The Island

Greg_R

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I saw this last night in a digital theater. The first act of this film was excellent and I had a hard time believing that Bay actually directed it. However, the last 1/2 of the movie was the usual over-the-top unbelievable mess. Normally this wouldn't bother me (for a pop corn flick) but had the quality of the 1st act continued it would have been an outstanding movie.
 

Simon Massey

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I agree with Greg

This film annoyed me more than any other Michael Bay film I have seen (and thats saying a lot), partly because the first half of the film, although derivative of many other films, was very effective. I think I was probably more impressed because this was a Michael Bay film and I had low expectations going in. However, the second half of the film was exactly what I would expect from Bay and it felt like someone else must have directed the first half.

There is something about Michael Bay's action scenes that really put me off. He always has to take an action scene one step too far. Ok so the train wheels roll off, I can accept that, but then Ewan McGregor starts pushing them off on his own !!!!! Ok there is this hoverbike thing which he had never flown before and he starts off shakily but then he starts flying all over the bloody place. And then there's the fall from the top of the building..... Enough said!!!

Having seen the criticism by the producers of the actors, I also have to say that Ewan McGregor and Scarlet Johannson were the film's only redeeming grace and somehow managed to make the second half bearable to watch.
 

Simon Massey

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I could accept him being able to fly it as he did at the beginning of the sequence, albeit shakily, but what follows is absurd. And the memories he did have were fractured and hardily enough for him to be able to fly it in the way that he did
 

Greg_R

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Pushing the wheels off is perfectly plausible (it's a wheel and can roll quite easily
).
I was waiting for the entire 'additional memories' plot to be explained but that never happened. IMO, this would have been more plausible if it turned out that someone from the inside (Steve Buscemi's character for example) was purposely adding these extra memories to the clones (as part of some anti-cloning group, corporate espionage, etc.). If the 2nd half (and ending) were re-written to be much darker then I think the movie would have been excellent.
The entire hover-bike chase was annoying because they used the same exact sound effects as the city car chase in SWEpII.
 

Simon Massey

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at least no-one has tried to plausibly explain the fall from the top of the building!!
 

Alex Spindler

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Simon,
I could accept him being able to fly it as he did at the beginning of the sequence, albeit shakily, but what follows is absurd. And the memories he did have were fractured and hardily enough for him to be able to fly it in the way that he did
In a way, they paved the path for this throughout the film. Lincoln is able to drive a car very proficiently the first time he gets in one, even though he lacks the 'book knowledge' of street lights. The jetbike is pretty much the same way. 'Riding a bicycle' except it was from his sponsor's memory is the best analogy.

Greg_R,

I was one of the few that actually liked the film and didn't think it should have performed this badly. But the way past memories are handled in the film are really inconsistent. I was once thinking that there was some deleted material that could make the jump connection for the past-memory stuff, but I can't even think of what missing puzzle pieces would allow for what the movie suggests. Given the amount of screentime they devote to it, I have to assume it was part of the original script but I can't see the missing link.

The doctor (name escapes me) shows us an image of the original hatched brain and one after a period of time, and makes mention that it wasn't any kind of scarring but it was an unexplained amount of new memory being added. It isn't some kind of latent 'physical memory' like you have for riding a bike, because they give us the 'latin phrase' problem. Latin is an acquired language like english and the clones had no way to get it in their original environment. So somehow, Lincoln was 'learning' remotely from his sponsor or was somehow embedded with knowledge in his clone brain that matured into full memories as he grew older. It's almost as though they were suggesting some kind of 'soul link' or something that allowed them to share memory.

The amount of time invested in it suggests it had some meaning to the screenwriter (the opening boat scene, latin phrase, knowing how to drive a car and bike, and the brain scan. I know some of this topic helps the action portion of the film, because it lets Lincoln get in a car and air chase which wouldn't have worked if he was a totally clueless clone. If they had perhaps gone down the road of saying that the imprinting process unknowingly added in latent memory to Lincoln's generation, as well as the capacity for rebellion, it'd have been a pretty solid structure. And maybe that's what they're trying to get across, although I think they did it very poorly.

