The Island is a movie about clones, and so it comes as no surprise that the movie is, itself, something of a clone. But it is also something of a chimera; that is, it seems like the sort of movie you would get if you took pieces of two very different movies and squished them together, and the result is a monstrosity.
On the one hand, we have a dystopian science-fiction movie about people who live in an artificial environment under a totalitarian regime, oblivious to the fact that they are actually clones who have been manufactured as spare parts, or "insurance policies," for the rich and famous of the world. The all-white production design and the theme of escape, as two clones try to break out of their world, brings George Lucas's THX 1138 to mind; but the emphasis on genetic engineering and sterile perfection recalls Andrew Niccol's Gattaca, and the way the creators of this society use comfort and fear to discourage curiosity about the outside world—all of the inhabitants believe they are survivors of a global catastrophe—recalls Peter Weir's The Truman Show (also written by Niccol).
On the other hand, we have a standard-issue Michael Bay movie. Bay is the director of such crass, over-edited action movies as Armageddon, The Rock, and Pearl Harbor, and in The Island—the first film he has made without producer Jerry Bruckheimer—he steals more than one idea from his last film, the stupendously immoral Bad Boys II. In that movie, one chase scene featured Will Smith and Martin Lawrence dodging vehicles thrown off the back of a car carrier. This time, our heroes stow away on a similar truck and begin dumping heavy, massive train wheels off the back. Once again, the camera pivots around a door as heroes ...1
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