I Am Legend (2007) Poster

(2007)

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7/10
I Am Legend: The Movie With So Much Potential That Was Ruined
leoncielo15 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Normally I have an opinion on a movie when it's over, I can reflect on it for a few minutes and then I'm done with. It becomes cataloged in my brain as 'awesome' 'pretty good' 'worst.movie.ever.' or a host of other standard issue classifications.

Not so with 'I Am Legend.' I can't recall the last time I was this frustrated by a movie.

It had so much potential to be so great, and then just fell apart in the last third of the movie with every summer blockbuster/zombie movie cliché known to man, run one after the other.

The movie creates a fantastic atmosphere of post-apocalyptic New York and requires your patience as Will Smith's character begins to unravel as the monsters around him begin to become more aggressive and intelligent. Before heading out to see the movie, I did some research on the book the movie is based on and the reason it is such a well known classic story is because of the twists, perspectives and grim ending. What you find out towards the book is that Neville really is the last man on Earth, and the rest of society are now these zombie/vampires, and Neville's ability to walk around in the daylight and kill them has basically made him the monster. He is the one feared by them, he is the villain, and they will stop at nothing to eradicate this day walker who preys on them.

Keeping that in mind, I was super impressed by how the movie seemed to be heading in that direction with that head Zombie guy's heated animosity towards Neville as if it were personal (and perhaps the zombie Neville captured were his significant other, thus lending the zombies an actual 'society), and not merely 'meee hungry for flesh.' The movie basically went right down the tubes when Will Smith decided after he had to kill his dog that he was going to go on a suicide mission at the docks playing Destruction Derby with his Explorer. All of the haunting, edge-of-your-seat suspense and fear created brilliantly with the scene in the abandoned bank, and with the zombie dogs clamoring for the last sliver of daylight to cede, and creepy subtle atmospheric effects throughout went right out the darn window and we suddenly found ourselves in '28 Days Later.' With some random chick coming out of nowhere to somehow scare off 100 angry zombies (who had just blown his UV truck to hell mind you; but apparently she had outfitted a better one than an incredibly resourceful Military Soldier/Scientist), carry Will Smith, who weighs twice as much as her, into her car, and somehow drive them to safety.

So we find ourselves in an incredibly uncomfortable scenario with the Brazilian chick and her creepy Columbine son, and some Bob Marley metaphors laid on top of terrible dialog. Then, instead of a suspense-ridden in-the-dark atmospheric climax, with heavy breathing, flashes of gore, heart pounding scene, we're left with cheesy CG explosions, zombies body slamming people, no one keeping a gun on them when there's about 50 scattered across the house, and other usual stupid horror/action movie miss-steps.

We finally find ourselves with Neville, back against the wall, Zombie leader separated from Smith's neck by a rapidly deteriorating inch of glass and I'm hoping the movie will be somehow salvaged with a great twist, a grim conclusion, or at worst, a convoluted piece of foreshadowing from the first twenty minutes of the movie being pulled out of the scriptwriters pie hole to be played out here. (I personally thought he could have awakened the zombie girl he was curing and seen if the reaction of the intelligent zombie would have caused a reaction, or if some communication could have been made between Neville and his antagonist who at this point we've come to realize is moderately intelligent). I'm an idiot for expecting anything but 'yo, hide in the chimney while i blow myself up.' Don't even get me started on the Utopian Vermont safe-haven, seriously. You're going to tell me 1 million zombies couldn't overrun some 20 foot walls spanning what would approximate 2 miles of land? Christ. I could have written a better ending in 20 minutes on the back of a cocktail napkin.
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1/10
the bad grammar in the title should be a giveaway
fosterino31 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I have three major gripes about this film, all of which have numerous sub-gripes. The first and most obvious is the extremely terrible quality and extremely high quantity of Computer Generated effects. When I say the effects are bad, I refer to the zombie like "infected," zombie dogs, the deer that roam the streets, the lions that escaped from the zoo, right down to the butterfly that Will Smith's dog looks at. These have to be the worst special effects of the 21st century. Not a single thing is convincing for one second. What's even more puzzling than the inexplicably poor effects is the sheer amount of them. Will Smith captures a zombie and brings it to his lab. Even the body on the table is computer generated. Could they REALLY not get a person to lay on table and do nothing for a few minutes? I'm not the type of person who goes to the movies to see special effects, but when they are so bad as to ruin any suspense or drama by taking you out of the movie, then they are an unquestionably bad part of the film.

All this talk about the "infected" brings me to my second major gripe: the screenplay. Basically, it makes no sense. Never mind that zombies are boring movie villains anyway, but the script attributes a certain set of characteristics to them and they act completely differently from those. Will Smith's character, after an un-scary run in with a pack of them, describes how "social devolution is complete," and that "all traces of human behavior are gone." This would suggest to the viewer that these zombies would have no community, communication, or group mentality, right? WRONG! These zombies are actually kind of the opposite of how the movie describes them. They live and work in groups, have a pretty well defined leader, can coordinate, organize, and execute a pretty elaborate plan to trap Will Smith, and they have apparently managed to domesticate murderous zombie-dogs. Okay, so you'd think these sort of smart zombies aren't that lame after all, right? WRONG AGAIN!! Despite all this, they still fall victim to the trappings of a Hollywood movie that caters to the lowest possible denominator. These infected humans have apparently forgotten how to speak, so instead they run really fast and yell loudly, entering rooms only to tear out the insulation from the wall, or breaking through glass by banging their heads on it, I suppose all in a grand attempt to "scare" the audience.

The script is terrible for reasons other than the "infected" too. Towards the end, two random human survivors show up and "rescue" Will Smith. In the minutes immediately preceding this, the action flashes back to the evacuation of Manhattan, during which all the bridges connecting the island to anywhere else are demolished. The very first shot of the film shows the flooded entrance to the Holland Tunnel. These mysterious survivors brought a car of their own and came from Maryland, so this begs the question HOW THE HELL DID THEY GET HERE? Needless to say, this question is never answered and doesn't really need to be, because these two survivors are so annoying that you'll be praying for them to leave. The kid is the generic creepy type who doesn't say a damn thing, and his mom is the generic "God is killing us all but God can save us" person who exists in all apocalypse-related movies. It also just so happens that these two morons accidentally lead the blood thirsty CG zombies to Will Smith's house. They crash his party, leading to a dumb, clichéd ending that is clearly trying to emulate better films like 28 Days Later or Children of Men.

