Mini Film Review – The Island

Yesterday I watched The Island; and it’s a bit complicated! Directed by Michael Bay, and starring Scarlett Johansson, Ewan McGregor, and Sean Bean; The Island is an action thriller about two people who discover that the world they live in, might be a big lie! The film takes time to really set-up the situation, and decides to walk on eggshells rather than provide information as to what the world is, and where it might be. It does this for quite a while, and when the big surprise comes, it just feels a bit late in it’s delivery. The action scenes are as blurry as the film’s own poster. The science fiction elements are sort of forgotten about and rely on the audience to work them out. For a time it looks like an early conception for a Christopher Nolan classic in it’s earlier scenes, but then just drops these for cliched action sequences. Then there is the casting! The film chooses to include stellar names in it’s opening credits, but several of these are dropped within the film’s first third, and are never brought up again. It feels like a cheap way to market a film in using big names, but choosing to use them in the least way possible, and then forget about them! Why not just broaden the cast with more of the film’s lesser mentioned talent who put on a real show, like Djimon Hounsou, Brian Stepanek, or Ethan Phillips? Part of me wants to like this film as it has some really cool ideas, but it’s just overly complicated. Maybe if it was in the hands of someone else who was better able to explore it’s ideas, rather than just jump for action sequences; then maybe it could reach its full potential (maybe there is an argument to turn it into a TV Series?). It’s just blurry and confusing; with it’s one major positive standout being it’s top notch cast, especially in Hounsou, Stepanek, Phillips, and Bean; who puts on a real masterclass in how to make a brilliant villain; no matter how good, bad, or mediocre the film is!

Also; if like me, you are squeamish to hospital operation scenes, and equipment; maybe it’s best to avoid the film entirely!

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