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
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
~~ Jules Brenner