I guess my third gripe is that the film creates no drama or atmosphere at all. The director resorts to really lame horror movie tricks to "keep the audience on edge," although all he managed to do was keep me from falling asleep. For example, and this is used an awful lot, when Will Smith is closing his windows at night, they make an unnecessarily loud noise. Creepy... He also creates a lot of false tension: when Will Smith is evacuating his family (in a flashback) people are being tested for the killer virus. His wife is marked as infected, but 30 seconds later, after Will screams for a little bit, she is scanned again and this time she's fine. Oh, Francis Lawrence, you sure are a clever one... But perhaps the lamest and most mood- killing flaw like this is how the movie tries to (and fails at) being symbolic or meaningful. Will Smith comparing himself to a Bob Marley song is especially cringe-worthy, but not so much as the false imagery of a butterfly (explaining it would require a lot of effort that I frankly don't want to devote to reviewing a movie as awful as this, so just take my word for it, please.). The only scene that does hold any meaningful drama is when Will Smith has to kill his dog. Even still I can't escape the feeling that the plot device of a dead dog is almost like a "free pass" that the film uses to involve the audience. Nevertheless, when that is the best scene from your movie, you've failed on an epic level.

The saddest part about all this is that the basic premise is actually pretty intriguing, even worse is how Will Smith, who I really like in other movies, is betrayed by the material as he tries to work up the courage to say hello to a mannequin woman.

This movie is just a complete failure, an example of the Law of Diminishing Returns, the phenomenon of getting less output out of more and more input. This movie cost $150 million to make, and is just a shadow of the classic films it wants so desperately to be.
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1/10
I Am A Sucky Film
Joecuba13 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Really bad movie that I wish I hadn't wasted my money on. The plot is so full of hole it's ridiculous: * 3 years into the apocalyptic future, and Neville is driving about in just-waxed cars? How? Fuel oxidises in a few months, and certainly after 3 years would be fairly useless. Guess that doesn't matter? Guess product placement is more important than realism? * Neville has useless 'pastimes' with no explanation. Just juvenile fulfilment? Again, driving shiny fast cars through overgrown NYC. Hitting golf balls of an aircraft wing on top of an aircraft carrier? Hunting deer through the streets? All with no reason or explanation, just playboy fantasy.

*Everyone else has been eaten by the darkseekers or killed by the virus, but Neville somehow has a very flash 'pad' in the middle of the city that hasn't been breached by the night stalkers or looted by others? * The darkseekers purportedly cannot survive cold temperatures, yet have lived in NYC for 3 years where the temperature is minus during the winter. No explanation.

* Houses and stores are neat and dust free... after 3 years? Who is doing the cleaning? * Darkseekers have somehow superhuman skills, and can bound about like small monkeys, hang from the ceiling, and see in pitch dark. Totally out with the bounds of sense for what a virus could do to a human.

* The non-characters Anna and Ethan appear out of nowhere. Did they use a boat? A boat that, presumably, can carry a SUV, as they arrive in Vermont in the same vehicle.

* Anna pulls Neville out of his car wreck and into her car, even though he is twice her weight.

* Neville's home lab is well fitted out, with even a glass fronted 'cage' for restraining the darkseekers, how was this possible in the time leading up to the crisis? Or does everyone who is in the military medical division have their own fully kitted out private lab in the basement of their posh Manhattan home? * Neville is hung upside down by his leg for, presumably, several hours, yet is able to recover, cut himself loose, and regain the use of his foot. His foot would have been severely, probably permanently, damaged by the constriction.

* Somehow Nevilles house has remained a safe haven from the darkseekers for 3 years, yet they are able to breach it by chewing through the ceiling? * Why does Neville sprinkle a liquid on the steps of his home? No explanation.

* Nevilles blood is given to Anna, but not the formula for the cure? Doh! * Anna has heard of Damian Marley but not Bob Marley? Why? * There is more goofs at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0480249/goofs I am sure there are many more blunders, but these are the ones I remember from a day ago.

This film really sucks the big one. As everyone says, the CGI graphic animals and darkseekers are cartoon-like and badly done. The gee-whizz overgrown NYC scenes are OK, but unless you live there, it doesn't really matter. The plot is thin for the first 2/3, then deteriorates rapidly with Anna the 'angel' spreading her gospel. The anti-scientific and pro-Christian undertones are obvious and preachy, and don't help the story at all. The flashbacks are annoying and serve no purpose other than to tell a boring story of how Neville's wife and daughter were killed, and the film fails to make us feel any sympathy at all for them (and shows us no reaction from Neville to the incident). The ending and meaning to the 'legend' is trite and cheesy. The dog dying is cheap emotion. We feel very little sympathy for Neville. There really is so much to dislike about this film. Utter nonsense, not worth watching unless it is shown on TV and you don't mind spending 1 1/2 hours of your life getting annoyed!
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Should have been better
rogerdarlington29 December 2007
The 1954 sci-fi/vampire novel "I Am Legend" by Richard Matheson has now been filmed three times: as "The Last Man On Earth" in 1964 originally scripted by Matheson himself (which I have never seen), as "The Omega Man" in 1971 without the vampire elements (which I have viewed three times), and now with the original title and expensive sets and special effects. This time the seemingly sole survivor of the worldwide pandemic Robert Neville is played by Will Smith who is an actor with real charisma and charm and considerable box office appeal who has beefed himself up for the role.

The main strength of this version is the location shots in a deserted New York City (a move from the Los Angeles of the book and earlier films) and, although the filming of these scenes apparently caused traffic chaos and much anger for local residents, they chillingly set the tone for this dystopian thriller. To see the silent streets around Times Square or South Street Seaport or the lone scientist fishing in the Metropolitan Museum of Art or playing golf on the "USS Intrepid" is to view this heaving metropolis as we have never experienced it before. The German shepherd dog who is Neville's sole companion deserves an honourable mention for showing greater thespian skills than most of the extras and stunt men.

The principal weakness of the movie, however, is the realisation of the surviving victims of the virus. The CGI characters are almost as silly as they are scary but, above all, they are presented as more animalistic than human. "The Omega Man" handled these characters much better presenting them as sad as well as scary. The other serious fault is the lack of clarity in the narrative - at times, it is simply unclear what is happening and why and a longer director's cut would be welcome. Finally the references to Ground Zero and God may play well with American audiences but will not be so resonant to audiences elsewhere in the world.
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5/10
I Am Overrated
Warning: Spoilers
"I Am Legend," an inexplicable remake of the Charlton Heston minor classic "The Omega Man", posits itself as another mass-marketed star vehicle for the always likable Will Smith. Here the mega-star who can do no wrong plays the last man on earth (SPOILER: HE'S NOT!) after a nasty virus wipes out the world population and leaves behind some infected sourpusses in the vein of "28 Days Later". This movie has all the key ingredients for a Will Smith box office behemoth (which no doubt it will be), but fails to engage on any higher level.

