On Saturday night, my wife and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary by going out to a nice dinner at the location we were married and then seeing the movie "The Island" after dinner.
I find it unfortunate that "The Island" is doing so poor at the box office. Although the movie does have some over-the-top chase scenes and some of the usual plot items that go almost completely unexplained in sci-fic movies, it is enjoyable and what I would consider a must see for individuals interesting in bio-ethical issues.
The plot revolves around Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor) and Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johansson) who are two clones who discover that they are clones after they escape from an underground utopia-like facility where they are kept. The hundreds of clones (including a clone of the President) kept at this facility are told that they have survived a type of world contamination and live hoping to win the lottery and a trip to the mythological Island (the only place in the world that supposedly hasn't been contaminated). Those who win a trip to the "Island" are actually killed after their organs have been removed or they've given birth to a child (seemingly for women who don't want to or can't give birth).
The clones or "products" are kept as an "insurance policy" for the world's richest people in case of an accident or disease. The clones, at a cost of $5 million, are seen as a warehouse of organs and tissue so the world's elite can prolong their lives.
Sean Bean, who plays the director of the cloning facility, hides the truth of his work from the eyes of his customers and the government because under the bio-ethical laws of the day, the clones must be kept in a persistent vegetative state but when testing his "product" Bean's company quickly discovered that the clones couldn't survive (their organs began to whither) in that state for a prolong period of time. Hence, the clones must be born (at adulthood), educated to the level of a 15 year-old, given simpleton jobs, and entertainment.
Some of the ways that Bean's character and his company chillingly refer to the adult clones mimics the way that advocates of human cloning for medical research refer to embryonic cloned human beings. The clones are referred to as "products" so when Bean has to convince his board of directors to approve the killing of numerous cloned human beings he refers to them as "200 million dollars worth of product." We see this same word - "product" - from today's cloning advocates. Cloned human embryos aren't human beings, they're "products of nuclear transplantation."
Bean's character also uses quasi-religious arguments ("They don't have souls") and promises of medical treatment ("I'll cure (insert disease) in two years") to escape the reality of being in the killing business.
Steve Buscemi's character has a great line referring to how Bean's customers might not want to know the reality of what is happening when he tells Lincoln (McGregor), "Just because you want to eat a steak doesn't mean you want to look the cow in the face."
I think the exact same thought process is what is at work for people who are in favor of embryonic stem cell research and human cloning for medical research. They want the cures and the scientific breakthroughs but they don't want to acknowledge that human beings have to be killed for these types of experiment to take place.