Okay, so I chose to watch The Island instead of Lawrence of Arabia, but I had a good excuse, honest I did. I found out that I could add two Blu Ray discs a month to my Netflix subscription for just $6 a month. That’s a great deal. And when you consider that Blu Ray is still the only format capable of fully exploiting the capabilities of my A/V gear, it would be a waste not too, really, wouldn’t it? Of course it would. I know what you’re thinking though. The Island? Really? Well, speaking of fully exploiting the capabilities of my A/V gear, a Billy Wilder film simply isn’t going to push any boundaries. With Michael Bay on the other hand, at the very least you know something is going to go “boom,” and, hey, Transformers was pretty cool. Plus, it has Scarlett Johansen in it, so in that sense it’s not a bad choice for someone looking to re-evaluate the quality of uncompressed 1080p video versus Vudu HDX.
So how was The Island? Ummm, well, it went “boom.” Yeah. That pretty much sums it up. The concept behind the film is actually pretty decent. Set in a dystopian future, it tells the story of Lincoln Six Echo, a clone grown solely for the purpose of organ harvesting who discovers his life has been a lie and then goes on the run with his friend Jordan Two Delta. The problem with the story is that it’s true purpose is simply to move things along to the action, so only the lamest stop gap efforts are made to hold it together. ScarJo makes googly eyes at Ewan McGregor’s character for a few seconds and then her instant rejection of her entire world view and decision to run away with him is supposed to be believable. And the MacGuffin? Why they simply need to find their “sponsors,” the originals of themselves because then everything will be okay because, as one character says, it has to be; never mind that these “sponsors” kind of need their clones to be dead for their own purposes. Are we done with this? Can I blow something up yet?
The film’s Wikipedia entry describes The Island as “a pastiche of ‘escape-from-dystopia’ science fiction films of the 1960s and 1970s such as Fahrenheit 451, THX 1138, Parts: The Clonus Horror, and Logan’s Run,” In other words, it describes it as a clone. Such would have been both appropriate and awesome if the clone had measured up even remotely to any of those originals.