Friday, August 12, 2005

THE ISLAND is really not a bad movie!

There I've said it, and completely killed my credibility as a cineaste. I think THE ISLAND is just fine. It may not be a work of art and I probably don't need to see it again, but as a high-octane, ideas-packed popcorn movie, it is entertaining enough. I know I am in a minority here. Even the movie's stars and production team are distancing themselves from it. But there is a lot to like about THE ISLAND. First of all it has an interesting plot. The idea is that the Evil Doctor Merrick (Sean Bean, the British Hollywood baddie du jour) runs a cloning service for rich hypochondriacs. For a phat fee, he will provide them with nice healthy cloned organs to be used if ever the clients get seriously ill. What the clients don't know, is that rather than growing organs, Merrick is growing actual full-size clones - perfect replicas of the original humans. Then, when an organ is needed, he tells said clone that they have one an all-expenses luxury holiday, before harvesting the requisite part. In our film, two of the clones, played with a sense of humour by Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson, start getting suspicious and to cut a long story short, escape. In one of the most delicious scenes, Ewan-Clone confronts Real-Ewan. Real-Ewan is a smarmy bastard and the actor has a lot of fun playing such a self-absorbed schmoozer. It made me think that McGregor would make a cool Bond villian. Like I said, I had a lot of fun with this movie, and I think that's because the actors play it for the cheese that it is. In addition, the movie is directed by Michael Bay, who also directed the BAD BOYS movies, which I like, and PEARL HARBOUR which was a mess. But what his films have in common, whether good or bad, is that they have great action sequences. Michael Bay knows how to put together a good chase sequence or someone blowing some shit up. And this movie has plenty of that, especially in the second half when our two heroes get out into the free world and try to look up their human counterparts. So, ignore the bad press, and check this movie. It's perfect Friday night, after-work, cheesy blockbuster entertainment.

THE ISLAND is on global release.

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