Sunday, July 2, 2017


Welcome to another installment of the TRASH BIN, where we watch the worst movies Hollywood has to offer, according to the critics, and give you our thoughts, good or bad. This week, I’ll be looking at the somewhat forgotten Michael Bay film, THE ISLAND.

The Island is a 2005 science fiction film from notorious director Michael Bay. The film follows two clones created by a nefarious company to be used for parts to help keep their human counterparts alive in the real world. When these clones find out what they are and what the company is doing, they must escape and stop the wrongdoers together. The film stars Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Sean Bean, and Djimon Honsou.

I really think this movie is a lot better than the memory most people have of it. Is it especially original science fiction? No. Is it the best written thing out there? No. But is it at least entertaining and leaves you with some positives to walk away with? Absolutely.

What stood out most to me in terms of a strength in this movie were the performances. Everyone really brings a lot of interesting levels to their otherwise bland characters through really solid performance work. McGregor has a lot of moments in particular. He gets the opportunity to play off himself and the dichotomy he plays was really effective. Bean and Honsou were reliably solid. Neither did anything that left me in awe, but I thought they elevated the movie beyond its bare bones.

Additionally, I actually enjoyed seeing Michael Bay’s visual style in a non-Transformers pure science fiction film. Armageddon is definitely sci-fi, but it’s not pure to that genre necessarily the way this film is. I thought that it made a lot of the starker elements in this movie pop, and the way he was able to shoot real looking action in this very unreal world was engaging for me as a viewer.

Finally, I think this movie has some clever moments. There are several great scenes and lines that just shocked me that they came out of a movie this schlocky. The way they build and effect the viewer really worked. Steve Buscemi has a great scene explaining what the clones are, and Djimon Honsou has a great scene with Sean Bean explaining what it means to feel less than human. These certainly give the film purpose and make it an enjoyable watch.

This film is far from perfect, or even good necessarily. The world design was really unimpressive and to not have that pay off in a science fiction movie is a serious demerit to the films overall quality. Further, I thought that this film kept wanting to touch on deeper themes but just never did. Unlike a film like Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, which blended both depth and fun seamlessly, Bay seems committed to making this fun at the expense of it being interesting and lasting in any fashion.

In addition to those negatives, this movie is really unnecessarily loud. There are so many things that are drawn out to such an extreme degree just to be extreme. All of it fell flat and, again, detracted from the kind of interesting (albeit unoriginal) sci-fi story at the base of this film.

Overall, I think The Island is a forgotten Michael Bay film, and I definitely understand that. That said, it’s not a bad movie and it’s one that is higher in quality than a decent chunk of his filmography as a whole. Definitely worth checking out if you have nothing else to do.

Rotten Tomatoes: 40%
Metacritic: 50%
IMDb: 6.9/10

Ryan’s Score: 6/10

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