The Island ★★★½

I was positively surprised by this movie. Instead of the mediocre action movie I was expecting, I was treated to a fairly intelligent story and I found myself sucked into the movie pretty quickly. It felt a bit like a combination of "Minority Report" and the "Matrix" movies.

"The Island" raises a number of moral and ethical questions, and the unpleasant scenes that show the implications of what is happening (e.g., the scene with a mother giving birth) really affected me. Unfortunately, the movie does not use the full potential of the debatable topic with which it is concerned, but that is understandable since this movie is meant to appeal to a wide audience.

I noticed several product placements in the movie, most notably MSN Search and Xbox. Another thing I could not help but notice was that the lava lamp that can be seen behind Steve Buscemi’s character in his house seemed to either have been on for too long or it was simply old, judging by the liquid’s behavior (yes, I am a big fan of lava lamps).

I liked the first part of the movie a lot because it is intelligent and thought-provoking. The second part, on the other hand, with the action that ensues after the two main characters manage to escape, does not meet the expectations set by the first part, even though the action scenes are well executed and sure to hold one’s attention. The movie moves away somewhat from its promising setup in the direction of a conventional action movie.

The ending works in its attempt to be powerful, but I wanted some more details on the secret project. It would also have been interesting to know the implications of the event in the final scenes within the context of the movie, but leaving them to the imagination is acceptable and perhaps even preferable.