The Island is worth renting.
Many of you know by now that I’ll label films either as “one you’ll see on my DVD shelf” (the best possible rating), “worth seeing in the theatre” (pretty dang good), “worth renting” (entertaining), “worth seeing if there’s nothing else on and your friend paid for the rental” (I think that speaks for itself) . . . and then there’s “just skip this one altogether.”
I actually enjoyed it.
The film takes place in 2019 in a neo “George Orwell’s 1984
” environment where everyone is wearing the same white “uniform” and doing as they are told. But Lincoln Six-Echo (McGregor) wonders why he’s there and where he came from. Unfortunately he finds that questions aren’t advised and troublemakers aren’t tolerated.
But everyone in this “big brother is watching” society has one thing that they look forward to: the lottery. Each day someone “wins” the lottery and gets to go to “the island,” a paradise where they can lay on the beach and enjoy the sun. But Lincoln Six-Echo isn’t convinced. And so the adventure begins.
It’s difficult to tell you any more of the plot without revealing a major “spoiler” in the film. And if you haven’t heard what that is . . . don’t let anyone spoil it for you before renting it.
But I could describe The Island as Logan’s Run
meets Total Recall.
meets Blade Runner
and Minority Report.
Reviewers have disagreed over this film. Many went into the theatre biased, considering Michael Bay’s earlier works, wondering where The Island
would compare. Michael Bay’s history as a director is interesting. He got his start shooting commercials and music videos. Think about this. Bay had somewhere between 30 seconds and 4 minutes to earn your respect. Believe me, the guy got very good at camera movements and montages that captured emotion. Bay did advertisements for Nike, Coke, Budwiser, Miller and the Got Milk campaign. He won numerous awards, including the 1995 Commercial Director of the Year by the Directors Guild of America. And that’s when his film career launched with his first feature film Bad Boys
starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. The film wasn’t anything special, but audiences loved it and it grossed more than $160 million worldwide. So Bay went on to make The Rock
with Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage, officially launching his career as a successful director.
But his films didn’t get better . . . they plateau’d and, some would say, spiraled down. Armageddon
was next—another entertaining film with an all star cast. Good fun and good action—about the same as The Rock.
But three years later he came out with Pearl Harbor,
a really mediocre film with some really cool shots—like that one on all the previews, a cool perspective shot of the bomb being dropped on the USS Arizona. The production of this film and history behind it is literally amazing. But the final result was far from Titanic.
It’s hard when the “making of” is more entertaining than the film itself.
Bay barely broke even with his next film, the disappointing Bad Boys II . . .
but then came The Island.
You can see where the expectations were mixed.
Despite the hype, I think Bay delivered. The film grabbed me from the start and never left me looking at my watch. There were a couple action moments that ranked “yeah right!” . . . but they were still good action. Performances were strong, although I didn’t expect any less from this cast.
SHOULD KIDS SEE IT:
Young kids shouldn’t see it, and you’ll want to use your discernment showing it to older teenagers.
There is no nudity, but there is one scene with passionate kissing where you see some cleavage and a bra—no sex is seen, but it’s implied. A few other sexual comments and innuendos are made in the film, you can see the complete list on sites like www.screenit.com or www.kidsinmind.com
Language includes 1 “f” word, 5 “s” words, and some other mild expletives.
There is also quite a bit of violence: people being shot, a few innocent people being murdered, car explosions and a dramatic scene where an innocent victim is dragged away to be killed.
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):
- What are some of the messages or themes you observed in this movie?
- How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?
- How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?