A Short Review of THE ISLAND

(I had a pass to an early screening):

LOGAN'S RUN crossed with THE MATRIX, with a dash of BLADERUNNER's DNA. Two clones on the run from the secret clone-factory/hidden-city. Lots (LOTS!) of car crashes, gun fights, mano-a-mano fights. Plot holes you can drive a 40-ton truck through. (But don't worry, the 40-ton truck crashes too.) "Science" that has fudge as its primary ingredient. Obligatory romance. ("What is sex?" "Oh, THAT's sex!") Featuring Steve Buscemi taking an expository lump.

Definitely a "check your brain at the door" movie.

(There's a hint left early on that leaves potential open for a sequel. Maybe that sequel will actually have an island in it....)


Anonymous said...

Good review. Haven't seen you since CopperCon, I think, but your style of Grumpy is exactly what Andy Rooney is missing. He has all the fannish traits except, well, y'know, he doesn't care about Science Fiction or Fantasy or Horror. Can you imagine him in a Masquerade?

At least this is intentionally check your mind at the door, as opposed to Spielberg, who manages to check H. G. Wells' prodigious intellect entirely. Spielberg, who CAN make great films (Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List) absolutely refuses to see the rationalist empiricit base to Science Fiction as such.

So, I hate to get you into the eternal debate between Science Fiction and Sci-Fi, but where does The island stand in this?

-- Jonathan Vos Post
magicdragon2 livejournal and Magic Dragon Multimedia's domain, including The Ultimate Science Fiction Web Guide.

Bruce said...

The Island, on further reflection, is a portmanteu film, which borrows elements (mostly toward the Sci-Fi end of the spectrum) from other SF movies to cobble together its plot.

I mentioned Logan's Run in my original post. Some other apparent sources include:

STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI (the flying motorcycles on the freeway in THE ISLAND is very close to the forest chase in SW:ROTJ)
STARMAN (the traffic light scene)

Others will probably come to mind with a bit more thought.

Overall, my impression was that the screenplay was pretty cynical in its plot-by-numbers approach. No surprises, at all, to anyone who's seen lots of SF movies. (Or, in my case, tried writing them.)

Add in the utterly stupid "science" (*SPOILER*: the clones begin "remembering" the memories of their DNA-source, etc.) and the movie is definitely Sci-Fi.