"Too bad." That's what I thought coming out of the theater this weekend after screening Michael Bay's latest offering, The Island. I absolutely believe we need our artists to envision for us the places in which unprincipled, unboundaried science might take us. It's just too bad, this important theme was entrusted to director Bay, who would always much rather be destroying large props than serving the story at hand.
I liked a lot of The Island. Specifically, I liked all the parts that dealt with the theme of breeding peolple as products. Some of the parallels to the current stem cell research and cloning debates made me gulp. I kept thinking, "Do they realize what side they are on here?" That is, the side of the RCC and pro-lifers everywhere. I hope we see many, many more of this kind of movie - Lord knows - somebody has to try and visualize where a society that eats its children might be headed.
Unfortunately, the film stops short of adding anything new to the cultural debate -- basically because the filmmakers can't bring themselves to discuss the fundamental reason why human lives are sacred: because they belong to God.
The film completely unravels around its mid-point, when Bay surrenders himself to an orgy of stupid chase scenes and explosions. By the time he's done, we can't even remember why we're there.
There isn't anything really problematic from a Christian standpoint - one bad word, a bit of intense violence and a ridiculous sex scene. I actually found the shameless product endorsements throughout the film the most offensive. But that, as much as cloning, is the wave of the future...