Here's the recipe:

1. Will Smith playing Will Smith: No other movie star can be such an egotistical show-off and get away with it as well as Will Smith does. No matter how many times we see him do his funny little bits, show off his buff bod, or watch him stretch his acting muscle with an unnecessary emotional breakdown scene, the audience still loves him. He carries "I Am Legend" and makes it watchable even when he starts doing a "Shrek" impersonation (don't ask) or carries on conversations with mannequins (think Tom Hanks and Wilson the volleyball from "Cast Away").

2. A futuristic setting: The set designers do a fantastic job here with a post-apocalyptic New York tableau that is expansive and eerie and will leave you wondering, "How in blue blazes did they film that?" Sadly, the special effects team and creature designers didn't do a complimentary job. The zombie/vampire/whatever-the-heck-they-are monsters look like something from a second rate video game circa 1999. Given the PG-13 rating, they are only allowed a moderate amount of fun. Gore hounds and horror buffs will be greatly disappointed. Sci-fi fans will also be angered that after a decent set-up, the film devolves into a preachy messianic family-friendly death-fetish film.

3. A kick-ass dog: Remember how everyone rooted for that dog from "Independence Day?" Well, this German Sheperd named Sam puts that dog to shame. However, you know there's a problem when the dog becomes the most dynamic and sympathetic character in a film. I won't carelessly give away what happens to Sam in any explicit detail, but suffice it to say, when two non-characters named Anna and Ethan show up in the film's final moments, you'll be wishing Sam was there to keep it real.

"I Am Legend" offers nothing new but is diverting enough as a matinée. In its depiction of a man and a dog in a post-apocalyptic city, it scores as populist entertainment. As a monster movie, it's a joke. As some sort of end-of-the-world message film, it's abhorrent. But with Will Smith headlining, expect it to be the biggest hit of the holiday season.
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4/10
I Am Disappointed
Kristine14 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I Am Legend was the best looking film release for early December; I was looking forward to it, like many others I am sure. So I saw I Am Legend tonite with my boyfriend, now after the movie we just looked at each other and had that disappointed look and then the audience just looked around and just walked out grunting and I heard nothing but "that was a waste of money". That's definitely not a good thing. I think the problem was definitely the script, the story was not explained well as well as the character development needed improvement. The way that I Am Legend was shot very well, it had a very isolated and cold feeling. Will Smith does a fine job of acting; his best though? Not so much. The story also took a strange turn from Sci-Fi to religion towards the end. Not to mention, was this a zombie film? I don't know, because it was never explained.

Robert Neville is a scientist who is the last man alive in New York City. A cure of cancer has gone horribly wrong and killed off almost 90% of the human population. The cure has turned people rabid and has made them feed on humans. Robert has lost his family in trying to get them out of New York during the evacuation, but he is dedicated to finding a cure for this virus. Along with his only companion, his dog, Samantha, he has to survive this scary and isolated world and try to find the last survivors before he goes insane or gets attacked by these creatures.

I Am Legend had good ideas, like I said, the script just needed major work. Like with Robert's flash backs, it seemed like they just stopped the story at that point and didn't explain how the rest of the population died out and how he was really the ONE and ONLY person who survived New York's virus. I know he said he was immune, but no one else was? Major spoiler: they killed his dog off almost in the beginning of the film which didn't seem right to me. I Am Legend is one of the year's biggest disappointments with me, I guess not everything Will Smith touches is gold. If you want to see I Am Legend, please just expect a lot of confusion and not much of a story, I am very disappointed.

4/10
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1/10
Legendarily Lame Science Fiction Remake!!!
zardoz-1320 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Hollywood has never had much luck adapting science fiction author Richard Matheson's cult 1954 novel "I Am Legend" successfully for the screen. Iconic horror movie star Vincent Price headlined the first version; the Italian-lensed "The Last Man on Earth" (1964) ranked as an austere, but depressing widescreen, black & white epic with vampire/zombies as our hero's antagonists. Call them zompires! Price impersonated a valiant scientist, Robert Morgan, with an acquired immunity to a deadly virus that had devastated mankind. Morgan struggled desperately not only to survive acute loneliness but also to cure the survivors. Full-frame copies of this opus are available everywhere in DVD bargain box sets. Not-surprisingly, Price perished in the end.

Charlton Heston retooled the role for the 1971 remake, "The Omega Man," released by Warner Brothers. Heston turned immunologist Robert Neville into a brawny, bare-chested, romantic, action stud hero who cavorted in a blue flight suit with a dress uniform cap complete with scrambled eggs on the visor. Watch "The Omega Man" and see if Neville doesn't resemble a Marvel Comics character. Naturally, Heston brought the messianic allure that he had gained from "The 10 Commandments" and "Ben-Hur" to the role. Along the way, Heston's Neville indulged in one of the first interracial big-screen romances with African-American actress Rosalind Cash. An army of heavily robed, non-vampiric mutants led by Matthias (Anthony Zerbe) triumphed over him, and he died tragically as a misunderstood Christ figure.

Will Smith fares even worse in the third and least well-done version, "I Am Legend" which finally uses the original title of Matheson's novel. Essentially, Smith imitates the Heston hero as a weapons reliant action hero/virologist. They differ in how they contend with loneliness. Heston played chess with a bust of Julius Caesar and fed images of himself via a surveillance camera onto a big-screen television. Smith's Neville dresses up mannequins at a local video rental store and converses with them when he selects a movie. Unlike both Price and Heston, Smith doesn't enjoy a post-apocalyptic romance. Instead of female companionship, Smith has to settle for a German shepherd; canine lovers are warned ahead of time to expect the worst. Even when a woman, Anna (Alice Braga of "City of God"), does show up near the end, our hero doesn't take the time to sweep her off her feet.

Generally, the problem with all three movies is that the star has to bear the movie on his shoulders for the brunt of the action. Remember that hideous Tom Hanks' movie "Castaway?" Half of "I Am Legend" looks like "Castaway" with Will Smith performing monologues devoid of humor. Sadly, despite a strong performance, Smith has to confront adversaries that neither Price nor Heston contended with—namely, colorless, chrome-domed, computer-generated cannibals. "I Am Legend" forfeits any semblance of dramatic impact, much as "I, Robot" did, with its cartoon-like CGI villains. Smith wages an eternal war against video game antagonists who cannot speak, making them dim-witted, lowest-common-denominator dolts.

