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The Island (**)
Directed by Michael Bay
Written by Caspian Tredwell-Owens and Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci
The Island
Principal Cast
Ewan McGregor -- Lincoln Six Echo/Tom Lincoln
Scarlett Johansson -- Jordan Two Delta/Sarah Jordan
Djimon Hounsou -- Albert Laurent
Sean Bean -- Merrick
Steve Buscemi -- McCord
Michael Clarke Duncan -- Starkweather
Ethan Phillips -- Jones Three Echo
Brian Stepanek -- Gandu Three Alpha
Noa Tishby -- Community Announcer
Siobhan Flynn -- Lima One Alpha
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

There is some fun to be had from the car chases and explosions, if you can accept the idea that an evil corporation (is there any other kind in movies?) thinks that crashing a helicopter into a skyscraper is a good way to cover up its wrongdoing. Just a few of the explosions in this film would be enough to spark the biggest investigation since 9/11.

The big problem in the film is casting emotional blanks Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson in the same film with real actors, such as Steve Buscemi and Michael Clarke Duncan. The mystery in the first half is reasonably well done, but the contrast between the stars and the actors is so striking that we quickly grow bored. We also grow bored with the cliché that if scientists ever take over, they will make everyone dress alike and never touch one another. This is clearly what Hollywood thinks scientists are like, but it doesn't fit any scientists I have ever met.

It is hard to accept that adults will never discover sex if nobody tells them about it. This was the official theory of sex education back in the 50s, when children were taught that babies were brought by the stork. Somehow, when children reached puberty, they discovered sex on their own, without any help from their elders. Wouldn't it be easier and safer just to implant all the females with diaphragms?

In the second half, the movie becomes a lot more entertaining -- provided you can suspend your disbelief when freeway crashes kill only villains and no bystanders, and when people fall twenty stories, dust themselves off, and walk away.

No credit cookies.

Copyright © 2005 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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