New Reviews
Django Unchained
Captain Corelli's Mandolin
Les Misérables
Chernobyl Diaries
The Cabin in the Woods

The Island (2005)

Plan your escape.

Directed by:

Michael Bay

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 136 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12A

Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor) is a man plagued by more questions than answers. Why does he have such a silly name? What’s the real reason that he can’t go outside? And why is it that he and everyone else around him have to wear white all the time? Of course, the answer to that last question is obvious: it’s because if some people were allowed to wear red, it would take just one accident in the laundry room to leave the whole lot of them dressed from head to toe in an embarrassing shade of pink. But, as he’s about to discover, the answers to his other questions are a little more complicated.

Borrowing heavily from the likes of THX 1138 and ‘Logan’s Run’, Michael Bay’s latest attempt at blustering his way to the top of the box office charts won’t scoop any prizes for originality, but it’s a fun ride regardless. Set in a near-future where the rich and famous pay big bucks to have clones of themselves bred for insurance purposes, it’s a brainless and predictable yet still undeniably enjoyable mish-mash of sci-fi and action.

The sci-fi bit comes at the start when Lincoln and his strictly non-contact ladyfriend Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johansson) begin to question the merits of spending all day long hoping to be plonked on a utopian island which may or may not exist in the first place. Then, halfway through, it’s time for the tenuous scientific pretence to make way for what Bay really wants to show us: lots of explosions, high speed chases, and general shots of our two stars running around a lot.

If it all sounds a bit daft, it’s because it undoubtedly is, but it’s also a real guilty pleasure and works surprisingly well. The action sequences are the best I’ve seen on the big screen for a couple of years, and both McGregor and Johansson do credible jobs of getting us to buy into their flimsily-written characters. Sure, the plot has its fair share of moments that’ll have entire theatre audiences simultaneously lifting one eyebrow, but if you allow yourself to let go of your intelligence for just long enough to get into it, you’re guaranteed a good time. Who needs new ideas, eh?

It's Got: Ewan McGregor, a Scottish actor, undertaking the tricky task of playing a bloke with a dodgy American accent who has to master a dodgy Scottish one. You’ll understand what I mean when you see it.

It Needs: To ditch the ridiculous moment where Johansson catches a glimpse of those Calvin Klein ads she appears in back here in the real world. Think about it for even a couple of minutes and you’ll realise that, unless she’s meant to be playing her self (which she’s not), it just doesn’t make much sense.


Coma, Logan's Run, Soylent Green, THX 1138


It’s loud, proud, and moves at a hundred miles an hour – and it’s also the most mindlessly enjoyable flick of 2005. Check your brain cells at the theatre door and enjoy a trip to ‘The Island’.