Sunday, March 27, 2016

ReWatch: The Island

2005, Michael Bay (Pearl Harbor) -- Netflix

Yes, I rewatched the movie that if we had been reviewing in 2005, Kent and I would have been going on and on in our merciless mockery. Why watch it again? Cuz it was a post-sickie afternoon and I needed some fluff. And because sometimes you look back on light, terrible fare with a certain amount of fondness. Or you want to torture yourself.

It must be noted, that by the time the trailers of the movie were hitting the 'net, I had already seen the MST3K of Parts: The Clonus Horror so I was in the camp that Bay had ripped off someone's old, terrible movie to plot his new, terrible movie. The basic premise is that cloned people are being grown as replacement body parts for wealthy patrons. They are "raised" with a promise of nirvana, The Island for said movie and America for Parts. And one clone begins to question this setup. The creators of Parts sued and it settled out of court, so there must have been some merit to the lifting.

This was Scarlett Johannson still launching her career. Lost in Translation got her noticed and she had done enough since to become the face in a Calvin Klein commercial, which was actually cutely inserted into the movie. Ewan McGregor was airing out his last days as a young, hot action hero which he never really did get off the ground. They are both pretty clones, but I could not help but thinking, "Isn't he a bit old for her?" I ask myself that a lot lately, because we straight men are raised to worship the early 20s Hollywood beauty, even as we age past the time when that lust would be appropriate by our cultural standards. Personally, I have gone past that age-gap into the "she's young enough to be my daughter" phase. Cultural standards are weird, contradictory, doubly and confusing.

As a movie, this is classic Baysplosions. The clones are on the run and a mercenary team is out to catch them, no matter what the cost. Cutesleeze Steve Buscemi is the first collateral damage in their escape & desire to stay alive. But as they continue to run, things explode, crash and get shot to hell all around them, leaving me wondering how many die to keep them alive. You could assume that they are too young (vat grown is fast grown) to really be very aware of such implications but in a movie that is supposed to be about the desire to stay alive despite the odds, you would think it could be commented on. Nope, blow some more bystanders up so Scarlett's pout will live another day.

If you have a moment, YouTube the re-use of the highway chase scene. Bay re-used entire elements of the cars being crushed for his subsequent Transformers movie. Which is amusing unto itself, considering this chase scene is so The Matrix reminiscent.

I add a lot of splashy, glitzy explosiony scifi movies to The Shelf. But Bay doesn't get added. For some reason, while I enjoy the adrenaline rush of his movies, they don't have repeatable joy. This was an experiment to see if it  should be added, but no, confirmation made.