Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Routine action in The Island

Underrated action hero Michael Jai White returns to screens in his latest flick, The Island from Saban Films. Shaun Paul Piccinino is in the director’s chair, while Michael Caissie and Philippe Martinez pen the script.

Tough-as-nails LAPD officer Mark (White) and his partner Phil (Jackson Rathbone) have just completed their latest case when Mark receives word that his younger brother has fallen victim to murder. Seeking answers and, ultimately, vengeance, Mark leaves the city of angles to return to the island he grew up on. 

He soon finds himself in a bloody battle with the corrupt tycoon who’s taken over the island paradise. While on the island, Mark reunites with his former childhood friend Wayland (Wayne Gordon) and his ex-wife Akilah (Gillian White).

Michael Jai White first gained recognition for his performance as “The Baddest Man on the Planet” in the 1995 HBO Film Tyson. He later starred in Spawn in 1997. Despite not achieving A-list status, White has built a devoted fanbase and remained active in the industry for nearly three decades.

Glancing at the film’s poster, I thought the film would take the buddy-cop route and focus on the chemistry between White and Rathbone. Unfortunately, The Island does not take the safe and easy course, which is more promising, instead opting to run away from it. The script has the tools to lead some amusing moments of culture shock moments our heroes, but the plot becomes standard issues where nothing is new or intriguing.

White delivers the goods when it comes to beating down the bad guys. However, the plot armor his character has is somewhat distracting. There’s no question that White is a badass, but I would love to see him have a worthy opponent in the form of a Marrese Crump type, who White took on in Welcome to Sudden Death.

Aside from Wayne Gordon and Gillian White, the supporting cast follows typical action movie character stereotypes. Despite having a small role, Jackson Rathbone is prominently featured on the poster. I would have preferred him as the lead villain instead of the actor in the part.

Despite the overall lazy direction and mundane script, I mildly recommend The Island for fans of Jai White as a quick time waster.

Final Grade: C –

The Island hits select theaters, on-demand and digital tomorrow.


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Routine action in The Island

Routine action in The Island