Friday, July 22, 2005

Movie Review: The Island

As the old saying goes, "if you've seen one Michael Bay movie you've seen them all". OK, maybe it's not really an old saying, but it should be. Bay, while enjoying a well earned reputation for being able to put together a good action sequence, has a very bad habit of trying to insert that same level of excitement into all of his scenes. His odd mix of quick edits, choral music, and slow motion may at first make a chase scene a little more exciting, but becomes very monotonous when he starts using the same style for the more mundane scenes like when someone is just sitting by the beach. Some scenes call for just letting them happen and do not require heavy handed directing. That's not to say that all the problems with 'The Island' stem from Bay's directing techniques, just the most obvious ones.

Story wise, this movie had a lot of promise. The idea of a society made up entirely of clones, totally unaware of that fact, could have made for a great movie, but Bay decided to just make this into a simple chase movie instead. Once the great escape begins, any semblance of character development ends. You are forced to sit through over an hour of explosions and crashes that kept me questioning just how bad do a team of specialists have to be to have this much trouble capturing two people, in the middle of a desert, who until an hour ago had no concept of an outside world. There are plot holes which defy explanation and the odd mix of the modern day (like cars and clothes) with the futuristic (mostly the transit systems and for some unknown reason one transport truck) make it a very uncomfortable movie to watch. There is also an issue with product placements that almost rise to the level of 'Revenge of the Killer Tomatoes', but hey, he needed the money so I can give him a little leeway on that one (let's just say that I hope you like the Chrysler Crossfire because apparently in the future that's all people in cities are allowed to drive) .

Despite all that, the acting is great. Even with the little they are given to work with, McGregor, Johansson, Hounsou, Bean and the rest of the cast all do terrific jobs. I'll have to hand this to Bay, Scarlett Johansson probably looks better in this movie than in any of her previous pics, and was probably my main reason for even staying in the theatre.

I would definitely advise skipping this Island vacation and spending your movie money elsewhere; at least wait for the DVD.

2 out of 5


Post a Comment

<< Home