Bizarro - wrote on 10/24/11
A well-known reviewer once said of The Island that it's " smarter than it looks, but dumber than it's supposed to be", and I feel that's a pretty accurate description of Michael Bay's remake of a very obscure 1979 film, Parts: The Clonus Horror.
With Bay at the helm of this action-science fiction vehicle, one can already expect a bunch of over-the-top explosions and unreal gravity/logic defying scenes ( which are in it, don't get me wrong), but there is also interesting and thought-provoking sci-fi elements and great character development.
The film kicks off with Ewan McGregor's Lincoln Six Echo, a clone who lives inside a giant underground facility along with hundreds of other clones. They are let on to believe that they are the last survivors of a global contamination and that, in due time, they will be shipped out to The Island, an unspoiled paradise.
However, he soon discovers the horrific truth, they are clones of wealthy clients, and when the time comes, they will be harvested for organs. He then escapes with fellow clone Jordan Two Delta, played by Scarlett Johansson, and try to track down their sponsors and expose this scheme.
Superb acting by the two leads, who really sell their naive and also terrified characters with perfection. They also have great on-screen chemistry. Sean Bean is also superb as Merrick, the cold and efficient billionaire responsible for this institution. Djimon Hounsou delivers as usual a solid performance as the mercenary who becomes sympathetic to the clones' cause. Ethan Phillips and Steve Buscemi give fantastic supporting turns.
The script itself is written and executed, so to say, in two parts. In part one, we discver who the clones are, why Lincoln is questioning his existence, some great character and plot building going on. Part two hops over in Bay territory, with car chases, flying motorbike chases and a surprisingly satisfying ending. The chase scene where Lincoln lets loose a cargo of train wheels off of a truck is actually pretty exhilirating.
Bay declared in an interview that it was hard for him to film part one, but if he delves into that side of his filmaking more, we're in for some exciting movies.