The Island (2005)

the island poster 2005 movie
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 4/10

Potential in the story

Underwhelms on all fronts

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Island

Studio: DreamWorks

Genre(s): Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s): July 22, 2005

MPAA Rating: PG-13

the island clones scarlett johansson ewan mcgregor

We’re out of that hellhole…now what do we do for the next hour?

Lincoln Six-Echo (Ewan McGregor) has a dream like most of his associates:  The Island.  The Island is hope and only those who win an invitation through a lottery are allowed to go to the only pure place left on Earth after a catastrophic plague and pollution.  Despite rules from Dr. Merrick (Sean Bean), Lincoln Six-Echo has become close to Jordan Two-Delta (Scarlett Johansson) and discover that they could be separated when Jordan Two-Delta wins the lottery.  Lincoln Six-Echo is about to discover the world he thought he knew isn’t real and what he believed was reality is about to come crashing down.

Directed by Michael Bay, The Island is a sci-fi action thriller.  The movie was released to poor reviews and lower than planned returns at the box office.

The Island was one of those movies that you could pretty much determine what was going on from the instant you saw the preview…and you weren’t wrong.  The movie acts like it is a twist type of movie, but it isn’t.  As a result, The Island is a straightforward, dull thriller.

the island michael clarke duncan

Please…don’t make me watch this movie!!!

The movie had immense potential.  It feels borrowed from lots of other similar sci-fi movies in both visuals and themes, but if it had somehow managed to be a movie with a twist, it still could have worked.  Early into the movie, the characters discover they are part of an organ cloning project and go on the run in the world of 2019.  If this had been revealed at the end, it might have worked (or it could have just ended up like The Village), but I also feel that it would have been better served to be set in 2005 when it was made.  The idea of the upper-elite using clones to survive in everyday life in present day would have been more terrifying.  Instead, it turns into a sleepy chase movie that has little twists and turns.

Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson try to have some fun with the lazy script, but it comes off as stupid instead of humorous.  There is some fun play with Ewan’s accent, and Scarlett’s model-esque perception at the time of film is also played with.  Sean Bean plays the Sean Bean character (again) and Michael Clarke Duncan has a small role as one of the clones who serves his purpose.  Steve Buscemi plays a bit out of character which is nice, and Djimon Hounsou has potential to be interested as the bounty hunter after Lincoln and Jordon, but I didn’t believe his character’s actions (which once again followed an obvious path).

the island ewan mcgregor clone

I guess this is just practice for Fargo Season 3…

The movie doesn’t look that great.  It went to a low-tech, slightly futuristic look instead of a straight-up computer society.  As mentioned, I would have preferred the world of the clones to be high tech and the outside world to be “normal” for a weird turn of events.  The visuals as a result kind of underwhelm.

The Island is a lifeless romp.  The movie plods along (especially in the last half) after setting up a slightly interesting concept in the opening scenes.  It is frustrating that a film like this can make it as far as it does with as big of a budget as it had when there are so many smaller films that deserve the name recognition that The Island had.  Skip your trip to The Island and see some decent sci-fi (or action for that matter).

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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