Ewan McGregor is Lincoln Six Echo. Like everyone else in the colony, he wears a dinky white jump suit, performs menial tasks, and studies Dick and Jane. His food intake is carefully calibrated to maintain optimum physical fitness. Like everyone else, Lincoln is waiting for his number to come up in the lottery, the prize a one-way ticket to the island: an earthly Eden waiting to be repopulated.
It's not just art films which ask the Big Questions. 'Who is God?' Lincoln wants to know. 'Isn't there more to life than Club Paradise? And how about a change of wardrobe 'white is a bitch to keep clean...'
At first you wonder if director Michael Bay has consciously modelled the film on bad MTV to hammer home the script's salient satire on an antiseptic consumer society in which the customers have become indistinguishable from product. Then you remember this is Michael Bay - Armageddon, Pearl Harbor - bad MTV is what he does.
A surprising flop at the US box office The Island is trash de luxe, a wouldbe Blockbuster and thoroughly Malibu science fantasy which underwrites its occasional novelties with a string of simple-minded action setpieces, each more ridiculous than the last. It's not very good, but it's no turkey either. Let's accentuate the positive: at least for its first half the film is moderately intriguing, and even later on its vision of Los Angeles 2019 is a real depature from the over-familiar Blade Runner template.
There's a bizarre meta-moment when Scarlett Johansson comes face to face with her own CK advertising campaign (she's otherwise under-used and saddled with a silly blonde bimbette do), and Ewan McGregor has fun spoofing his own image, trying to sound plausible doing a Scottish accent. And how's this for a definition of the Big Fella: 'You know when you want something really bad, and you close your eyes and wish for it? Well, God's the guy that ignores you.'