Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

The Island Movie Poster

The Island

Genre: Science Fiction/Action/Adventure
Rated: PG-13
Directed by
: Michael Bay
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Sean Bean, Djimon Hounsou, Steve Buscemi, Michael Clarke Duncan
Released by: DreamWorks

In Short: Science and technology go haywire in "The Island," a fast-paced futuristic adventure that boasts some amazing action sequences.

Seeing Double
Who Knew Cloning Could Be So Exciting?
By Jenny Peters

It really didn't sound that interesting, going to see a movie about cloning. Even worse, with Michael Bay at the helm, "The Island" had the potential to be squirmingly bad, like his "Pearl Harbor" debacle. But happily, "The Island" hearkens back to "The Rock," one of Bay's best films, and is a pretty good summer popcorn movie.

The futuristic story of a huge controlled community of people living underground, in what seems to be the aftermath of a global contamination, the film begins as a mysterious drama. All the residents, including stars Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson (who looks absolutely gorgeous throughout the film), are hoping to win the coveted chance to go outside, to the only uncontaminated spot left in the world, the place known as "the island."


But as their utopian, highly controlled lives roll along, things begin to go haywire, lies are uncovered, the pair escapes into the outside world, and the chase—led by our favorite actor, Djimon Hounsou—begins. The car-flying motorcycle-truck sequence alone is worth the price of admission. Incredibly brutal and realistic it's just one in a string of action scenes that will make you literally jump out of your seat. It's hard to believe that no one got seriously injured in the course of the shoot; but there's no doubt some great cars got wrecked.

Bay has wisely cast a bunch of good actors in key roles, which really helps make this more than just a dumb action flick. Sean Bean is terrific as a ruthless scientist and (as usual) Steve Buscemi's performance as a slightly hapless techno geek is spot-on perfect. McGregor shines, too, especially when he's playing himself twice.

The best thing about "The Island" is that the plot never gets stupid, creating a world that is believable all the way through to its final moments. Sure, there are sequences where most mortals would end up dead and our heroes escape with barely a scratch, and there's a bit too much product placement (Puma must have paid big bucks), but it is the movies, after all, not real life.

(Updated: 01/22/08 NJ)

The kinds of movies made for foodies, including classics such as Like Water for Chocolate and newer releases like Chef and Ratatouille.

Summer is here! Protect your skin from harmful UV rays all year round with GAYOT's Top 10 Sunscreens.