Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ten Statements About....THE ISLAND (2005)

"Yeah...if I let it bite me now, I would have been remembered
as having a decent career..."
“I have discovered the Holy Grail of science. I give life. The agnates, they're simply tools, instruments. They have no souls. The possibilities are endless here. In two years' time, I will be able to cure children's leukemia. How many people on Earth can say that, Mr. Laurent?"
“I guess just you and God. That's the answer you're looking for, isn't it?”

1) Yep...I remember when Ewan McGregor was a thing.

2) Given that this is a rip-off--I mean unofficial remake of The Robert Fiveson film Parts: The Clonus Horror (hey, Dreamworks actually settled out of court when Fiveson’s copyright infringement case went to trial), it’s funny how this film jettisons any and all pretense of the mystery of what is going on in the first fifteen minutes of this two hour and twenty minute film.  Which doesn’t make sense given that, you know, the film is over two hours long....

3) ....but then if the film wasn’t two hours and change, we wouldn’t have a seemingly endless chase in and around Future Los Angeles with McGregor’s Lincoln Six Echo pushing what looks like oversized barbells off a truck to smash into cars and cause untold mayhem on a highway.  But then, you know...Michael Bay movie.
"And the part of the brain that dies when the
subject watches this movie is here."

4) Ahhhh, yes.  Whenever the names Kurtzman and Orci comes up in a movie’s credits, it’s time to abandon all hope that it’ll make a lick of sense.

5) Is there a solid reason other than ripping off some visuals from Blade Runner and The Fifth Element that this film takes place in the far flung future of 2050?  It adds literally nothing essential to the story, and actually hinders Djimon Hounsou’s Laurent’s backstory.

6) And speaking of Laurent, it’s a shame that Hounsou is obviously there to literally be an accent so that his face turn in act three makes sense--at least to Bay.  His character is otherwise indistinct and could be played by any one of a number of actors.
And now competing in the 'lifting useless things'

7) You know, Sean Bean’s Dr. Merrick has the potential for being a much more ambivalent villain...if he didn’t run around indiscriminately killing the ‘Agnets’ and behaving like such an asshat once Lincoln and Scarlett Johanssen’s Jordan Two Delta make their escape.  He becomes such a cardboard mustache twirler that those moments where he justifies his actions just fall flat.

8) There are some characters who are meant to be Bay’s hamfisted attempt at comic relief (Ethan Phillips’ Jones Three Echo is particularly winge-worthy), which makes Steve Buscemi’s turn as James McCord all the more remarkable.  He manages to be both comic relief and the major expository dump without losing sight of either requirement.  It’s kinda sad that he gets his pass out of the film relatively early, given he’s the one breath of life in it.

9)  It’s obvious that Bay, Kurtzman and Orci all mean the moment where Lincoln Three Echo proclaims himself as simply Lincoln is supposed to be a major pump the air moment--and it would be if they had bothered giving Lincoln and Merrick and, you know, anybody any sort of characterization.
Scarlett Johanssen is puuuurty...

10) Here’s the funny thing...Merrick is right when it comes to Lincoln and Jordan.  Since one has been killed and the other died while in a coma, they could live out their lives....and yet they choose instead to release all their friends into the middle of a desert, with no conception of how to live a real life and nowhere to go.  So the ‘inspirational’ moment of the last sequence is a crock.

Overall...a really awful, empty and soulless movie that offers nothing whatsoever, the equivalent of someone putting you in a chokehold and screaming in your ear about how much they loved Parts: The Clonus Horror.

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