"I Am Legend" opens on an ironic note. Scientists have discovered a cure for cancer. Things go incredibly amiss, however, and Dr. Krippen (an unbilled Emma Thompson of "Sense and Sensibility") winds up unleashing a man-made virus in the year 2009 that transforms humanity into homicidal mutants that plunder and destroy everything in sight. Incidentally, these mutants don't appear until midway in the movie after scenarists Mark Protosevich of "Poseidon" and Akiva Goldman of "Batman & Robin" have established Smith's character and his predicament. The filmmakers rely on occasional flashbacks to fracture that storyline and show how Smith became the last man on Earth. We learn that his wife (Salli Richardson of TV's "Eureka") and daughter (Smith's real-life daughter Willow) died in a helicopter collision around the same time that the military quarantined Manhattan Island and sealed off access to it. The military destroy the two landmark Big Apple bridges, but Neville (Will Smith) vows to remain at ground zero and devise a cure.

Three years later, in 2012, Neville and his dog venture outside by day to search for non-infected survivors as well as to forage for food and lock themselves up at night. In an early scene, Neville hunts for fresh meat by pursuing escaped zoo animals through the cluttered, weed-choked canyons of Manhattan in a red Ford Mustang with a high powered rifle. He watches old television shows that he has recorded before the apocalypse while he eats. The mutants themselves are not very interesting. In "Last Man on Earth," the mutants were vampire/zombies that besieged the hero's house at night. In "The Omega Man," the villains were the equivalent of albino Klansmen that terrorized the streets after dark and clashed constantly with Neville.

Like the previous versions, "I Am Legend" delivers a dour, downbeat ending that will bum you out beyond belief. The special effects are shoddy and superficial; the villains emerge as a mob of one-dimensional, head-banging morons, and the hero degenerates into an ignoble, unsympathetic, atheistic lout. There is nothing exciting or suspenseful about our hero's late-night encounter with the mutants on the docks where he uses his SUV as a weapon to smash them. Even more implausible is the way that he gets out of this cliffhanger confrontation. "Constantine" director Francis Lawrence provides several startling, gotcha-by-the-gullet, scare scenes that will frighten the squeamish, but seasoned gorehounds won't find anything different or dazzling about this drivel.

Will Smith's track record with science fiction is faltering badly these days. "I Am Legend" is nowhere near as memorable or entertaining as either "Independence Day" or his "Men in Black" movies. Instead, "I Am Legend" is legendarily lame!
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1/10
Disturbing Pattern Here
indigoazure24 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This is yet another movie where scientist create or do something bad that threatens to kill all people on the planet and then somehow end up getting a pat on the back for "saving us all" at the end.

This is yet another psychopathic fantasy. How is it not psychopathic to imagine someone creating mass death beyond belief and then being regarded as a hero for "kinda" fixing what they caused in the end? So if I strangle a family of 10 then go around and revive them all with CPR, would I then be a hero, my crimes forgotten after that? Come on people!!

And why so many movies where there is an "infection" of rage? If writers are trying to make a point about our out of control violent society then why does the rest of the movie end up as some psychopathic fantasy about the nobility of man?

And of course there is also trend of every horror, thriller, suspense movie turning into some kind of religious brainwashing session. It always comes down to some ol' silly god-mess even if it doesn't even fit anywhere in the storyline. Which is just what happened in this film. It was just some random "insert god here" mess.

This movie was long and boring. How shocking. And I'm sorry, CG monsters and animals are lame. They always will be. Seemed like every shot in the movie looked the same. There is also some foolishness I'd like to point out.

1. How was this woman and her son REALLY able to get will smith out of that overturned car with those things around? 2. How can he beg a dummy to talk to him but then bug out when there are real people around? 3. Was this part written for Tom Hanks? 4. Why was his daughter such an annoying idiot? 5. Why do we have to see Will Smith half naked in every movie since he did Ali? 6. What were his plans for the deer he was chasing around forever? 7. How did that woman get to Vermont? 8. Why didn't he just shoot the aggressive thing in the head, then chuck the grenade through the hole for the rest of them, and jump in the oven thing real quick?

Whatever.
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3/10
very disappointing
fuzzhead7221 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I must admit that I was looking forward to this movie, since I had read the book about 6 months ago, before I even knew about the upcoming movie. As such, I probably had high expectations.

I was especially interested in seeing it since it was: A) one of the few books where the main character dies in the end, and B) one of the few times where the entire human race is destroyed at the end of the story. In the book version, humanity is completely wiped out, and a new race of mutant vampires takes humanity's place in the world.

Not much of that is present in the movie. Oh, sure, there are zombie mutants. Yes, they come out at night. However, it is only alluded to that they could be becoming more resistant to light - that aspect of the movie is not explored, as it is in the book.

One of the main plot points they left out of the movie was the fact that one of Neville's co-workers had become infected, returned from the dead, or what have you - in other words, he was a vampire. Every night, he would come out of hiding and scream Neville's name, trying to get him to come out. It was obvious that his co-worker remembered some things about Neville and their life together. This whole aspect was ignored in the film.

Another main point of the book was where the vampires used drugs to make one of their woman look more like a regular human, and sent her in to spy on Neville. This was one of the scariest parts of the book to me, when he realized she wasn't human, but he had trusted her, and let her into his life.

Finally, the worst part of the film was how they twisted the meaning of the book. In the book, the vampires finally capture Neville, and sentence him to death. He doesn't give them the satisfaction, opting to take some poison pills and commit suicide instead. However, before he dies, he learns that he will always be the stuff of legend to the new race of mutant vampires - he will always be remembered as the awful "last man", in stories told to children - about how he came in the day while people slept, and killed entire families of vampires.

The twisted ending of the movie, where he manages to find a cure and save humanity, almost seems like they changed the ending after shooting one more like the book. It's probably a change forced by the studio heads, in order to make the ending more acceptable to the everyday person. Instead, a bunch of people stood up and laughed at the ending in the theater where I was watching it. I really can't recommend this movie to anyone who has read the original book. In fact, I wouldn't recommend it to any of my friends or relatives, either. The movie doesn't really get what the book was trying to relate.
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1/10
Just Terrible
sdede230 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The religious message that this film tries to shove down your throat is just disgusting. The implication that scientists don't know what they are doing and are the cause of the troubles of society is just ludicrous and wrong.

The fact that it is only when he gives into faith that Neville is truly ably to sacrifice himself to save the human race (sound familiar?) is a complete joke that happens in about 4 minutes of movie time and isn't developed at all.

