Movie Review: Sci-Fi Thriller ‘The Island’

7 Sep
2010

In the sci-fi thriller The Island, nothing is what it seems. Warning slight spoilers ahead.

Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor) and Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johansson) inhabit a world where everyone wears a white jumpsuit (everyday) and every aspect of their lives are monitored 24 hours a day. Things are not what they seem. This world is too perfect and everyone is too happy. Lies are being told to keep everyone tranquil and hoping for their own utopian trip to ‘The Island‘, the last place on earth that is uncontaminated. When Lincoln stumbles across the truth about what he is — with the help of James McCord (Steve Buscemi) who works at Merrick Biotech — he makes his break for freedom and a quest for Agnate exodus.

The Island (released in 2005), not to be confused with Peter Benchley’s The Island from 1980 (a different premise entirely), is produced by resident action genre boy wonder Michael Bay. So it’s no surprise this movie has tons of punch and thrills akin to a roller coaster ride; fantastic action-sequences, car chases, and tons of shoot-em up battles. The first half dives into the scientific theories of cloning and begs the ethical question, is it humane?  How could people clone themselves knowing their Agnates have feelings?  Answer is, they don’t know. The original humans think their ‘agnates’ (harvested beings) are vegetative just waiting to be used.  Both human and clone are clueless. A dual-sided lie.  The second half of the film is one long action chase sequence, where Lincoln and Jordan are hunted down by Albert Laurent (Dijmon Hounsou), who was hired by Dr. Merrick (Sean Bean) to make sure the truth does not get out.

Lincoln and Jordan have only been educated till the age of 15, even though they are adults. What better way to keep them passive and contained?  This allows a smidgen of cute one-liners and reasoning behind they’re wonderment with the “outside world”. They’re like aliens who landed on earth basically, only with false human memories.

When Lincoln’s “owner” meets his clone, the answer of “Would we care?” is presented plainly.  Unfortunately the answer is every human for themselves. This leads to the premise we’re basically selfish in nature. But not all of us. One antagonist flips the script and lends a helping hand, maybe because he too knows the trials and tribulations of the corporate killing machine and the film has to have a formulaic happy ending to appease audiences.

Rated: PG-13

Running time: 127 minutes

Rating: 8.5/10 stars

The Island Teaser Trailer:

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