The Island | C

director: Michael Bay
starring: Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson

Bay’s noble attempt at a thought-provoking narrative still manages to fall flat, with its emphasis on MTV-style visuals over any real substance. The former music video director still seems to think throwing filters on the camera and shooting from odd angles while inducing seizures with the camera equates to a solid flick. While he can–at times–excel in the popcorn department, Bay’s movies will never have the emotional resonance you’ll find coming from flicks by more renowned directors. The Island is probably Bay’s first attempt at even trying to focus on any dramatic narrative and pacing, but there are times when you can tell he’s just bursting to launch into a ridiculously-sweeping crane shot of a sepia-toned shootout on a highway amidst flying jet bikes, giant semis and Volvos spontaneously exploding when impacted by giant train wheels. Oh wait, he did do that.

There’s not much that can be said for the acting, though McGregor and Johnasson seem to give it an effort. It’s difficult to convey any sort of authentic human interaction when they’re running as fast as they can from the “bad guys.” In fact, there’s so much running, this flick should’ve been retitled “The Running Man (& Woman) II.” Ha ha ha ha haa, that’s not funny. But yeah, they run. Here are pages 4 through 118 of the script:

EXT. Barren landscape and/or metropolitan area

LINCOLN
Run!!

They run.

At the very least, the movie is relatively interesting early on, but the childlike Bay can’t wait to blow the surprise and chief conceit of the film and get right to the action. So, in summary, check your brain at the door and be ready for explosions, jet bikes, and the fantastic overacting of Michael Clarke Duncan!

Updated: January 25, 2006 — 8:33 am

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