Last night, Amanda, kid sister, and I went to go see the movie "The Island." We all enjoyed it a lot. Some of it is great. Some of it is mindless. Some of it is riddled with leaps in logic and plot holes. But we still enjoyed it a lot. I personally enjoyed how many homages there seemed to be to THX-1138.
Seriously, if you want to see the movie and you haven't yet, don't read ahead 'cuz I'm about to ruin things for you.
------***Okay, I warned you.***------
The biggest problem with it that Manda and I both had with it was that the film should have been called "The Island of Product Placement." We're not talking about a stray shot of a box of Frosted Flakes in the background. This movie is an absolutely ridiculous product placement-athon from start to finish. Aquafina, Puma, Xbox, MSNSearch, Mack Trucks, Cadillac, Budweiser, American Express Blue - all of them got SIGNIFICANT screen time. In fact, there are more products than those listed above and I'm just forgetting which ones they were because there were just too many.
Here's what's odd about it to me: all of the fantastical things that the movie asks you to accept - such as flying jet bikes, clones living in holographic wonderlands that are actually disused missile silos, or an elaborate mass transit system in Los Angeles - I'm completely fine making a leap of faith and accepting all of that.
It was the product placement that didn't make any sense to me.
See, I understand that all of the product placement is there for the audience viewing the film. The thing is, I kept finding myself thinking "what is the point of the advertising as far as it goes in the movie itself?"
You have an entire city of clones that are viewed as less-than-human products, nothing more. They live within a world where everything is taken care of for them. They have a 6 year life span, tops. They have no income, no kids, no disposable income more importantly and no where to shop even if they did. After a few years, everyone in there is killed.
Why advertise to them? What does a disposable clone care about Puma? Or Aquafina?
The government doesn't know that the clones are actually alive and not in a vegetative state. It's an enormous secret. If that's the case, why are there corporate sponsors of this facility? Who markets to a completely captive audience with no chance of becoming valuable consumers? Let alone a group that's supposedly in a persistent vegetative state.
And if no one is supposed to know that they're alive and functioning humans, why didn't anyone at the future Puma raise an eyebrow when they started shipping thousands of sneakers into a hole in the Arizona desert?
Like I said, I enjoyed the movie, but the product placement stuff really pisses me off the more I think about it.