(Want to see a true Christ symbol? Watch Cool Hand Luke Mr. Lawrence!)

Lastly; the final shot of the big doors opening upon a church steeple and salvation made me want to vomit. As if faith and god are all that can save us from the evils of science. This is just total crap movie making.

To have even approached the themes of Mathison's novella is way more than director Francis Lawrence is capable of. Instead he goes off on his own religious crusade.

Oh yeah and finally: The CGI on this film was terrible!! I couldn't tell if those were vampire monsters or Goofy from Disney.
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5/10
A mixed bag
atredbaron13 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Just finished a pre-screening here and I'm actually pretty disappointed. The first half of the movie was great and started to build something interesting despite the glaring lack of any background regarding the story. Yes, I realize that you get a few flashbacks but the writers decided not to include any flashbacks of how the disease started, no clips of people progressing through the stages of illness, in essence, everything that led to the point Will Smith ultimately arrived at.

*SPOILER ALERT* While this certainly was a drawback, it is nothing compared to the non-events that surrounded the relationship between Smith's character and what seemed to be the head of the vampire/zombie/darkstalkers. Just as the plot was beginning to develop between them, the film took an epic dive right around the time Smith's dog died. There was absolutely no further development and even though the darkstalkers seem to show some intelligence and evolution, the movie is concluded with their leader banging his head against the glass and screaming like an idiot. It all leads to an ending that seems like a cop-out and left me feeling wholly unsatisfied. *End Spoilers*

There were definitely some great parts, the cinematography was fantastic and the computer generated scenes of a dilapidated and "uninhabited" New York were amazing. It most certainly was scary and there were times that made me jump though the animation on the darkstalkers was not particularly impressive; in fact, it reminded me a lot of the movie "The Mummy" with Brendan Frasier. Smith once again proved himself a very capable and believable actor. The first half is great, though the second will definitely leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. My advice: leave halfway through and you won't be disappointed!
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Excellent until it starts moving the narrative beyond a concept and stumbles and falls badly
bob the moo17 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Cancer has been cured by genetically modifying the measles virus to benefit mankind – the results are impressive. However the downside is that the virus mutates killing 90% of humanity, turning 9% into light-phobic monsters and leaving only 1% untouched due to natural immunity. Robert Neville is one of that 1% and also the military biochemist charged with stopping the virus but he has failed and now is the only person alive in what remains of NYC. Working on a cure in his basement and broadcasting fruitlessly into the sky, Neville spends his days surviving and his nights hiding.

Despite my fear of most zombie style films, I came to I Am Legend drawn mostly by the interest in the effects. Having been impressed by an empty London in 28 Days Later, I was curious to see what more money could do. In terms of impact the answer is "the same" but in terms of scale it is "much more". New York looks amazing and even those who only know it from films will feel the emptiness of the place. The irony is that, due to the sheer scale of it, visually it looks "unreal" whereas the smaller scale 28 Days Later was just plain eerie as it involved nothing generated by computer. This will sound like a criticism but it is not because I do think that this sense of emptiness is the thing that makes I Am Legend excellent for part of the running time.

The effects are only part of it but roundly the delivery makes this aspect work. The plot sits back and lets us just be with Neville in his isolation and semi-madness; talking to manikins, treating his dog as a child and so on. This is greatly helped by a performance from Will Smith that is close to towering; he is utterly convincing in his character and the film brings us an understand of his situation gradually. As we get used to his eccentric lifestyle, the reality is brought home in a moment where he goes from sun to a sweat soaked scene in a dark room, a brilliant moment where we the audience experience the fear he is living with first hand.

So why is the film itself not brilliant? Well, this comes down to the second half or so where the writers start to take steps to bring out a narrative that will go somewhere in the traditional sense rather than exploring the character of Neville as its sole reason for being. In doing this the script made many jumps that were convenient, illogical or just plain lazy and it is disappointing. Bear in mind that this is a film that had managed to convince me that the majority of humanity was dead due to Emma Thompson, the man responsible for finding the cure was one of the few left alive and that New York was completely empty – I never questioned any of this so how much of a dropped ball is it to suddenly introduce a narrative that has the audience looking at each other saying "yeah right"? It is not as bad as I make it sound though because at this point the action steps up and provides sufficient noise and explosions that perhaps many viewers will find themselves distracted away from the problems with the story telling. However these are too obvious and too big and contrast badly with the patience and emptiness of the first half and, with the rush to a conclusion the film does really feel like the majority of the work was done on the concept and this plot was an afterthought. The writers don't help themselves with some of the dialogue anyway. Having got it so perfect with so little early on, a massive shoehorn is used to get Bob Marley in there – one of several things that conspire to undermine all the good character development that had been done in the first half.

Overall though the film is worth seeing. The first half is very impressive thanks to patience, special effects and a very strong turn from Smith. Sadly the second half lets it all down as the plot devices used to provide a tradition flow and ending are clumsy and unconvincing and the noisy action sequences that are produced didn't manage to distract me from them.
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1/10
I am waste of time and money
jack-96421 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I am legend is a very predictable story of what happens when an engineered cure for cancer turns malign. The resulting virus, which mostly resembles rabies, kills most of the population worldwide, except for some 500 million that turn into... of course, a sort of werewolves that feed on the remaining million that are immune. This in itself is a very worn out and unrealistic theme by now and the werewolf angle only makes it more silly.

Our 'hero' is living in the remains of a big city (NY) and luckily for us he is a biological engineer working for the military. In his house he has a laboratory (¿) to find a cure, which he has time for, when he is not out shooting deer, weredogs and -wolves, or is engaged in another boring 'activity'. The dramatic height of the movie is when his dog dies, which had about the same impact on me as when i see i stepped on an ant; boring. There is hardly any character development and well, it's Will Smith, which usually plays Will Smith. The acting is mediocre, at best.

The camera-work is less than mediocre. There are too many scenes that play in the dark, so you can just guess whats going on, which is not so hard, because its all terribly predictable. They spent way too much money on the making of this movie, for it to look so bad. It may be nice if you live in NY to see what your city would become, but to me that means nothing. (and why is there a Lockheed SR71 blackbird on an aircraft carrier? The thing can't land there and they've been out of use for quite a while now *edit* i found it is Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, in NY. Nice if you live in NY and know these things, otherwise useless *end edit*). I watch a movie to see nice images, not 15 minutes of utter darkness...

The end comes pretty hastily with a few narrated lines that should give the whole thing meaning. Should, but doesn't. Along the way there are a few lines that attempt to give it some depth, as in philosophical truths or meaning of which the best is: 'I didn't do it, we did', i want to reply; 'no really, you did!'

