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A movie directed by Michael Bay

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A Good Idea in the Beginning Trickles off into Noisy Nothing

  • Dec 22, 2005
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Had the writers and director of THE ISLAND been able to sustain the fascinating first half hour of this flimsy film, the result might have been an enlightening examination of the current discussion of cloning. But as soon as the movie captures our attention it fizzles and what is left is two and a half hours of noisy endless destructive chase sequences that put this reviewer to sleep.

Using fine actors like Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson and Sean Bean one would think more attention would have been paid to a good script. They have us in the beginning as we slowly come to realize that this space-age environment is not the 'rescue place' from the end of the world by contamination, but rather a very expensive human cloning lab where wealthy people up on top of the subterranean lab life have paid huge sums of money to have duplicate donors on whom to rely for organs and integument as age begins to erode their own. Every 'person' in the lab (thinking that they are waiting transfer to the Garden of Eden Island of the title) is actually a manufactured copy of the owners topside.

Well, not all secrets can remain hidden and McGregor follows a butterfly to discover the truth about the venture and the rest of the tale is McGregor's and Johansson's escape into the world above in search of their 'real' counterparts. Once on the surface of the earth the movie goes downhill fast in a mixture of special effects and destruction derby that it just loses all interest. This is a movie that only avid fans of McGregor and Johansson will want to see - because there is little else to recommend it! Grady Harp, December 05

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More The Island reviews
review by . October 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
MAY BE BAY'S BEST FILM, BUSCEMI IS GREAT
      THE ISLAND      I don't know but I kinda like Michael Bay, at least the man knows how to deliver on the action even though he is not known for great story telling. But I think he is a pretty good director and he hires Steve Buscemi [probably my favorite actor] a lot so at least he can recognize talented actors. But regardless of the over all assumption that he can't really tell a story I would say to those people to check out this flick right …
review by . January 21, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Running for Their Lives
  WARNING: This review may contain spoilers!   2005 was a year of Box Office disappointments, a year when many good films were overlooked. One such film is The Island, an intriguing science fiction/action film that should have been a mega-hit, but wasn't. The Island was directed by Michael Bay (Bad Boys and Armageddon), a filmmaker for whom I have very little respect mainly because of his habit of emphasizing action at the expense of story and characterization. Yet this film won me over …
Quick Tip by . November 23, 2009
The 1st hour of THE ISLAND is inspired filmmaking. But once our heroes leave the Island, you'll wish they'd never left.
review by . March 21, 2009
I have seen Star Wars III, Batman Begins, War of the Worlds, and The Fantastic Four. While all those movies were excellent, The Island outshines them all. Scarlett Johansen and Euwene MacGregor are excellent as clones who have lived in an enclosed city with the promise of an ultimate trip to "The Island." This is supposed to be the ultimate reward for their service and those that get chosen to go, do so via a lottery.     MacGregor starts to get haunted by a dream where he is …
review by . June 30, 2007
One of the great untold tragedies of the 20th century was the prevalence of medical testing on unwitting subjects. Some Americans have probably heard of the Tuskegee airmen, black American servicemen who became unwitting test subjects for medical experiments. But how many people are aware of the medical testing performed on ignorant prisoners, on poor people on various Caribbean islands, or the large-scale testing of vaccines on African villagers throughout the latter half of the 20th century. The …
review by . March 06, 2007
I had the opportunity to watch this film the other day and though it was okay. I've took it as another movie that has something desperately to say along with a long line of other frustrating Hollywood thrillers. There are a number of things that is good here but the bad brings down the entire experience. The underlying problem with this movie is Michael Bay. He has missed the mark yet again. The Island starts out as an engaging, entertaining Sci-Fi film. Then, about halfway through, it gets Bayified. …
review by . March 27, 2006
I don't know what took me so long to watch this movie, well yes I do the shaky reviews and the fact that it's a longer movie ( over two hours) but I'm very glad I did! I felt like I didn't want to write a review, since so many people before me have explained it so well, yet I felt like I wanted to show my love and support for the enjoyment it brought me and everyone else who saw it with me.    I loved how the characters did things that you wanted them to do; they reasoned, they …
review by . February 18, 2006
I wonder if Michale Bay has ever heard the phrase, "more is not always better"? "The Island" is defintely a case-in-point.... More/longer chase scenes... more mini-climaxes (I thought the movie was ending 30 minutes prior to the actual ending)!     Don't get me wrong, "The Island" is not a terrible movie - it just isn't great. In fact, I knew that I had to write the review immediately or I would forget about it- it is that forgettable.    I am also a little …
review by . January 21, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Explosions, Steve Buscemi     Cons: EVERYTHING ELSE     The Bottom Line: Just don't waste the time, money, or effort at loading the DVD player; spend those few calories scratching.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot. Let’s see.      1 cup THX 1138   1 cup The Matrix semi-clarified (skim it but do not remove all confusion)   ½ cup The Running Man   …
review by . January 03, 2006
Pros: Good script, action and acting.     Cons: Perhaps a little too much violence.     The Bottom Line: The Island is a great movie to loose yourself in because there is not a lot of mind-strain involved, which makes the film perfect for a rainy Saturday afternoon.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot. I have a growing fascination, bordering on infatuation, with Scarlett Johansson. And no it’s …
About the reviewer
Grady Harp ()
Ranked #97
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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When you add up all the best things aboutThe Island, you might just conclude that there's hope yet for Hollywood's most critically reviled hit-maker, Michael Bay. Recruited by Steven Spielberg to direct this lavish and often breathtaking sci-fi action thriller, Bay rises to the occasion with an ambitious production that is, by his standards (and compared to Bay's earlier hits likeThe RockandArmageddon), surprisingly intelligent as it explores the repercussions of cloning in a sealed-off society where humans are cultivated for spare parts, surrogate parenthood, and full-body replacements for wealthy clientele. But when two of the clones (Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johanssen) begin to question their fate and the motives of their keepers, they escape into the real world andThe Islandbecomes just another Michael Bay action extravaganza, albeit an impressively exciting one. With elaborate chase scenes and a high-tech feast of CGI to dazzle the eye,The Islandrecycles much of the plot from 1979'sClonuswhile borrowing elements fromLogan's Run,GattacaandMinority Report, and while it's not as smartly conceived as those earlier films, there's no denying that, in many ways, it's Bay's best film to date.--Jeff Shannon
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