The Island (2005)


It was no surprise to me that “The Island” was dumb. It was idiotic, it was ludicrous, it was moronic, and it was every other homonym for the word stupid I can think of. It’s Michael Bay for crying out loud. I was actually looking forward to Bay’s most recent shit pile, only because it seemed to have an original concept to it, but man, whatever potential this has to be a story about life, and exploring the world beyond what we’re presented with is thrown out the window thirty minutes in, when it becomes a typical stunt show.

You know, the stunt show where the plot fades away in the pastiche of car flips, car chases, gun shots, and obligatory explosions? “The Island” has potential from the beginning, hinting to the audience that it can be a good looking, but thought provoking piece of science fiction, and just ignores all aforementioned allusions by becoming too obsessed with its stars ability to jump from buildings. At first Bay’s story is a glimmer of hope. People who often resemble the Elois live in a closed in society where they commune and eat based around their supervisor’s instructions. But the resident civilian, Lincoln begins questioning his purpose in life, and at the facility they live in, which they’re told protects them from the infection outside.

But upon a discovery, he decides to break out and—well, it gets fuzzy there. Lincoln’s escape from his facility leads to a plot that really has nowhere to go afterwards. Is Lincoln seeking to reveal the secret, let out his people, find the person that can give him answers, or disappear? In the script, it’s all three, thus it leads us to a scattered sloppy story with stunts thrown in on every two minute window to compensate for the hackneyed screenplay that rips from films like “Logan’s Run” and “The Clonus Experiment”. As per usual Bay routine, the writers never explores the potential of its concept; they only want to wow us with the explosions and fast-paced fireworks.

While doing so it creates an almost endless list of plot holes and questions that are never answered. Can someone tell me what the train wheel chase was all about in? It seemed like such an arbitrary excuse to include explosions. When they have the stand off with Lincoln and his original, why instead of pointing a gun at them didn’t they just ask to see their wrist code which is burned into their skin? And how did Lincoln adopt his owner’s accent so quickly? And wouldn’t the climax create problems if they released all the clones in the world where the originals lurk? In the end, “The Island” is a waste of the talents of many fine actors, including McGregor and Johannsen. Only in a Bay movie can we sit for two hours watching super models trying to survive a world of supermodels and fast cars.