Scarlett Johansson 2.0

Photo: Dan Macmedan/Conoturphotos

Hollywood movies about cloning have always been so negative. From the cloned Hitlers of The Boys From Brazil to the cloned evil nose in Sleeper to that rude runt Mini-Me, cloning in movies has always been bad, bad, bad. (No wonder senators are scared of stem cells.) So thank God—or science or, at least, special effects—for someone as crass as Michael Bay.

Bay, after all, was able to find sunny morals in such grim fare as Armageddon and Pearl Harbor, and this summer finds him, in The Island (July 22), cheerily exploiting the most obvious silver lining in the prospect of human duplication: that no self-respecting nerdy scientist in a dingy lab who dreams up the ultimate clone would waste his time producing a smaller version of himself, à la Dr. Evil. No, if at all possible, he will replicate the impossibly beautiful Scarlett Johansson. And (especially if he’s seen Obi-Wan’s impressive full-monty in Young Adam) the impossibly handsome Ewan McGregor.

I mean, c’mon: Once you’ve achieved true mastery of the genetic code, who would follow the traditional Hollywood playbook, cloning a creepy kid (as Robert De Niro did in Godsend), a freakish army (as George Lucas did in Attack of the Clones), or a grope-happy governor-to-be (Schwarzenegger in The 6th Day), when the world could be populated with stunning Johanssons and McGregors?

Though the plot of The Island—clones liberate themselves from a clone farm—sounds all too Matrix-y, it’s hard not to love Bay’s clone cast. And to hope that in some future blockbuster summer, we’ll be able to purchase the ultimate McGregor and Johansson action-figures: our very own take-home clones.

Scarlett Johansson 2.0