Welcome to Simulated Reality Week: Day 4. Today, we’re talking about The Island, which is probably the one film out of the bunch that is least like a simulated reality film, but it is there….even if it is only at the beginning of the film. However, the nice thing about the beginning of the movie is that it’s automatically seen as the foundation for the rest of the film. I’ve actually reviewed this before, over 10 years ago, but it’s certainly time to watch and review it again.
The Island stars Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson as Lincoln Six Echo and Jordan Two Delta – just one of the men and women living in a safe facility, away from the contaminated air of the desolate world outside. They are survivors awaiting the results of the next lottery. The winner gets to move to the only place on Earth that is uncontaminated – a beautiful island. However, Lincoln Six Echo soon realizes a deeply hidden secret. This is simulated reality week, so, he discovers that his world is not real, and neither is the lottery or island. What is, however, is something far worse.
I remember watching this for the first time being blown away, but at the same time, I hadn’t seen it in years…so, we all know that a movie can lose its greatness over time, but if it doesn’t, then it’s something special. Because there are things you can be spoiled about, I’ll try my best to keep that bit a secret, even though you know what’s ultimately going on after the inciting incident.
Let’s break the film down.
PEOPLE SCORE – 9/10
Acting – 2|Characters – 2|Casting – 2|Importance – 1|Chemistry – 2
Alright, so first off is the people score, which did really well. The acting is actually pretty good for the most part. Some roles could’ve probably used help there, but for the most part, other’s led the way. The characters are all very memorable, I couldn’t say I’d really cast anyone else in these roles. Did everyone play a role in adding to the plot? Sort of not really. Most of them did, but because ScarJo was mostly just there as a sex object and romantic interest, she basically had no real importance, but everyone worked pretty well together when it came to chemistry.
WRITING SCORE – 9/10
Dialogue – 1|Balanced – 2|Story – 2|Originality – 2|Interesting – 2
Next up, we have the writing score, which was also mostly perfect. The only problem here was the dialogue, in which it was mostly forgettable, typical dialogue. Everything else works out really well. As far as story structure goes, it makes perfect sense and very well paced. The story itself is all about ethics and morality around things like playing God and what that means. Finally, it is very original and incredibly interesting if you like sci-fi films.
BTS SCORE – 9/10
Visuals – 2|Directing – 2|Editing – 1|Advertisement – 2|Music – 2
Next up, we’ll talk about what’s going on behind-the-scenes. The visuals are actually pretty decent for the most part. It is directed by Michael Bay, and you can sometimes notice his input, but not like how it is today. For the most part, it did a wonderful job capturing the world in which this takes place, so he did a really good job with his job at directing. The editing was mostly neutral, nothing super special there. I do consider it as-advertised, and the music is just amazing. I love the soundtrack to this film.
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 10/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 2
The narrative arc score also gets a perfect score, as it follows a very solid story. The introduction has us meeting Lincoln and Jordan and the basic idea of what’s going on in the world. The inciting incident is the big discovery that has them running from their home. The obstacles really came down to a cat and mouse game with them almost getting caught, the climax is very well done, and the falling action perfectly brings us to a new norm.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 8/10
Rewatchability – 2|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 2|Impulse/Talk – 1|Sucks Audience In – 1
Now, we’ll talk about how entertaining it was. I consider it a pretty rewatchable film, as I have seen it a few times…on purpose. It’s definitely fun, I’d buy it in a heartbeat, but it’s not really a movie that’s worth having in-depth discussions about. I wouldn’t mind talking about it here and there, though. Does it suck you in? Sometimes. Not always. So, yes, it is entertaining, just not OH MY GOD amazing.
TOTAL SPECIAL – 45/50
Simulated Reality – 5|[Spoiler] – 10|Sci-fi – 10|Ewan McGregor – 10|Memory – 10
Alright, so here are the questions that I wrote before seeing the movie this time. First of all, how well is its simulated reality? It’s okay. That aspect was mostly just in the very beginning of the movie, so it’s the foundation, but most of the movie isn’t simulated reality. The next question I had is a spoiler so I won’t tell you what it is, but it is one of the better answers here – and it was a definite yes. Next up, how well is the sci-fi in this film? Very good and very utilized. As far as Ewan McGregor’s huge filmography, where would I put this? Honestly, pretty high. I’d talk about Star Wars and The Island somewhere in his best films. Finally, does it hold up to memory? Absolutely, my end score turns out to be the exact same score I had before.