I think they tried to copy the i robot feel-style with the music of Bob Marley (Was stevie wonder in I Robot) and they added an anecdote of Bob to give it some 'depth'. Bob was great at making music, but that doesn't imply he was a great philosopher. In the Netherlands we have Johan Cruyff, maybe you heard of him; an ex great football (soccer) player which tends to say things in the media. So now he is quoted for his 'wise' saying: "Every disadvantage has it's advantage" (pronounced with Amsterdam accent for dramatic effect). Goes to show that someone great in one field isn't necessarily great in another.

As for humor, there isn't any. I think they tried a few times... "I wanted to save the bacon".... but... no.

Very, very disappointing movie. I even wanted to stop watching a number of times, but didn't because i kept hoping a movie with Will Smith in it would get better at some point. It only got worse.

My advise: You can miss this one. There are a lot of better movies already made about virus outbreaks and apocalypses. Watch one of those again, saves money and its less boring. Unless of course you want to be apocalypticly bored.
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9/10
Really well acted, well done film
kergrease14 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
At first, I thought that this movie would be okay at best, abysmal at worst. But I was pleasantly surprised to see Will Smith, "Robert Neville," give a spectacular performance, full of emotion and anger, and bordering a bit on the insane side. I take off points only because it seems like a film that's been done before (and it has, I know, but I don't mean literally). What sets it apart from the rest of the post-apocalyptic man made human killing virus that zombifies people films is the depth of Will Smith's character. With cross-cuts to dreams and the portrayal of Robert Neville's loneliness, the audience connects with him on both a deep mental level and a more surface level driven by pathos. You both laugh and cry with him, you jump out of your seat when he gets scared, and you cheer for him throughout. I walked in expecting a zombie shoot-em-up and settled into something much more thought provoking and intense. It wasn't perfect, but it certainly deserves a look, even if you're not into the whole undead thing.
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6/10
Surface is great, but...
dkerwood15 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This film could easily have filled 2.5 hours of content. Why did it only last 1.5? I want more back story. I want more character development, especially toward the end. I want to know more about what happened, and how Will Smith's character is dealing with it. In short, I just want MORE.

All in all, this film left me feeling a lot like I did in Spider-Man 3: A lot happened, but none of it was really EXPLAINED.

It's a shame, really, because the concept is golden... and Will Smith's films usually feel quite epic and full. I'll definitely pick up the novel... hopefully it will give me the depth that I want.
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1/10
I am Lame
Ozzy20006 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This should be renamed "I am Lemon" as it is just another really stupid Zombie movie. Will Smith plays the main character, Robert Neville, and is supposed to be one of the few surviving humans who happens to be a Military Scientist. One assumes he is naturally immune but then he takes a blood sample from an almost cured zombie as a last salvation for the human race to use to save itself. It does not medically or scientifically make any sense. Neville discovery that he is not the last human survivor of the earth's population six billion when another survivor saves him is the most pathetic part of the film. His behavior is at this stage is juvenile inarticulate and mentally challenged and sinks to its lowest point when he attempts to sum up human civilization with a Bob Marley Album.

The alpha Zombie like the one in "Resident Evil: extinction" bears amazing resemblance to Midnight Oil's Pete Garret and appears to be as Manic. The aggressive Zombie dogs are also taken from the first Resident Evil. If you are into the usual gory scenes of human flesh eating frenzies and screaming zombies and the usual scenes of major cities evacuated and dead then see this one for your entertainment.

I have given this one star for the performance by the German shepherd, "Sam" , that lifted the dull acting of the other characters.I now know who played Sam in"I am Lemon" it was Abby and Will Smith try to buy the dog when he finished the film but great actors are not for sale so Will will just have to go to Drama school.

As for all the other reviewers who thought this was a great movie you must all be as thick as a brick or have really simple minds.

Finally I think that Abby should win an Oscar for acting since he will be against Russel "flabby two expressions" Crowe.
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1/10
What?
lankymania16 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This was like Spike Lee directing a George Romero movie that could have been an hour shorter. All of the "infected" looked like Gollum from Lord of the Rings mixed with Beowulf. If the flashbacks were framed near the beginning, maybe I would have cared if he was alone. With the lack of soundtrack, it made the movie drag on like it was four hours long and do we need to place the camera on Will Smith for two minutes, watching him stare at nothing? He only has about two expressions in his repertoire anyway. This movie could have been great but it was edited all weird and could have used some music to heighten his alone time to pull us into his miserable world. If you want to see the concept done correctly, in my opinion, check out The Last Man on Earth with Vincent Price. Same thing done well. Or even Omega Man with Charlton Heston. They were actually more real and scarier, just another example of Hollywood putting style over substance to give The Fresh Prince an Oscar nod.
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1/10
First review ever written. Worst movie.
athihor29 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
*contains spoilers*

This is the first movie I ever cared to review, but it's also one of the worst I've seen. So in ways... It really deserves this. Sorry if my English isn't all perfect, I'm from Denmark, but doing my best.

This is a movie full of odd plot holes and one of the most disappointing endings I've ever seen. The director has got to be more stupid, than what he THINKS we viewers are.

It starts out nicely, I was quite excited to watch this flick, the trailer looked decent. Tho, I already feared that the CGI in it would be rather bad. I sat down in the cinema, leaned back, and hoped for a clever and somewhat chilling movie, about the end of humanity, about the legend this last man would become, in his affords to live trough the end.

....movie starts....

The deer hunt seemed clever in the start, the man needs food! Sure!... But later you see how damn much food he has stored in his house, why would he care to hunt deer? Why waste surely precious gasoline on a car like that when it's not needed at all? Then the lions came, and we get close to the animals.. And what is this I see? CRAPPY CGI?? It's deer! It's lions! No need for CGI! It looks worse than what you on The Discovery Channel, in their "Dinosaur" programs. Quickly you see more bad CGI coming at you, ugly zombie/the mummy/vamps. *Sigh* Just dress up a few skinny or toned people, and you would get a much scarier result than these (brownish?) Hulks. A vampire mask from Toys'r'us is more frightening.

We see a lot of half decent acting from Smith, then more crappy CGI. Some nasty shots of Smith working out. More crappy CGI (Now with crappy CGI dogs, that seem taken out of Resident Evil 1) The best actor (The REAL dog) dies... And then the movie turns from being a decent action movie, to a Christian propaganda film.

