Genre: Action, Thriller
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 33m
Director(s): Shaun Paul Piccinino
Writer(s): Philippe Martinez, Michael Caissie
Cast: Michael Jai White, Jackson Rathbone, Gillian White, Edoardo Costa, Wayne Gordon, Amber Townsend, Cami Storm
Where To Watch: on-demand and digital in the US now, available on UK digital January 29, 2024
RAVING REVIEW: Fasten your seat belts as we speed into the action-packed extravaganza THE ISLAND. We follow Mark, an LAPD officer, on his electrifying quest for justice, a journey not for the faint-hearted. The charismatic Michael Jai White, famed for his diverse role, breathes life into Mark’s character. This entire film was an unexpected but pleasant surprise for me, a movie I could see being mentioned alongside other big named action films.
THE ISLAND invites us into a tumultuous world set against the backdrop of a once serene island now tarnished by the sinister forces of corruption. The stage is set, and the drama unfolds, intensified by White’s multifaceted performance. The plot thickens as Mark’s story unfolds, leaving viewers to try and piece together his past as the film progresses.
The narrative stumbles occasionally, and the performances sometimes seem too theatric. Still, THE ISLAND stands tall as a bona fide action thriller. The exceptional sets and well-orchestrated action scenes augment the film’s visual appeal, while White’s powerful dialogues in high-stakes settings ramp up the film’s dynamic factor.
Delving deeper into the story’s heart, we explore Mark’s poignant past. Mark’s journey into the world of the LAPD, battling drug cartels, is a consequence of the despair and loss he experiences. This loss makes him abandon his loved ones and the island he once called home.
A gut-wrenching message from his mother yanks Mark back into his tormented past, stirring up forgotten wounds. He returns home, a home now filled with sorrow, to comfort his grieving mother and steer himself to the battle against the culprits behind an unthinkable crime.
From the start, THE ISLAND hits the ground running, captivating its audience. While it’s not angling for prestigious awards, it hits the nail on the head with an action-packed storyline, complemented by White’s laudable performance.
Once a sanctuary, the peaceful island serves as the stage for an escalating battle between Mark and a rapacious tycoon. As the narrative unfolds, Mark evolves from an LAPD officer into a vengeance-driven warrior, resolute in unearthing the truth and seeking retribution for the wrongs done against him.
Upon reflection, a refined script and a more controlled emotional depiction could have propelled THE ISLAND up another level. Yet, the movie’s genuine flavor and clear-cut direction are still enough to sustain viewer interest. If you want a solid action film to sit back and enjoy, this is it!
To sum it up, Michael Jai White’s performance gives THE ISLAND its pulse, making it an enticing watch for action enthusiasts. Despite a few slips here and there, the movie stands out as a riveting experience that engages viewers with its straightforward storytelling and the compelling theme of a man’s unwavering pursuit of justice.
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[photo courtesy of SABAN FILMS]
MY SAG-AFTRA/WGA STRIKE STATEMENT:
As an advocate for creators, actors, and writers, I firmly stand with SAG-AFTRA and the WGA in their current strike. The entertainment industry is built on these individuals’ extraordinary talents, and their contributions must be appropriately recognized and rewarded. They deserve fair compensation, sensible work hours, and respect for their creative rights. I believe in the power of unity and collective action, and I’m steadfast in my support for their fight for better working conditions and fair remuneration. Together, we can shape a more equitable future in the entertainment world.
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