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Thanks to some eagle-eyed Michael Bay aficionados, it appears the action destructaganza auteur may have — how to put this — borrowed a few shots from an action sequence in his 2005 sci-fi action film The Island for a similar chase scene in his latest sci-fi action film, Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Before we get to the scenes in question, however, some context: The Island centers around a mysterious utopian facility, ostensibly set on an island, that is actually (spoiler alert, for anyone who really cares) an elaborate prison for clones created to replace faulty organs. Of course, those clones (i.e. stars Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson) escape; of course, they’re ruthlessly pursued; and, of course, they end up on a flatbed truck stacked high with giant railroad axles, which they release onto the highway, flattening their pursuers’ quasi-futurisitic SUVs like really crunchy pancakes. I saw the film six years ago, and this is really the only scene I can remember from it.

But at least I saw it in theaters. Put bluntly, The Island is the only certifiable belly flop Michael Bay has to his name, opening at No. 5 and ultimately grossing just $35 million in the U.S. (The film did far better internationally, pulling in $127 million.) Perhaps it is why shots from that aformentioned railroad axle sequence in The Island appear to have popped up in Dark of the Moon, which made more in its opening day than The Island did in its entire domestic run. If you haven’t seen Transformers 3 yet and don’t want the sequence in question spoiled for you — and why would you, what are you, a communist? — stop reading now. For the rest of you communists, check out the scenes in question side-by-side and decide for yourself:

It is nice to know Bay is a committed recycler. One other lingering question — Transformers: Dark of the Moon was shot in 3-D, but wouldn’t these shots from The Island have had to have been converted from 2-D into 3-D? Paramount, by the way, has not yet returned a request seeking comment. [/Film]

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  • 143 minutes
  • Michael Bay