December 30, 2005

The Island

The trailer for The Island immediately reminded me of Logan's Run. And that shouldn't be surprising, as the movie is basically a remake of Logan's Run with more action and less thinking (thanks to Michael Bay) with a different premise. Unfortunately, I think Michael Bay's involvement is what ruins this film's chances at becoming an important science-fiction movie.

The new premise in this movie is that for insurance purposes, human clones are created so that people in the "real world" have a ready set of replacement parts in case of an emergency, or simply to prolong life. This is based on a current issue, but to polarize the subject the clones in this movie are given real lives instead of kept grown without consciousness. That immediately removes one of the possibilities of ethical discussion.

The idea of genetic memory, which has scientific basis, is also used. But used incorrectly. Instead of this genetic memory being there at birth to tell the clones how to perform basic tasks, the memory introduced is experiential rather than behavioral. And it involves memories that have absolutely nothing to do with survival.

It's too bad so much time was spent on action sequences instead of on exploring the social, ethical, and scientific issues involved. There was a lot of potential here. Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, and Sean Bean are excellent actors who play major roles. Auxiliary actors like Michael Clarke Duncan and Steve Buscemi are also great. This really ends up being an action film instead of a science-fiction one.

Posted by josuah at December 30, 2005 1:13 AM UTC+00:00

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