It's easily my biggest criticism of the movie. I, just like you, waited for them to close the loop on it but it kept being brought up and never reached a satisfactory conclusion. I would be pretty unhappy if they're trying to suggest some metaphysical link between the sponsor and the clone that allowed them to share memory. I'm hoping it's just some mistake in the cloning process that gave them memory and free will. Perhaps if the DVD merits deleted scenes it might be fleshed out.
 

Ken Chan

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at least no-one has tried to plausibly explain the fall from the top of the building!!
As I recall, it wasn't quite the top. And they fell into some nets, used for construction. Perhaps some kind of high-tech construction netting designed specifically to save people falling from great heights? Sorry
 

Alex Spindler

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That's my impression. The building they had fallen from had construction going on the lower floors. The sign slowly pulled away and then began to drop. They let go and were caught up in the safety netting. If I remember, I think safety nets like they showed are OSHA standard stuff and I've had to work around them in the past.

It was totally impossible, but I think they managed to leverage that with the absolutely perfect comment by the guy who helps them down. He says it nearly at the exact same moment when your eyes begin to roll and the reflexive 'Oh, come on' response is beginning. I love it for that reason. Kind of like Gibby from True Lies hiding behind a lamp pole and checking his various body parts and then kissing the lamp pole afterwards. As long as they acknowledge stuff like that and make it work, it's cool with me.
 

SteveGon

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This might be old news, but it's news to me (sorry if this has been discussed before):
The 20-year-old but incredibly sophisticated [Scarlett] Johansson was somewhat of a surprise for [Michael] Bay, especially when it came to her sex scene with [Ewan] McGregor.
"How many times I have had to say [to an actress in her dressing room], 'Come on, come out. You look beautiful,'" he says. "I get the call from the assistant director. 'She needs to see you.' And I'm like, 'Oh, god. Here we go.' I'm ready to do her love scene and she's not going to come out. I knock on the trailer of her door. 'Scarlett?' 'Yes?' 'Can I come in?' The door opens and she goes, 'I'm not [expletive] wearing this bra! This cheap-ass bra! OK? I'm going naked.' And I say, 'Scarlett, you can't go naked. The movie has to be PG-13!'"
To quote Napoleon Dynamite: "Idiot!"
Just one more reason to hate Bay.
 

Patrick Sun

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Bay should have shot it both ways, one for the PG-13 cut, and one for the "unrated" director's cut for DVD.
 

SteveGon

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Because he has to follow studio orders for a PG-13 movie?
Well, I realize that - I was really just making a joke of the whole thing. Though, in hindsight, a nude scene may have helped the film at the box office.
 

Chuck Mayer

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Months later, I gave it a Netflix. It has a very solid cast, but I almost forgot the whole thing after I woke up the next morning. Ewan acquits himself better than the rest...without him, I might have been REALLY bored. Scarlett does live up to her visual hype...beautiful in this film. Just stunning. I was basically underwhelmed...the surprises were all known, and all that was left was the action, which was fun but hollow.

Not a bad movie, but it's substantial weight was borne by the lead. Technically very well done...good integration, top-notch sets, etc. And again, Ewan was a lot of fun.
 

Dan Hitchman

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With a better director and better writers this might have had some legs... but NOOOOOOOO! Let's give it to MTV-minded Bay again. Let's throw millions at him and watch him tank another film!
Yes, a lot of the SFX were much better than RotS, but other things were just absurd. Like the falling sign "stunt." Nobody could survive that! At least make a stunt plausible, like the older Bond films!
And the atrocious, ham-fisted dialog! PUKE!
Scarlett is an uber babe, and should have been allowed to "release the twins!"
However, the fact that she's hot can't save this film.
 

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