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The Island


After the fourth Transformer movie, I pretty much went on strike from watching most Michael Bay movies. I missed a good one with 2005's THE ISLAND.

Loaded with great photography and effects, the movie immerses you in a future that's recognizable but visually arresting.

Ewan McGregor (Moulin Rouge!) is Lincoln Six Echo, living a too perfect, too routine life in an upscale utopia that was rebuilt after some sort of global virus (oh oh).

Just as in George Lucas's first feature film "THX-1138" sex has been genetically pulled from human DNA, but damned if those pesky strands dont get stimulated by Scarlett Johansson as Jordan Two Delta.

Lincoln grows more restless. Even though there's a chance to escape to a beautiful Island every week with the lottery, Logan begins to suspect that nothing is quite as it seems.

After a grisly discovery about a recent lottery winner, Logan grabs Jordan and goes on the run, escaping across the desert to nearby Los Angeles.

The Lottery echoes the rebirth carousel in "Logan's Run" and what they encounter outside feels a lot like "Minority Report" so you can't say that the story is very original.

But it is beautifully shot, with Bay orchestrating some seriously stunning car chases, helicopter chases and a pursuit on levitating motorcycles that punches every summer movie hot button imaginable.

Some of the action scenes just made me smile, they are incredibly good.

McGregor and Johansson are reliably great. Steve Buscemi is hilarious as a maintenance worker who spills too much to Lincoln, Sean Bean (Goldeneye, Game of Thrones) is excellent as the Doctor running the entire utopian complex and Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond, Amistad) slays as the man hired to hunt down Lincoln and Jordan.

Every bit as enjoyable as Bay's best film "The Rock", this was his biggest flop, only generating $35 million at the US box office.

Maybe it was the title, maybe the trailers didn't do it justice, but it's hugely underrated. If you're looking for a summer action thriller blockbuster, take a trip to THE ISLAND.

It barrels it's non-stop way to a surprising B+.


(Sci-fi movie buffs: If you can watch the last five minutes and not be in anticipation of Michael York as Logan and Peter Ustinov as the Old Man popping in from their movie, you are a more disciplined viewer than me.

Remake, re-imagination or neither?)

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