The idea of human cloning is a hot and controversial topic at the moment, and this film capitalizes on that in a big way. The first half of the film while very technical and detailed still manages to hold viewers’ interest and set up the story in an engrossing manner. Unfortunately, the film does not make good on its early promise. Things start out well as we meet Lincoln Six Echo ( Ewan McGregor) and Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johansson), best friends in a Utopian facility.
In this strange new world, friendship is the highest form of human relationships. Lincoln and Jordan are clones who think they are human, among the last survivors of a world wide calamity. Their lives in the Utopian facility are highly structured and routine. The one big break in this near perfect but mundane world is The Lottery. On occasion, a lottery is held in the facility with the “winners” being sent to what is assumed to be the last paradise on earth – a legendary place known as The Island. As you may suspect by now, all is not what it appears to be and Lincoln and Jordan will soon find that out for themselves.
As I stated previously, the first half of this film is well thought out and well structured. Human cloning is a complicated process, and the exploration of it here is complicated as well. The movie presents us with a frightening new idea -the idea of human cloning as a common practice, and the perception of these clones as objects rather than people. The second part of the film veers off into an entirely different direction reflecting Michael Bay’s usual preferance for violence. The film erupts into action, action, and more action; explosions and more explosions; violence and more violence. The film begins to look like it was pieced together – careless and shoddy. At one point, Johansson and McGregor fall off a building- McGregor is carved up, but Johansson has no scratches whatsoever!
I believe this movie had the potential to be a great sci-fi adventure film but half way through – it lost its way. The actors are outstanding but unfortunately, the script does not live up to their talents. It has recently been announced that Michael Bay plans a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece The Birds, I certainly hope that he will study the techniques of that great director before undertaking such a venture. As for “The Island” itself, I’m sure Hitchcock would have done a much better job!
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexuality and language. Running Time 136 minutes
Max J. Einhorn
Press and Journal Film Critic
http://www.maximummovies.net/ - http://www.maximummovies.net/