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The Island (PG-13)

Release Date: July 22nd, 2005 by Dreamworks Pictures.
The Cast: Scarlett Johansson,Ewan McGregor,Sean Bean,Steve Buscemim,Michael Clarke Duncan
Directed by Michael Bay.

BASIC PREMISE: Lincoln Six-Echo (McGregor) and Jordan Two-Delta (Johansson) realize that the facility they live in is trying to kill them for spare body organs and that they are clones made by a real human "client" in the outside world.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: There are a lot of amazing special effects and action sequences throughout this entertaining summer blockbuster. The action really begins as soon as Lincoln Six-Echo finds a fly that escaped from the outside world. After that point, the movie is a suspenseful cat-and-mouse chase as he and the beautiful Jordan Two-Delta escape to try to warn their human clients about what is really going on. Every other clone in this cruel facility continues to be manipulated into thinking that he or she is actually going to be sent to a peaceful island through a lottery system. There are two cringe-worthy scenes, one of which is when small neural devices crawl into Lincoln's eye and another is when one of the clones (Duncan) has his stomach cut open. When Lincoln and Jordan reach the outside world, they meet up at a bar with McCord (Buscemi) who is a real human who also works at the facility. These bar scenes have much-needed humor as the clones try to adjust to the real world. There is not much humor after that point. The rest of the movie has a lot of thrilling car chases and explosions, all of which is full of energy and directed with a lot of style. McGregor gets to show off his good acting skills when Lincoln meets his human counterpart who is also played by McGregor. They both have subtle differences in their facial features, but what really makes the contrast work is their different accent (one is Scottish) and personality. There is one surprising plot twist in the last 20 minutes that helps to make this movie a very fun ride.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Despite being primarily an action movie, there are a lot of existential messages about throughout this movie, including the thin line between reality and fantasy. The method of cloning is a very timely subject matter that raises a lot of ethical questions. The president of this facility is, in a way, playing God by having control over the many clones. Too much power and control leads to corruption, as it does in this movie. It is very satisfying and uplifting when Lincoln and Jordan risk everything to not only save themselves, but everyone else in the facility as well. None of these issues are discusses in a profound way, but they at least make you think.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: It is a little contrived how quickly Lincoln and Jordan figure out the truth about their fake world and adjust to the new one, but it is no big deal as long as you suspend your disbelief.


THE BOTTOM LINE: A thrilling,action-packed summer blockbuster with amazing special effects and leaves you thinking about very timely issues.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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