF/Horror movie.

    Yes, the creators of PARTS: THE CLONUS HORROR sued Dreamworks, the studio producing THE ISLAND, for copyright infringement — and when Mike Nelson (because MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 mocked it in 1997) was asked, he called THE ISLAND “A pale copy”.

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