Society's obsession with ageless beauty and its fear of death make for the outlines of the futuristic melodrama: The Island. Directed by Michael Bay ('Armageddon,' 'Pearl Harbor') and starring Ewan McGregor ('Star Wars: Episodes I,II,III,' 'Moulin Rouge') and Scarlett Johansson ('Lost in Translation,' 'Girl with a Pearl Earring'), this sci-fi thriller will make all question reality' at least for a moment.
Utopia- a word that triggers an overwhelming rush of ecstatic and whimsical sensations has an underlying meaning of deception in the mind of Lincoln Six-Echo (McGregor). Locked within a thought-controlling environment, hidden from a so-called contaminated society, Lincoln begins to query about the truth of it all. However, this doubt is met with resistance not only by the facility's administration, but by his colleagues as well. No one dares to confront authority, nor question its legitimacy, for all have been raised in such a way that only two thoughts remain: The administrators are the masters, and 'The Island' is the people's utopia. Though alone at first with his all-consuming feeling of conspiracy, Lincoln is later joined by a fellow resident, Jordan Two-Delta (Johansson). The two plan a getaway and escape to reality, where they not only realize that they are clones, but they are in danger for their lives. With an army of relentless forces after them, their escape turns into a battle with the facility, as well as, the greed that overrides the outer world.
A synopsis such as this may produce an unyielding desire to cough up 10 bucks, but restrain from doing so, The Island is a cliche wrapped in fancy packaging. As the film starts off, bewilderment rises as well as intrigue with the slow unraveling of hidden secrets about the facility. Right when it is at its peak of interest, it starts the domino effect that most movies this summer have not been able to escape. During Lincoln and Jordan's courageous escape to a world unknown to them, they are bombarded with bombs and gunshots galore. However, during this dangerous sequence of explosions and car chases, they both manage to dodge all that comes their way, coming out with hardly a scratch. This stupefying turn of events makes a movie with great potential into a suspense movie all its own. The connection between both halves becomes very thin and it is impossible not to ask one's self: Why aren't they dead yet?
Regardless of its level of reality, the futuristic gadgets and gizmos that took little creativity and originality to create awe the audience for a moment. But with conscious effort, the audience is uplifted from the 'oohs and ahhs' back into a film of little depth. The Island is quite like War of the Worlds, in a sense that action can blind the audience from the illogical and disconnected chain of events that follow a once original movie and distract them into not asking themselves 'what the' '
Although, the end half falls short of the high expectations made in the former half, the performances by both Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson personify the naive, yet curious minds of the whole of the population in the facility. Their naivete brings out a comedic side to The Island that makes the film much more enjoyable. However, with all the two go through from the beginning of the film to the end, no significant development in their personalities and minds occur, which make them hard to identify with.
Overall, The Island stays on the safe side, making the audience use little brainpower to keep up with a story that never fully develops. Its numerous advertisements of companies such as Pepsi, and XBOX, along with many others, reaffirms the notion that it is a big budget film with very little substance.