Movie Review 2007 #132: The Island

A Michael Bay hybrid SF/Action film with Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson.


I think I have mentioned before that The Island is two movies in one, that don’t quite join together. The first half is a dystopian SF movie, where our heroes, Lincoln Six Echo (McGregor) and Jordan Two Delta (Johansson) are amongst the residents of a colony of survivors of a catastrophe. A somewhat unnerving psychologist (Sean Astin) and some other residents round out the cast in this strange world.
However, events soon start to peel the veneer behind this world, and with the help of Steve Buscemi’s amusing turn as McCord, McGregor and Johansson escape from their world, and discover their true identities and indeed, their nature. Their escape, of course, is not unnoticed by their keepers, and so the movie changes from SF dystopia to chase movie.
This switchover in theme doesn’t quite come off as well as it might. However, the two pieces of the movie work together on their own very well. We get to see a Potemkin village of a future, and then (albeit through the lens of a kinetic race for their lives) the “real” future.
McGregor and Johansson do very well with their roles. My friend Deb has extensively screencapped McGregor’s performance in this movie. And as it is often is in these sorts of movies, the smaller roles, such as Buscemi’s, hold the movie together.
Not a perfect movie. But an entertaining one nevertheless.