Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Island (2005) - Review

Where are the lens flares?

Ah, Michael Bay: Hollywood's easiest punchline this side of M. Night.  I guess he's never been that well liked, but man, people really REALLY turned on him after the Transformers series.  I'm not saying it's entirely unwarranted; those are indeed awful movies, and yeah, he sure does seem like a lousy person in real life.  But for what it's worth, I don't think his other stuff is that bad.  For instance, I think Bad Boys is perfectly serviceable and The Rock is one of my favorite action movies of all time.  But what about Bay's foray into sci-fi?

Honestly?  It's pretty okay.  It's sci-fi lite, for sure; there's nothing deep going on anywhere around this thing.  But is that really such a bad thing?  I get that science fiction is all about making you think, but this is as much an action movie as it is science fiction -- more so, even.  So it's a dumb action movie with sci-fi overtones, that's not the worst thing in the world.

The leads off-camera waiting for their racketball game.
It helps that Ewan McGregor is always great at everything he does, whether it's this, weird and cheesy comedies like that one with the angels trying to get him and Cameron Diaz together, or complete garbage like the Star Wars prequels.  He's one of those actors that's just fun to watch in anything, and that's especially true in this as he gets to play off of himself in dual roles.  I love the smarmy version of his character that shows up about halfway through the movie.  I guess the rest of the cast is okay, too, but there aren't any other standouts.

Okay, so I haven't really talked about the plot yet.  And I'm not going to.  If you've seen it then you already know what it's about, and if you haven't... well it's a large enough spoiler to talk about much of anything other than 'Ewan and Scarlet live in this weird government-controlled utopia that seems kind of shady'.  There you go, that's all you get!  It may not be a great movie, but if you're interested in it at all, or in sci-fi or action in general, then give it a watch.  It's far from the best 'dual role' kind of movie (Face-Off says hey) but it's entertaining enough to fill a rainy afternoon (yeah, it's long; it IS Michael Bay, after all).

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