This afternoon we ducked out of the July heat into a matinee of this summer’s “The Island”, not to be confused with 1980’s “The Island”.
Not entirely original, but thoroughly watchable. Lots of fun, better than I was expecting, and while it was arguably longer than it probably needed to be, it surprisingly didn’t feel too long.
The film borrows familiar sci-fi concepts from other pieces, throws ’em all together into a 120 million dollar project, and results in a total blast. Part “Logan’s Run”, part “Total Recall”, part “Minority Report”, part “Coma”, part “Number 12 Looks Just Like You” (a Twilight Zone episode), part “The Thirteenth Floor”, and part, dare I claim, “The Matrix” meets “Gone In 60 Seconds”, the movie rips off nearly every idea in the cinematic book yet somehow still manages to retain enough honesty to be its own thing. These familiar borrowed elements range from the subtly reminiscent (i.e. The institutionalized subjects are systematically named using a non-personal numeric labeling scheme, a la “Number 12 Looks Just Like You”) to the almost embarrassingly blatant (i.e. In the story’s climactic confrontation between the hero and villain, our hero is semi-defeated on the ground. The villain stands above him, addressing him by his assigned name of “Six-Echo”, after which the hero rebuts “My name is Lincoln,” and then predictably bounces back for the knock-out punch. This could either be regarded as a playful reference to “The Matrix”, or a shameless burglarization of it. I’ve chosen the former.)
There’s really nothing negative I have to say about “The Island”, and it probably ranks as the most fun I’ve had at the movies this summer so far. Pick that one if you find yourself at the ticket counter trying to decide on an escape that works.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Watching Scarlett Johansson center stage for a couple hours didn’t hurt either.