Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Michael Bay is a talentless hack

An interesting thing happens about an hour into director Michael Bay’s latest film The Island, he remembers that he is Michael Bay. At this point of recognition he reverts to his usual strategies that largely involve wrecking or blowing up anything that moves. It’s a shame, as The Island could have been his best film but it ends up being just another massive waste of time that degenerates into a 90-minute orgy of explosions.

The film starts out promising as Bay is obviously channeling George Lucas’ icy 1971 bleak science fiction film THX 1138 as the look of The Island is a virtual copy—no colors as everything is white or black, the future is a cold place with nothing but concrete, glass, steel and our society is rigidly controlled with few personal freedoms.

Ewan McGregor plays Lincoln Six Echo, a man in this sterile future world who begins to question all around him, including a contest known as "The Lottery", that will decide who gets to go to an island paradise and escape the confines of the city. The dream of winning the lottery to get out of this place and onto the utopian island is the driving force of people’s existence.

The moment Lincoln Six Echo escapes the control of this world, and takes Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johansson) with him, the film becomes a kind of a Logan’s Run dosed up on massive amounts of steroids. It’s at this point to the stops being about an idea and just becomes a silly prolonged chase scene that Bay is infamous for.

Quick history lesson on Bay: he is the man who has given us crimes against cinema such as Bad Boys and The Rock and that embarrassingly bad Pearl Harbor. To think that Bay could make a film about ideas rather than about explosions, I guess I was kidding myself.

Bay just has to be himself. And showing us sweeping helicopter zooms, cheesy slow motions of explosions, cars flipping over again and again, machine-guns and rockets blowing even more stuff up is just Bay letting us see how macho he can be. Bay is as subtle as a jackhammer to the skull and it’s dull, soulless and insulting cinema to anyone who loves movies.

The true star of a Michael Bay film isn’t the actors or script—it’s the person who sets up all the various explosions or destruction that is going to ensue. That person needs a vacation after working on a movie like The Island because they will have pushed the “explode” button so much their finger will be sprained. I’m not kidding. Bay will blow or shoot anything up—cars, buildings, helicopters, more cars, train-stations, streets. Anything. It becomes exhausting at a certain point and not at all thrilling or exciting, as Bay believes it might.

The Island is just further proof that Michael Bay is a hack director. He takes an interesting idea about a utopian future world and ruins it by making it a cliché ridden exercise in excess with him just blowing things up. Any ideas that the movie tries to develop is lost by the end of the film, just one more thing Bay blows to bits.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

But,but,but,but Pearl Harbor had Kate Keckinsale.................

Anonymous said...

ummmmmmm I mean Beckinsale........

Laura said...

A pretty girl does not a good movie make. Neither does a pretty boy. Just look at MR. & MRS. SMITH.

Xtine said...

You make some truly great points. i need to see logans run again- it has been so long. the Island is tanking at the box office, some say it is because the title is so non specific or because the word of mouth has been lackluster, and others say Ewan and SJ are not big enough stars to open a movie ...regardless I find EW's review of this film interesting--how many other sci fi movies does the Island mimic? (From logans run to gattica and between).
best, X

Anonymous said...

No, but a pretty girl can, make me forget all the ugliness in the world, including my own....for just a few silly...cinemoments....

Anonymous said...

Have you been on vacation? I spend all day checking your site for your next review... you better get on the ball or we're going to take you off the payroll. signed. Frankie Koo Koo Man