Cinema Signal:

. "The Island"

I beg to differ. This futuristic psychodrama has action, pacing, good acting, and an intriguing premise that can be taken as a cautionary tale. What's more, Scarlett Johansson gets more beautiful in every movie. I simply don't agree that Director Michael Bay ("Armageddon," "Pearl Harbor") cares more about explosions and chases than about his characters. The charge, which I've read in some places, doesn't reflect the movie I saw. Or, did I just imagine that I was enjoying it?

In the mid-21st century Ewan McGregor ("Star Wars: Episodes I, II & III," "Moulin Rouge") and Scarlett Johansson ("Lost in Translation," "Girl With a Pearl Earring") take on the identifications of Lincoln Six-Echo (McGregor) and Jordan Two Delta (clones of high priced designer Tom Lincoln and supermodel Sarah Jordan respectively, their DNA contributor back above ground) are "agnates" or "birthed" residents of a subterranean facility which, according to their imprinted memories, is a place that protects them from a dread "contamination" and which provides them the hope of someday winning the prize of going to the utopian "Island." They conceive it as the "promised land" but winning a trip to it means parts of them are needed for harvesting. This place is a storehouse of Spandex-attired product awaiting their owners' needs.

Reminiscent of several sci-fi movies, not the least of which is "The Truman Show," "The Sixth Day" with "The Minority Report" thrown in, Bay makes plenty out of the concept of cloning for commercial purposes. The intricacy of discovering their true status as brainwashed standby replicants makes for high tension escape and pursuit choreography with Michael Bay's no-stunt-holds-barred designs.

The dismissal of the artistry behind this movie, in story concept and execution, should be enough to disqualify a critic from ever judging a futuristic psychological action thriller fantasy again. They're not in my gene pool.

Sean Bean is his usual crackling good as the arch manager of the commercial conspiracy. Djimon Honsou his usual majestic self as the relentless but ultimately empathetic pursuer. The production design (Nigel Phelps), cinematography (Mauro Fiore) and action stuntwork are all exemplary in support of a fine level of acting by McGregor and Johansson who enveloped me into their discovery and desperation in what I thought a well paced, action-packed, imaginative piece of sci-fi. Music by Steve Jablonsky sharply assists.

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                                      ~~  Jules Brenner  


The Soundtrack



Opinion Section
Comments from readers:
Insightful
This review will influence me to recommend this reviewer
I've seen the movie and agree with the review
Site rating: 5

I haven't read any of your other reviews... i came to this site because i agreed with the quote from this review on rottentomatoes.com and wanted to read the rest.... but i definitely agree with you... i can't believe nobody went to see this movie.... i thought it would make $100 million opening weekend... oh well... thank you for being one of the sane few... and i mean few hehe

                                                           ~~ Joe G.
Very well written- Insightful
This review will influence me to recommend and read more by this reviewer
I've seen the movie and agree with the review
Site rating: 10

I loved this movie, best movie I ever saw! I can't wait to watch it again.

                                                           ~~ Kutay T.
Well written
I've seen the movie and agree with the review
Site rating: 8

this medium is NOT and SHOULD NOT be paced like video games even though young men (his target audience) love video games. Even young men want more STORY in MOVIES than in video games.

                                                           ~~ Christine W.
Well written
I've seen the movie and agree with the review
The review will influence me to read more by and recommend this reviewer.
Site rating: 10

The remarks on the standard of some critical work have to be made. The acting. One wonders what some critics are thinking and what exactly their problem is.

                                                           ~~ Jack R.
Well written
I've seen the movie and agree with the review
Site rating: 9

Great on all counts.

                                                           ~~ Paul A.
Very well written
This review will influence me to read more by this reviewer
I've seen the movie and I agree with the review

I paid to be entertained. I was entirely. It is in my Top 10 of Sci-Fi thrillers. Bay delivers on all levels. Period. Forget the unreasonable Bay haters and go in clean. Oh and the budget is on the screen for a change.

                                                           ~~ Doug H.
Well written
I've seen the movie and agree with the review
This review will influence me to recommend this reviewer
Site rating: 10

                                                           ~~ Al H.



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Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson
Discoveries and a desperate need to escape


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