The Island (2005)

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German title The island
Original title The Island
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 2005
length 136 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
JMK 14
Director Michael Bay
script Alex Kurtzman ,
Roberto Orci ,
Caspian Tredwell-Owen
production Michael Bay ,
Ian Bryce ,
Walter F. Parkes
music Steve Jablonsky
camera Mauro Fiore
cut Paul Rubell ,
Christian Wagner

Die Insel (Original title: The Island ) is an American science fiction film directed by Michael Bay from 2005 . The main roles were played by Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson . The film is based on the novel Spares (English title: Cloned ) by Michael Marshall Smith and opened in German cinemas on August 4, 2005.


After a global epidemic, the so-called contamination , Lincoln Six Echo and Jordan Two Delta live together with hundreds of other survivors in an arcology, protected from the outside world . They all wear the same clothes, the surroundings are extremely clean and they do more or less monotonous work. Their life, diet and leisure time are strictly regulated and closely monitored. For example, men and women are prohibited from dealing too closely with one another by a ban on physical contact.

But this sterile world is only an illusion. In reality the earth is not contaminated; the entire system is located underground below a desert in the USA and belongs to a large corporation under the direction of the unscrupulous Dr. Merrick, who officially works there in the field of organ research with financial support from the government, but actually breeds human clones to order . For five million dollars you can have yourself cloned and thus have a “spare parts store” for your sick organs, or you can get an involuntary surrogate mother.

In order to pacify the clones, they are led to believe the fairy tale of a contaminated earth on which there is only one natural, uncontaminated environment with limited space, namely the so-called "island". Allegedly, each of the residents takes part in a weekly lottery to get there as a winner. The hope of winning the trip to the island soon is the clones' ingrained purpose in life. In fact, the lottery drawing is bogus, so that exactly those clones are allowed to embark on the apparent journey whose organs are needed by their original, the so-called "sponsor", in the real world. The woman giving birth is also allowed to move to the island when giving birth. This makes the departure of their roommates plausible for the clones.

One day Jordan Two Delta will be drawn by lot. Lincoln Six Echo, who has been drawn to her illegally for some time, has long harbored doubts about the truth of the system, not least because nightmares plague him every night in which he falls into the sea from a yacht known as Renovatio (= rebirth ) and drowns. His doubts are reinforced when he catches a living moth in forbidden passages , which owing to the contamination should not exist outside. Plagued more and more by doubts, one night he decides to let the moth fly again and follow it. On his way through the facility, he comes to a hidden medical wing and witnesses how two alleged lottery winners are killed in order to get their organs or the newborn. Lincoln realizes that the contamination of the earth and the island are just lies.

Lincoln decides to flee to the real world with Jordan, who is now obviously in mortal danger. On the run they discover that the facility is built underground and the images of their environment (mountains, forests, meadows, etc.) only by a hologram - generator produced. After they get to the surface via an exit that is in the desert, they look for and meet the mechanic McCord, an employee of the company Lincoln knows and trust in a bar in a nearby town. This offers them temporary shelter and explains to them that they are only human clones. The two have to discover that not only contract killers of the group, but also the police are after them. The escape leads them to Los Angeles in 2019. Jordan and Lincoln try on the one hand to escape their pursuers, but on the other hand also to find their sponsors - the people who commissioned them. They are hoping for help in a public awareness campaign to save the lives of the remaining clones and to thwart the machinations of the group, as it succeeds in maintaining the image that the facility only contains organ donor bodies would be bred and killed in a coma-like state, but not conscious conscious humans.

Over time, Lincoln and Jordan discover that there are also clones of a well-known football player and even the US President in their world. During the search, Jordan discovers that her sponsor has a child and is apparently comatose herself in a clinic. Since her sponsor had a life-threatening accident and urgently needs donor organs, Jordan was selected in the lottery so that they can be removed from her. Lincoln even meets the real me, the designer Tom Lincoln. However, Tom Lincoln betrays his clone because he will need its liver in the near future. During their escape, the two Lincoln's come into the line of fire of the bounty hunter Laurent. Lincoln Six Echo takes on the role of the real Tom Lincoln, whereupon he is shot. Lincoln Six Echo returns to Jordan and gets closer to her for the first time. Together they decide to save the other clones before they want to escape to the wild. Lincoln is invited by the company to provide new tissue samples to make a new clone; Jordan, on the other hand, is deliberately captured and is also brought into the company.

Dr. It has now become clear to Merrick that the last four lines of clone production have developed unwanted consciousnesses. He decides to destroy all remaining clones from this series. With the introduction of massive "lottery prizes" they are to be brought in groups into a combustion chamber used as a gas chamber and killed. Shortly before the death of the first group, however, Jordan manages to free them from the combustion chamber. She gets unexpected help from Laurent, the bounty hunter, who, despite his assignment, now opposes the injustice inflicted on the clones after he has undergone a change in consciousness.

Meanwhile, Lincoln destroys the hologram generator that led the clones to believe that the outside world was contaminated. Dr. Merrick is killed while trying to prevent this from happening while fighting with Lincoln. The other clones recognize where they are due to the lack of the hologram and finally go through the exits to the outside world.

