While Michael Bay's The Island is being compared (and rightly so) to Logan's Run and Bladerunner, there's an even more apt comparison to a little-known B-movie called The Clonus Horror. I saw it years ago, and remember it was pretty lousy. But that plot description bears more than a passing resemblance ...
Can The Island's lame opening weekend ($12 million) be the result of having Michael Bay's wretched name attached? Maybe the fact that Ewan MacGregor and Scarlett Johannson can't pull in crowds? Or could it be those trailers we're seeing more and more of, the ones that telegraph each narrative act?
Trailers for The Island left no surprises to the audience. We're told the characters are clones. We're told the Island is fake. We're told clones are harvested for body parts. And we're shown a hyper-futuristic world where stuff blows up real good.
Someone who's seen this dreck chime in. Is there anything I'm missing here?
A mysterious Matrix-style campaign would've been far more effective: What is the secret of ... The Island?
Trailers these days feel like watching movies on fast-forward. I spoke with a top-notch editor at a production house that cuts trailers for major movie studios, and he agreed that this trend is annoying.
"So why the holy hell do you do it?" I demanded, ready to slug him.
"We don't!" he protested. "Our trailers are models of restraint! We try to show just enough to make you want to see the movie. But it's the marketing suits who demand that we insert the funniest retort, best sight-gag, most explosive stunt. They believe people want to know exactly what they're getting in a movie. It drives us crazy, but they're the client."
No, they're not the client. They're just the short-sighted idiots paying the bills, and delivering lackluster trailers to theaters that have audiences yawning around the world.