Smith gets hurt in a revenge rampage on the ugly CGI monsters, and some Christian girl, with the amazing superpower to somehow scare all the monsters away, saves him.. Smith blackouts, sees a little cross hanging around for a while, then wakes up too meet a woman and some kid who magically came to Manhattan, can drive around in the middle of the night, and seem completely healthy, WOW!. Some imaginary character from a 2000 years old fairy tale (God) seems to tell this woman his grand plan, how to find Smith and where to find more people, even a safe-place of sorts, I bet she can see the face of Jesus in that bacon she makes as well. Smith (the none believer) makes some clever points about how sucky this plan of God seems. "KILL 99% of all people, also innocent kids (especially innocent kids!), save few?.. Ah. I'm a frigging genius!!"

Great plan...

Anyhow.. Ofcause everything she says turn out to be 100% true God is REAL!!! (Yeah, as real as those damn CGI zombies)... Proof? Smith sees a butterfly on some broken glass and a butterfly tattoo the Christian nuts neck... (I thought tattoos where a symbol of Satan?)

He then decides to become a martyr? Yes. He goes Jihad on those evil CGI zombies, that don't understand him and don't want a cure, those evil zombies made by a evil British scientist...

Amazingly, it seems Smith kills ALL the zombies with that grenade, because the Christian woman seems safe and snug in that little hiding place of hers all night... (Actually, how will she get out? Does that place he locked her inside really have a doorknob on the inside? Wouldn't that be like making a handle and lock INSIDE a oven or fireplace? (Just in chance that you hide in them?) In the end she... Drives away from Manhattan??? In that same truck she started of with? How the heck is that even possible? Does she have a private boat or is that "God" teleporting her around all this time?

Who knows?? But in the happy happy ending we get our share of a lovely white Church, stars and stripes, and even this whole Amish like village, God told the Christian nut about in the first place.... And of cause playing happy kids and a fluffy dog! Awesome...

The End.

Morale: 1.Don't waste you money this movie. 2.Don't trust God if you're an innocent kid.
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1/10
Way to COMPLETELY change/ruin the original novel "I Am Legend."
Andrew15 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Basically this film changes the main character COMPLETELY, deletes EVERY OTHER character from the novel, ends with Neville being a hero rather than an ANTIHERO, contains a dog in a completely changed way from the novel, and ADDS all other characters completely NOT in the book. Also, Neville's family is killed in a helicopter crash in the film. In the book, his wife returns from the dead as a vampire and Neville visits her in the mausoleum nearly every day. He longs to be with her. His daughter too dies from the plague of the disease.

Read the novel. Skip the movie.

If this had been called anything other than "I Am Legend" I would have given it maybe 3 stars to begin with...but since it stole he namesake of a great, great novel only to let me down more than The Lost World did... 1 star. Rent it if you are THAT bored sometime...
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8/10
An acting buffet of Will Smith
Anthony Taylor14 December 2007
If I could sum this movie up in one sentence, it would be this: Go Will. Will Smith is the driving force of I Am Legend. His performance as Dr. Robert Neville is impeccable. Living in a deserted NY city, his acting is reminiscent of Tom Hanks in Cast Away, but instead of a volleyball, he has mannequins and a faithful German Shepard named Sam. His basement, a retro-fitted, high-tech lab to find a cure for the disease that has turned the population of the entire planet into mutant, zombie-like, hive mind, blood-thirsty monsters, and, for some reason, Robert is immune. His days, spent hunting. His nights, sleeping with a high-powered rifle and hoping that the mutants don't find him. Keeping the movie flowing are well placed flashbacks that show what happened to Robert's family and why he is there. The movie falters a bit at the end, maybe at the last 5 minutes, but it doesn't ruin the plot or acting put forth. Containing wonderful cinematography and CG, I Am Legend is a spectacular film that I will be seeing again! PS - Shout out to my NY National Guardsmen in this film! Great job!
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8/10
"Legend" really separates itself from all other post-apocalyptic films.
The_Angry_Critic14 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Is it me, or does every movie that portrays the future, it's always some post-apocalyptic setting or the fall of man with man itself to blame? Not a lot to look forward to is it? Anyways, after years of being let down by so called scary zombie/virus movie genres and other blockbuster thriller debacles, "I Am Legend" really separates itself from the group.

Without giving too much way, Will Smith plays a sole survivor of a world dominating virus created by man that was originally created to cure cancer. Three years into the "new" world, Smith (who was a former doctor) dedicates his life to survival, finding a cure....and talking to mannequins. In order to find a cure he seeks out the infected, who only come out at night, and hoping to correct man's mistake.

"Legend" was the first truly scary movie I've seen in some time. Realism is the main factor in scary movies in my opinion. If it can happen, than that's pretty scary. Also, Smith's portrayal of despair and borderline insanity of three years of seclusion added to the effect. With the exception of his dog, Smith had no live contact with constant failure attempts of his cure only leading to his insanity. It had a "Cast Away" feel to it with his dog as to Hank's volleyball and his house reminding you of that stranded island.

The action/suspense scenes coupled with superb sound direction were also heart pounding and unexpected which added to the "scare" factor. Whenever Smith engaged with the zombie-like survivors, there was that claustrophobic feeling that I haven't felt since "Alien." My only real complaint was the overuse of CGI over real actors for these characters, but with their speed and strength that these things showed if may have not been possible.

"Legend" overall is one of the better movies of 2007 and a must see. Not Oscar-worthy by any stretch of the imagination, but it's certainly entertaining, realistically tense and maybe even thought provoking.
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3/10
I Am Computer Generated
jonautopsy17 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
First off, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one disappointed with this movie.

For as much hype as their was, this movie is only just over an hour and a half long. With a movie that could quite easily be an epic, you'd expect more. The movie watching audience is used to hour and a half movies. Let's save that time span for comedies, can we?

What's with the CG creatures throughout this movie? The animals I can understand. But when you're looking at all the "villians" in this movie, they look lousy. I only say this because they could easily have been portrayed by humans but instead they're computer generated. Why? I have no clue. Emotions can be shown so much stronger through humans. With CG, I don't feel any connection to the character(s) because I know that I'm watching a non-real figure and, hence, I start not caring as much as I would. How hard would it have been to make the close ups on the creatures be humans in makeup? Not at all and it would have been fantastic!

I was somewhat bored with this movie and I just didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would have. The movie industry seems to be relying too much on CG to fill in holes and when it's a hole as big as what is the main focus of I Am Legend, it's embarrassing to see monsters that are almost cartoon-like.

Sorry guys, I'm just not impressed with CG, anymore. Bring back the humans.
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8/10
Gut-wrenching movie full of adventure and heart
Charles Delacroix14 December 2007
I just saw this movie today, the day it opened here. And was deeply, deeply moved.

