A pair of clones (Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson) discover they are clones living in a clone compound, and the promise of an idyllic Island little more than an organ harvest festival.
Far be it from me to tell one of the world’s most successful directors how to tell a story, but Michael Bay’s 2005 take on Logan’s Run is immediately undone by revealing the true nature of the cloney colony at the start. Any sense of mystery dies as quickly as McGregor’s American accent, as he clomps around clone college wondering why they are all dressed as replicas and asking: “You ever get bored doing this?” Johansson even looks like a clone, though it is hard to explain why.
Bay’s futuristic vision is also a copy of countless dystopias, kitting out the complex with spacey-looking drinks, sterile surfaces and white tracksuits (I suppose clones have no unique jeans). Eventually they escape the clonic irrigation facility and enter what is literally just present-day Los Angeles, allowing Bay to shoehorn in an obscene amount of contemporary product placement. The only suggestion that it is the future is the inclusion of a hover-train (Amtrak, obviously).
The runtime is bloated by perfunctory action, characters (Sean Bean and Steve Buscemi) blurting out organ harvesting secrets and changing sides at random, and homophobic, racist and sexist comedy. People exclusively speak to Johansson in creepy sexual comments, her only backstory being that she was a model (Calvin Klein, obviously). The risible dialogue (“The Island is real. It’s us.”) is horribly delivered by the pouting leads, their romance a rained-off fireworks display.
By squandering a decent sci-fi premise through sheer stupidity, The Island ensures that anyone expecting a fun trip to the clone zone à la The 6th Day will require a full refund (American Express, obviously).