The Island is that one Michael Bay movie you almost thought wasn't a Michael Bay movie for the first half; but don't worry, the action picks up after that.
The year is 2019. Humans now live in colonies in super-futuristic buildings, since a large amount of the planet has been contaminated and deemed unsuitable for life (allegedly. You know where this is going). They all dress the same, eat the same, think the same, and are essentially blissfully happy in their puerile ignorance.
What? We're not saying anything.
There are a few exceptions to the status quo, for example a man named Lincoln Six Echo (which is a totally common name in the upcoming decade) often questions his existence, seeks his purpose, and wonders why he can't eat more than one fucking slice of bacon at breakfast. He expresses his worries to one of the leaders of his colony, Dr. Merrick (played by Sean "I only play bad guys so surprise I'm the villain" Bean), who decides Lincoln should be kept under observation.
Though it's never said in so many words, we can only assume he wants to watch Lincoln Six Echo because of his friendship with Jordan Two Delta, who looks like this:
No, we don't think it's a coincidence that "Two Delta" is essentially Greek lettering for "double-D."
Jordan and Lincoln are close friends, though they seem to be wildly oblivious to anything sexual, which is mind boggling to those of us with genitalia. But they enjoy each others company, and enjoy simpler things; like futuristic video games.
WARNING: RAPE BY PRODUCT PLACEMENT
Unbelievably, Jordan is selected in the lottery to win the prize everybody in the colony is drooling over: the chance to move to The Island, one of the last naturally uncontaminated places on earth.
Smoke Monster and other absurdities included.
Through a little bit of contrivance, Lincoln Six Echo discovers that (gasp) it's all shenanigans, and that winners of the lottery don't go to an island, but instead undergo experiments and have their organs harvested (that's what most people would have picked second, anyway). In order to save his friend from getting that perfect chest sliced up, Lincoln risks his life to grab her and escape. They learn that they have lived a lie; the world is as fine as it ever was (slightly better than "terrible"), there is no contamination, and their colony is in fact the creation of a shady business that grows clones in test tubes as 'insurance policies' for their customers. If, at some point in your life, you were to need a heart transplant, no problem! You've paid to have a clone kept alive in a totalitarian state with the mental development of a ten year old. Just rip the heart out of that guy, and you're all set.
Naturally, the questionable ethics of this company wouldn't fly in the mainstream, so they've kept a lot of their business practices hidden. It's up to Lincoln and Jordan to right the wrong and free all their friends left behind. If up until this point, you've been thinking, "this doesn't sound like Michael Bay," you'd be right. The first three-eighths of this movie is almost an anti-Bay film. It's character driven, borderline intelligent, and entirely explosion-less. Of course, the law of averages is always waiting to bite you in the ass, so the second half devolves into a loud and muddled mess, which gives it that distinctive Bay feel.
Lincoln finds the purchaser of the insurance policy, a Tom Lincoln, Jordan finds out she's the clone of a beautiful celebrity, and Dr. Merrick tears up the city in order to bring the clones back and keep his secret safe (since nothing says "low key" like high speed chases and gigantic metal signs tumbling off buildings).
Most importantly, Jordan and Lincoln discover (amongst other things) the joy of sex with a beautiful person. In this scene Scarlett Johannson actually wished to be topless, but since Michael Bay doesn't think jumping on golden opportunities is a good idea, she kept a bra on (but he'll audition Megan Fox by having her wash his truck in a bikini, no problem). This, and not Transformers 2, is why we should all loathe Michael Bay.
The film was a bomb in the U.S., making only 36 of it's 126 million dollar budget. Experts estimate just one of Scarlett Johannson's breasts exposed would have increased revenue by fourteen trillion percent. Those experts would be us.
Apparently there are some similarities with this movie and the 1979 movie Parts: The Clonus Horror. By "some similarities" we mean "most every important plot point." The copyright infringement case never went to court, but there was a seven figure settlement over the deal. But hey, that sort of money exchanges hands every day, right?