I've got to start with the scenes of a deserted New York City post-apocalypse. These were so very, very moving; and very, very convincing. The clips in the trailers for the movie were good, but you really have to see the full panoply of close-up shots, distance shots, etc to really appreciate the sheer scale of what this movie is depicting. There's something of On the Beach and Resident Evil and of any number of disaster movies and zombie movies here. But none of them do justice to the New York depicted here. This is a New York City we see large-scale and micro-scale in order to show us the environment in which the main character is acting.

And Will Smith is simply brilliant as the sole survivor, Robert Neville. Will delivers movingly and convincingly on a script that really focuses on giving us a picture of "what it would be like" ... to be the last man on earth, living off the land in NYC. This is the real strength of this movie: there's really not a lot of blood or gore or zombie scenes at all. Yet I was riveted as Robert goes through his "typical days" in NYC. Every moment was full of pathos and full of menace, too. And occasionally we got some relief from Smith's trademark humor that blended seamlessly with the rest of his performance to give us "what it would be like" with a powerful delivery that just leaves me almost breathless.

There's an effective use of flashbacks that partly tell us the story of how we got to where we're at in this grim New York City; and the flashbacks also serve to give us an overwhelming contrast between Life Before and Life After the apocalyptic disaster wiped out the city. Yet use of flashback was sparing, which I found all the more effective.

Cinematography was excellent throughout, the storyline and script are brilliant, the use of a dog, Samantha, as a key actor was perfect to show us both Robert as companion and Robert as lonely, isolated survivor.

I won't give away the ending, but think it was satisfying as far as it goes, but not nearly as appealing, from my angle, as the foregoing material. That brings up my one complaint: the title. By the end of the movie, we have some sense of the meaning of the title. Yet it still seems to me to feel cheesy and really unworthy of the movie.

But that's a minor plaint. If you haven't seen this movie, and would enjoy seeing a really powerful story about a survivor in post-apocalypse New York City, hey, go check out this flick. It's really worth it.
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5/10
First half good, second half embarrassing.
john_sinbad28 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Having seen some promising trailers I today decided to go and see I Am Legend. The film kicks off with a newscaster interviewing a scientist about what is thought to be a cure for cancer. The scientist's amateurish method of helping the layman understand how the cure actually works - using the simile of a car and its driver - made me wonder whether the film would persist with this kind of dumbing down.

We are then taken instantly to the post-apocalyptic New York in which Robert Neville (Will Smith) lives. Just about everyone has either died or contracted some sort of zombie-ism because of KV, a virus originating from the genetically-modified measles virus which was used to try and cure cancer. This part having been brought in so soon you are hoping that the director will be able to quickly establish the sense of complete human absence, and at first the broken skyscrapers and the overgrown grass make you think that yes this is will make a nice backdrop for Will Smith to do his thing. But then come the zoo animals, the first of many CGI cock ups that this film will probably become famous for one day. We have deers, lions and, well, a distracting, generic looking computer-generated animal that looks like a cross between a bear and a liger.

Will Smith's interaction with his dog companion Sam is probably the best thing about the film, and it all happens within the first half hour or so. Will Smith does a very good job of conveying Neville's dependence on Sam for interaction and companionship, especially in an amusing scene involving Neville giving Sam a dog bath while listening to Bob Marley's 'Three Little Birds' (every little thing's gonna be alright).

During the first half of the film we are every now and then treated to a few emotionally charged flash backs that detail the evacuation of Manhattan and the separation of Neville from his family. A particularly touching scene involves a woman and her child frantically trying to beat the checkpoint despite the fact that she is infected.

The first interaction with a zombie occurs when Sam takes a detour through a dark area of town and into some building. Neville enters the building himself to rescue his friend and soon comes face to face with a horde of horrifically tame looking CGI zombies. An unflattering close-up of one the zombie's faces reveals every last computer-generated flaw, from their ridiculously fast animation frame rate to their laboured and drawn out facial expressions. Every time a zombie appears in this film you can't help but think you're playing a first-generation Xbox 360 game.

The final decent scene of the film has Neville hanging upside from a trap, and he and Sam have to escape from a tactical ambush that the zombies had planned out. Sam gets bitten by one of the zombie dogs while protecting his master and contracts KV, thus marking the end of a decent first half of the film.

Neville takes a mortally wounded Sam back to his home and holds him in his arms. A few moments of silence occurs and I thought to myself right there and then "I bet any second now, Will Smith will start singing Three Little Birds," and just as if by magic Will Smith read my mind and decided to give a broken, 'emotional' performance of that very song. If you had to state an exact point in the film at which the quality suddenly took a turn for the worse, this was it. A whole scene exhibiting a cringe-worthy caricature of the relationship that carried the first portion of the film. Neville then strangles his zombie-infected dog to death, but instead of seeing this scene we are treated to a two minutes mini-film of Will Smith's gurning face.

More fights with zombies in the dark ensue, and then out of nowhere Neville is saved by a woman called Anna who had responded to a radio message that Will had sent out. Her plan is to reach Vermont to live in a survivor's refuge community. Anna takes Neville back to his place and makes him a Sunday morning fry up. The film's director suddenly decides to remove all of the social skills and optimism that Neville had evidentially maintained in his interactions with his dog and have him turn into an unsympathetic and hopeless loser.

The film's biggest 'sin' is the utterly blunt pro-Christian subtext that is introduced after Sam's death. When Neville is saved, we see his rescuer's cross necklace dangle before his eyes. Later, we see some of Neville's wounds: punctures on his wrists. Then a chat between Anna and Neville reveals that Anna believes that God sent her there and that God will save them. In the second to last scene, Neville hands Anna a gourde containing the antidote to KV that he created in his laboratory, sends her out into the world and then becomes a martyr by hurling himself into a mob of computer-generated zombies, a scene that draws allegorical parallels with Jesus in the bible sacrificing himself to save mankind. Anna's journey from Brazil through the east coast of the America's locating survivors represents the Christian preaching work, and her eventual arrival at Vermont represents the ascendancy to heaven: the first building we see behind the huge gates is a Christian church.

Now I'm not saying that Christianity is a bad thing, or even that pro-Christian subtext in a film is a bad thing. What's bad is the fact that the subtext is so unsubtle that even Christians would take offence. The soliloquy that closes the film might as well say, "Christianity is the only answer to all of life's problems".

Too long; didn't read? First half is good, second half is an embarrassing glurge fest, and both halves are virtually ruined by laughable CGI.
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