The Island

24 Jul 2005 06:04 #1875 by Rasa
The Island was created by Rasa
Bad Boys. The Rock. Armageddon. Pearl Harbor. Haven't really liked any of them. I went to the theater with high expectations of all, and all of them felt slick and visual, hollow and disappointing. All of these movies were directed by Michael Bay, the director of The Island. While this is easily my favorite Michael Bay movie, it still comes up a bit... well... empty.

The movie starts off with a dream, and some very interesting imagery. Bay started in music videos, and his style is frantic and full of cuts. It's perfectly suited for dream sequences, and this one is fantastic. It then moves on to acquaint the viewer with the protagonist, Lincoln 6 Echo (Ewan McGregor), and his world, which includes his stunningly beautiful "best friend" Jordan 2 Delta (Scarlett Johansson). If anyone can top Jessica Alba for top honors in the summer blockbuster bombshell category, it's Johansson. The first third of the movie is relatively slow-paced but intriguing. It sets up some really interesting ideas that never pay off as they should later in the movie.

Then, the s*** hits the fan, and the movie shifts into a series of fast, frantic, shaky-camera, quick-cut Michael Bay chase sequences. That's not to say that the action sequences are bad. They're not. Some directors choose kinetic elegance and beauty in their action sequences ( John Woo, the Wachowski brothers, etc.). Some choose disjointed, frenetic, violent, visceral action sequences. Bay is definitely the latter. You certainly feel the crunch of metal impacting head, of cars being shredded, of large objects falling from high places. Occasionally it is difficult to tell where characters are or what exactly is happening, but you do feel in the moment during the action.

All in all, it's very much a fun summer blockbuster; I liked it better than Star Wars, War of the Worlds, and Fantastic Four. It's just that this one had so much more potential than any of those movies. It flickered a flashlight on some interesting ideas, then failed to shine the spotlight on them later. The opening act of the movie set some interesting groundwork for something more, but the movie gets so caught up in the chase that it never takes the time to get back to exploring the brilliant dream sequence in the beginning and, more importantly, how the protagonist came by those dreams.

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