Saturday, February 04, 2006

Movie Review: The Island

I can't come up with a wittier title than that simply because my brain is fried from watching this movie. The Island, starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johannssen, seemed from the Netflix description to have a little something for everyone. It had so much potential to explore the morals and ethics of human cloning; the story could have been really riveting and meaningful and fun to watch. Instead it was a laughable piece of crap with precise moments where you could imagine that the suits had changed the writer's original story.

I definitely got the sense that the original screenplay was probably pretty good. But then it got bloated out to two hours, additional inane dialogue added in, and all essential meaning excised.

My favorite SNL/Monty Python/TV Batman-worthy moment was a scene where Scarlett tells Ewan to run along to that ubiquitous Generator/Boiler/Perpetual Energy Machine That Powers All of The Bad Stuff. She says, "You've gotta shut it down! Go!" Next scene: Ewan enters the room where Perpetual Energy Machine is housed (they always manage somehow to get in no matter how critical a machine it is, don't they? You'd think the security people would have done a better job at protecting the Machine That Powers All of The Bad Stuff). Regardless, he enters the room and you see that The Machine has a sign on it. It says, "Do Not Shut Down."

That was when I started snorting-laughing out loud. Funny that the sign on the machine should bear the exact syntax and verbiage used just moments ago by the movie's co-protagonist, is it not? I mean, wouldn't a real sign have said something like "doors to remain unlocked while store is open" or "hard hats required" or "Do Not Touch: High Voltage?" When have you ever seen a sign saying, "Do Not Shut Down"? Especially when, coincidentally, someone has told you to "go shut it down"?

Lazy, is all I can say. Lazy film-making. Lazy writing. Lazy acting. Don't get me wrong; there was lots of running and lots of Scarlett's boobies doing the totally-accidental-I'm-sure running bouncing heaving thing. But the whole production--including my beloved E. McGregor--just had this dire phoned-in quality to it that at first bummed me out but then made me laugh and now just makes me want some money back.

Short story long, the DVD should have a sign that says: "Do Not Play: Risk of Major Suckage."

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