Karen Tries to Escape The Island!

by Karen Gsteiger

Probably some spoilers, if I can motivate myself, but probably not anything more earth-shattering than what was revealed in the trailer.

Eh, The Island. Certainly not as terrible as I feared, the film being made by Michael Bay and all. But I wouldn't call it good, either.

The film starts off promisingly enough in the vein of those '70s dystopic sci-fi flicks, like Logan's Run or Soylent Green. The concept of the film is fairly topical and intelligent. How far are we willing to go when it comes to growing new people to service our own health needs and cloning and whatnot? I haven't really sorted it all out for myself, truth be told. Not that I'm going to let Michael Bay sort it out for me, but I don't mind contemplating the issue while staring at Ewan McGregor in a retro-futuristic white jumpsuit.

So yeah, Ewan plays Lincoln Six Echo, a clone who has been produced (along with thousands of others) solely to provide spare body parts for his "sponsor" (as I believe he was termed), Tom Lincoln (also portrayed, naturally, by Ewan McGregor). When Lincoln Six Echo catches wind of this plan, he escapes with his best gal pal, Jordan Two Delta, as portrayed by Scarlett Johannson. They get some helpful tips about living in the real world from a funny Steve Buscemi, and then they run. And run. And run. And a lot of things blow up while they run.

The movie's strengths: Ewan McGregor is smoking hot in this movie. He and Scarlett seem to have fun playing with their characters' naive curiosity. Steve Buscemi's sarcastic humor is most welcome. Most of all, I enjoyed the scenes with two Ewan McGregors, and thank GOD he is finally allowed to speak with his normal Scottish accent! Why does Ewan have to speak with that dreadful, flat "American" accent in every movie when his real voice is so painfully beautiful? He says the word "Scotland" in this film, and it hits one right in the pelvis...oh dear, did I say that aloud?

The movie's flaws: well, the controversial issue of cloning/stem cell research is dropped in favor of all the running and explosions. In addition, the explosions kind of undermine any attempts by the nefarious corporation to be discreet. Believe me, if you saw this sort of glorious destruction happening in your town, it would be the biggest news EVER. This is also the sort of movie where the main characters survive all sorts of harrowing disasters with nary a scratch, but all the better to keep Ewan and Scarlett beautiful for their brief sex scene at the end, I guess. The running time is, furthermore, waaaaay too long for a mindless summer popcorn flick.

So should you pay money to see The Island? Eh, maybe. If you have nothing better to see, and if you have a movie gift certificate or something. You could also wait for it to show up on cable and find yourself a mostly satisfied customer. You can see how enthusiastic I am about it...