The Island

Saw The Island recently, and overall it’s a pretty darn good movie.

Ewan McGregor does an excellent job, as always, along with Scarlett Johansson (who I’ve liked ever since Ghost World.) Steve Buscemi plays, well, pretty much the same role he plays in every film he’s in. Also noteworthy was a brief appearance by Michael Clarke Duncan. Ethan Phillips (think Neelix from ST:Voyager) was also terrific in his role, while not especially likeable. There were a number of other familiar faces in the movie, but I can’t be bothered to look them all up.

This is one of those films where not everything is as it appears to be. If you’ve seen the previews, chances are you have a basic idea of what the movie is about, and for the most part you are right. There are a few twists and turns along the way, and while most of them are predictable, they make sense in the context of the movie. (On that note… there’s little I hate more than the current trend of basically lying to the viewers to setup some big twist near the end of the movie. It’s one thing to use subtle misdirection, since that gives viewers the ability to look back and go ‘ohhh damn I never saw that.’ Just lying to the moviegoer so you can trick them deprives them of that experience. It’s cheap.)

Possible Spoilers ahead… if you’ve been living under a rock.

So anyway… the basic premise is that you have a city full of clones, a couple of them escape. You have some fish out of water moments as the naive clones encounter real world situations that we all take for granted. Hilarity ensues. The clones search for their real world counterparts. Drama ensues. People are constantly trying to kill them. Damage ensues. Corporations are evil. We knew this.

I’m grossly oversimplifying the story, but trust me it’s actually a pretty darn good movie. It also has one of the longest highway battle/chase/wreckage scenes since Matrix 2 (it’s actually longer, although Matrix 2 did it better!)

Seeing Ewan McGregor acting opposite Ewan McGregor is pretty cool, especially when he’s playing two completely different aspects of the same person, with different accents. He appears to really be enjoying himself through most of the film. Scarlett Johansson is absurdly hot in this movie, and if I didn’t already know she was an extremely talented young actress, I would think she was just eye candy… ala Milla Jovovich (hot as hell, but dumb as a post)

If you’ve seen The Village by M. Night Shyamalan, you’ll definitely notice some similarities. Another good reference film is Parts: The Clonus Horror, which this films borrows from at times. If you haven’t seen Parts, I recommend checking it out. It was pretty good, and also stars Dick Sargent (who played Darrin in the tv series Bewitched.)

If I were to rate the movie I would give it a 3 out of 4. There’s nothing really wrong with it, but it’s not gonna win any awards either. It’s just a fun movie.

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