2005, Movies

The Island (2005, Michael Bay)

For some reason, I had rated this movie on IMDB without ever having seen it. I’m not sure why I did that but for some reason I did. Because not only have I never seen it, I had no idea what it was about.


For its first act, the film is actually a fairly enjoyable tribute/update/pastiche of 1970s dystopian science fiction films. (In fact, the film was subject of a copyright infringement case by the makers of a lesser known one of those, one I haven’t see.) I was surprised how much I was enjoying it but then I enjoyed a number of its inspirations.

But the rest of the film is a rote Michael Bay action, vaguely set in the future, where there is a tiny bit of new technology and everything else is the same. (Jet bikes! Sky trains! Digital White Pages!) As with any Michael Bay film, there are plot holes galore, so many that I can’t remember most of them because I didn’t write them down.

Also McGregor turns into an action hero pretty quickly for a guy who is a [redacted] of a boat designer. And Johansson gets her turn to do the same (briefly) even though she’s a [redacted] of a model.

In addition to the numerous plot holes, there are also numerous Michael Bay action film cliches, like the above. Whatever you do, don’t play a drinking game where you do a shot every time someone shouts “Go!”

And the climax, as you might expect, is pretty bad. Somehow this geneticist/biologist/psychiatrist can also handle firearms and, just in time, his chief henchman has a basically inexplicable change of heart. (Think of the number of people he and his team have killed before he switches sides.)

4/10 for how stupid it gets, which is unfortunate because, as someone who has watched too much ’70s sci fi, I kind of liked the first part.

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