The last scene shows Jordan and Lincoln Six Echo cruising the ocean on a yacht.



The German dubbing was done by Film- & Fernseh-Synchron GmbH in Berlin, based on a dialogue book by Hartmut Neugebauer and directed by Dietmar Wunder .

role actor Voice actor
Lincoln Six Echo / Tom Lincoln Ewan McGregor Philipp Moog
Jordan Two Delta / Sarah Jordan Scarlett Johansson Angela Wiederhut
Albert Laurent Djimon Hounsou Jan Odle
Dr. Bernard Merrick Sean Bean Torsten Michaelis
James McCord Steve Buscemi Santiago Ziesmer
Starkweather Two Delta / Jamal Starkweather Michael Clarke Duncan Tilo Schmitz
Jones Three Echo Ethan Phillips Claus Brockmeyer
Gandu Three Echo Brian Stepanek Christian Weygand
Suzie Shawnee Smith Natascha Geisler
Charles Whitman Kim Coates Frank Röth
Organizing Courier Glenn Morshower Thomas Wenke


While previous Bay films have always received harsh criticism, The Island has also received positive reviews. This becomes clear, for example, when the general evaluation of the film by the US review portal Rotten Tomatoes is compared with that of the Bay films Pearl Harbor (2001) and Bad Boys II (2003). While the island scores 40 percent positive reviews, Pearl Harbor and Bad Boys II each receive just 24 percent positive reviews. The renowned American film critic Roger Ebert also found some positive things:

“The first half of the film is a frugal, creepy science fiction parable that turns into a high-tech action film. Both halves work, but whether as a whole is questionable. "

On the other hand, Andreas Kilb wrote in the FAZ that the island is not a sophisticated science fiction film. Even the director speaks of a "debacle". The main actors would look like "from the sporting goods advertisement". Kilb further complains:

“In the course of the film, Bay gives away all the possibilities of his subject because he only sees it as a cause for visual riot and unscrupulous product placement. The script Caspian Tredwell-Owen wrote for The Island was a diamond in the rough; Bay made a tasteless chunk out of it, a piece of problematic popcorn cinema that is not even useful as an entertainment product. "

David Kleingers from Spiegel has no goodwill for Die Insel either:

“Quick-start director Michael Bay tries his hand at the crossroads of brutal action spectacle and time-critical science fiction with the genetic engineering thriller Die Insel . What begins as a promising experiment in genre cinema, however, ends in a childish clone war with no consequence. [...] As soon as his hero couple have left the underground dungeon behind them, director Bay promptly switches to action autopilot and shifts the events from existential drama to that oversized sandpit that was home to his naive omnipotence fantasies The Rock , Armageddon and Pearl Harbor . "

The massive product placement was criticized several times in the USA . Several large sporting goods and communications groups are clearly advertised.

The German Film and Media Assessment (FBW) in Wiesbaden awarded the film the title valuable.

Plagiarism allegation

Since mid-August 2005, the two directors Robert S. Fiveson and Myrl A. Schreibman have been suing Warner Bros. and Dreamworks . They took the view that Michael Bay simply plagiarized the plot of their film Saat des Wahnsinns - Clonus Horror (Original title: Parts: The Clonus Horror , 1979) . The plot of this film is essentially the same as that of The Island : human clones are raised in an isolated desert area in the US to serve as human spare parts stores for the US financial and political elite. The clones know nothing about their outside world and are sealed off from the outside world by the security personnel of the facility. They are led to believe that they can move to America as a reward , and when the main character questions their own existence and manages to escape from the facility, guards pursue them and flee to a nearby town. Finally, the project is made known to the public.

Robert S. Fiveson and Myrl A. Schreibman sought both damages and a share of the profits . They also called for the film to be banned. On November 20, 2006, an out-of-court settlement was finally reached on the payment of one million US dollars.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for the island . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , July 2005 (PDF; test number: 103 067 K).
  2. Age rating for Die Insel . Youth Media Commission .
  3. Die Insel - Cinema Critique ,, accessed on July 19, 2009.
  4. The island. In: German dubbing index , accessed on January 23, 2020 .
  5. cf. Die Insel ( Memento of the original from July 26, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Pearl Harbor ( Memento of the original dated July 6, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. and Bad Boys II ( Memento of the original from July 25, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. at Rotten Tomatoes , as of July 30, 2008 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. ^ "The first half of Michael Bay's new film is a spare, creepy science fiction parable, and then it shifts into a high-tech action picture. Both halves work. Whether they work together is a good question. “See film review by Roger Ebert , July 22, 2005, accessed on July 30, 2008.
  7. Andreas Kilb: Two clones and one clunker . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , August 6, 2005, No. 181; P. 34.
  8. David Kleingers: Are you still cloning or are you already alive? In: Spiegel Online , August 2, 2005, accessed July 30, 2008.
  9. TV feature film 01/08, p. 145.
  10. Interview with "Clonus" author , 2007 (English)