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July 30, 2005

The Island

I was surprised that 'The Island' opened weakly last week. I had a bit of a hankering to see it based on the crash bang smash em up preview I saw. It rather amazed me that I had not seen more marketing, like I have for 'Stealth' which I truly have no desire to see. Today, after having seen it, I would say that I have something of an emotional investment in wanting it to be big.

'The Island' is a spicy mix of The Matrix, Soylent Green and Logan's Run. It's lit like a video and has one of the least contrived story lines I've seen in the action genre. I basically bought the emotional hook, which has to do with emotions of 15 year old kids. Michael Clarke Duncan has a fabulous couple of scenes.

With the best car crashes since Bad Boys II, Island delivers but good when it comes to chase scenes. Michael Bay's relatively near future Los Angeles is nicely believable although simplified, and the set design of concrete, chrome and glass come close to Speilberg's 'Minority Report'.

The concept of 'The Island' is rather simple and it is so well developed in the mystery of the narrative that it would truly be a spoiler to reveal it. Since this discovery is what basically adds kick to all the action I won't. Bay, unlike Speilberg, does not give us a set of open-ended imponderables upon which to meditate, nor does he give us great depth and resonance, but there was no time when I jumped out of the skin of the characters to a level of not caring. The thrill of survival and discovery remains to animate the action.

Second to Sahara, I'll say this is the best action flick of the season. Way better than Fantastic Four.

Posted by mbowen at July 30, 2005 07:43 PM

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Saw it last night. Meh. You're right about the action sequences. The overused "pulse-pounding" descriptor is apt in many scenes; if you didn't instinctively duck at some point during the freeway chase scene, it might be cuz you're already in the throes of a heart attack. And that Michael Clark Duncan scene? Gets you right here, man... *taps heart*

But it was the ending (corrr-neee) and the rampant, near-disgusting product placements that really spoiled it for me. Kinda nice/interesting, but bad aftertaste.

Posted by: memer [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 1, 2005 08:49 AM

Yeah but you do kinda want an '09 V12 Caddy don't you?

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 1, 2005 03:57 PM

*nods sheepishly*

Posted by: memer [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 2, 2005 08:00 AM