Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 37° Cloudy
A&E >  Entertainment

Forget logic, ‘The Island’ is all about the action


Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor star in
Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor star in "The Island." (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. / The Spokesman-Review)
David Germain Associated Press

Clone boy Ewan McGregor, never having seen a vehicle before, hops on a flying motorcycle and speeds off through heavy Los Angeles traffic, outmaneuvering the helicopters and security cars at his heels.

In the process, he manages to decimate half of downtown L.A.

Must be a Michael Bay movie.

The good news: “The Island” is a good Michael Bay movie, which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good film. It just means it’s not as bad as “Pearl Harbor” or “Bad Boys II.”

If you’re looking for indiscriminate carnage, thunderous blasts, supernova pyrotechnics and the heavy breathing of test-tube lovers discovering the happy differences between boy clones and girl clones, by all means, see “The Island.”

Just remember: You’ll want to leave most of your brain in a specimen jar by the door beforehand to keep pesky logic from interfering with your good time. As with Bay’s end-of-the-world bash “Armageddon,” a big tub of popcorn, low expectations and a Fourth of July fireworks mentality are the only things you need.

In a not-too-distant future, Lincoln Six-Echo (McGregor) and Jordan Two-Delta (Scarlett Johansson) live among thousands of clones of rich people hoping to prolong their lives by keeping duplicates around that can be hacked up for organs.

The clones live in pampered, ignorant bliss. They exist in a holding pattern, health and fitness carefully attended to by the facility’s overseers, awaiting the joyful day when they will be picked to move to “the island,” a paradise which they’ve been told is the last pathogen-free outdoor area on the planet.

The day his pal Jordan is selected by “lottery” to go there, Lincoln discovers it’s all a sham, that the island-bound actually are being filleted for their internal components.

Through a staggeringly impossible series of lapses in the facility’s ultra-tight security, Lincoln and Jordan escape to the real world. It’s about as believable as lab rats pulling a prison break by picking the locks of their cages, overpowering their captors and stealing their car keys.

The premise is just a setup for Bay’s elaborate action and chase scenes as the facility’s nasty boss (Sean Bean) dispatches a crack security team led by Djimon Hounsou to catch the fugitives. Meanwhile, Steve Buscemi is the film’s comic relief as a worker at the facility who takes pity on Lincoln and Jordan.

The movie essentially is a dumbed-down take on “Logan’s Run” and “THX 1138,” two other tales of sci-fi rebels on the lam. Like the clones, who are kept at an adolescent emotional level, “The Island” is stunted, the filmmakers hinting at provocative ethical notions but avoiding any meaningful exploration of morality.

After all, this is Bay-Vision, where deep thoughts are never allowed to get in the way of the next big fireball.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Spokane7 email newsletter

Get the day’s top entertainment headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.