Island [2005]

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
When you add up all the best things about The Island, you might just conclude that there's hope yet for Hollywood's most critically reviled hit-maker, Michael Bay. Recruited by Steven Spielberg to direct this lavish and often breathtaking sci-fi action thriller, Bay rises to the occasion with an ambitious production that is, by his standards (and compared to Bay's earlier hits like The Rock and Armageddon), surprisingly intelligent as it explores the repercussions of cloning in a sealed-off society where humans are cultivated for spare parts, surrogate parenthood, and full-body replacements for wealthy clientele. But when two of the clones (Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johanssen) begin to question their fate and the motives of their keepers, they escape into the real world and The Island becomes just another Michael Bay action extravaganza, albeit an impressively exciting one. With elaborate chase scenes and a high-tech feast of CGI to dazzle the eye, The Island recycles much of the plot from 1979's Clonus while borrowing elements from Logan's Run, Gattaca and Minority Report, and while it's not as smartly conceived as those earlier films, there's no denying that, in many ways, it's Bay's best film to date. --Jeff Shannon

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