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I Am Legend
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23 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Disgrace

1/10
Author: Ostrakosmos from Ulm, Germany
13 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After having seen this movie, I wonder which hardline-evangelical pressure-group sponsored it.

This is no longer to be called a Hollywood-movie. It really is a blunt, plain fundamental-Christian, evangelical propaganda-piece of the worst kind.

What does this movie want to tell us? The Apocalypse is close! It is, of course, depicted as divine judgement of a wrathful and revenging god. The survivors are, of course, lost unless they take resolve in faith. And, in the end, the heavenly Jerusalem where the survivors find refuge, of course looks remarkably like a 19th-century Amish village - with a picturesque wooden chapel in the middle and surrounded by a concrete wall like the one which the Israelis built to confine the Palestinians. So, this is what the future looks like, according to the makers of this film?!?

It's such a pity!

Additional flaws: The opening is the most pathetic, most overdone product-placement sequence in recent years. And, finally, the man-eating human mutants - pathetic, once again. Having superhuman physical power, but unable to talk, their only feature is their constant, unarticulated yells at the audience. What's the point, there?!?

A total disgrace, altogether.

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17 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly Awful!

1/10
Author: lady_de_shallot from United States
22 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The first half of this film was mediocre with the canine carrying most of the high points. Yeah, it was neat seeing Manhattan look like a ghost town or whatever. But what happens in the second half of the film is really difficult to explain. It is as though the story ended half way through but the director kept filming. New characters are introduced but never properly developed. Then it is like "Night of the Living Dead" for about seven minutes and then I guess everything works out okayish. But by the time the plot has fully resolved I was pretty much over it so I really could not tell you one way or the other. Whatever. The fact that most people thought this film was somehow epically innovative (or whatever) really chokes me up. This film sucks dirt.

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16 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Clumsy Adaptation Of An Unfilmable Novel

4/10
Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
21 March 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The problem with filming Matheson's I AM LEGEND is that the original novel is so difficult to adapt for the silver screen . The novel deals with the last man alive - Neville - who is surrounded by vampires . There's little spoken dialogue and perhaps most problamatic of all is the fact that Neville is effectively the villain meaning that a cinema audience have to identify and empathise with a bad guy maliciously killing benign vampires . Obviously this is a step too far for a mainstream audience so any film producer filming this story needs to make Neville a good guy thereby destroying Matheson's original concept . I suppose movie studio's can justify themselves by the need to make a profit at the box office but there's other flaws that are impossible to tackle

First of all there's the lack of dialogue . Respected reviewers on this site including Bob The Moo have praised the first half of the movie with the isolation of Neville's lonely life as he drives through an empty New York but a story needs character interaction and a protagonist needs someone to talk to and the dialogue light , slow deliberate pace becomes very boring after a while and it's not helped by the lack of a soundtrack . Danny Boyle was much more effective with his dead London scenes in 28 DAY LATER

There is a character for Neville to talk to but it's not actually a human character - it's a dog . You know as soon as the dog is introduced it won't be seeing the end credits and so lack lustre screenwriter Akiva Goldsman mawkishly manipulates the audience in to feeling sorry for Fido when he becomes infected and has to be killed . It's so predictable certain audience members will have to stifle a yawn rather than reach for a tissue to dry their eyes

Even those people who have praised the first half have criticised the second half where we have characters who are introduced out of the blue . There's a lack of logic to this . The characters are aware that there's a sanctuary somewhere so why didn't these characters make a beeline for the sanctuary instead of sitting around hoping to get a radio message from Neville ? You'd think they were clairvoyants , either that or Goldsman is a rather insipid screenwriter

The other problem of the second half is when the infected/mutants/vampires are introduced . There is not one scene as far as I recall where the infected are never anything more than laughably bad CGI effects . It's ridiculous that this film supposedly cost $150 million and the director couldn't employ a few dozen extras in make up . Really if was a " walk on artiste " I would be angry about the use of CGI seen here

I AM LEGEND is a near impossible story to adapt but the producers should have at least tried to focus on what type of audience the film was produced for . It's not really a film does the book justice , nor is it one that will really appeal to fans of the post apocalyptic genre . There's also a distinct lack of action and tension and dare I say much entertainment . Despite its many flaws THE OMEGA MAN is a very entertaining movie and much superior to this remake

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21 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Soared High, But Fell Hard

2/10
Author: the-goop from United States
18 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The brief response: This movie soared very high, but just as everything that rises must fall, so did this film's story. And when it fell, baby, it fell hard.

The abundantly lengthy response: I Am Legend. At the end of Richard Matheson's novel, these were the words that send chills running along the back of your neck, and made you break out in goosebumps. Because these were the words of the last human being on the face of the earth, a remnant of a much older, and much more familiar age.

Sadly, these words do not have the same effect upon the film's audience that it does with those who have read the book. In fact, those three words, which simply define the movie and it's rather morbid sense of humor perfectly, make absolutely no sense in the film adaption. Or, at least, the only sense they make is unbelievably trite and cliché. Because in Matheson's I Am Legend, Robert Neville is a legend amongst the last living (or otherwise) inheritors of the earth; vampires. The entire story revolves around this fact, of the earth passing from one set of hands to the next, with Robert being eventually one of the casualties of the age, and being blessed (or cursed) with the ability to watch the transition with his own eyes. Essentially, if you do not have at least this one fact, you do not have I Am Legend.

Which is why I would have been happier if the film's crew had simply changed some minor facts, shamelessly stealing the story's plot devices of course, under a different, less recognizable name. Essentially, a remake of Omega Man.

When this movie began, I was extremely hopeful. Of course, there were small changes. Making his companion the dog fated to starvation in the novel gave Smith more to work with for Neville's characterization, and to portray his slow spiral into insanity and back again with more brevity. Changing the main character from a factory-worker-turned-scientist into a soldier-turned-scientist was not a terribly big deal either, and in my opinion helped to lend slightly more credibility to the fact he cured the "incurable" virus in three years. Which brings me to the virus itself, which I found very interesting. Though the vampires themselves were dreadfully done in the movie, the idea behind the virus being a cure for cancer was very clever, though given the choice between Matheson's genuinely fresh and interesting vampires and the film's recycled "viral zombie" horde, I would stick strictly to the literature.

Finally, the ending. This was were I found myself the most in disagreement with. Because up until the film's ending, I was still hopeful. Yes, serious changes had been made, but I had still believed that the film's link to the novel could be maintained, and still produce a quality film to boot. Unfortunately, my hopes were shattered. I will admit though, they had me fooled for quite some time. I had believed that the two sole survivors (only the woman, in the novel) would prove to be the spies cleverly sent in by the more intelligent vampires to take Neville, as it was in the book. I was surprised to find that this was not the case; indeed, many hints had been let that she was not entirely truthful about where she had come from, and her distinct lack of knowledge with popular culture led me to believe that the movie would try to remain as close to the book as possible, while still maintaining a blockbuster status. It was to my displeasure, and shock, to find that the film's script completely coped out, with a half assed ending and a cliché message, in which the entire focus of the movie is lost to the film trying desperately to patch up the metaphorical holes it rent into the story. The final spoken words in the film are what proved to me that there must have been some kind of dispute which led to this final outcome. Because up until a certain point, I believe the movie was still salvageable. But I am led to believe that a certain person, or group, got involved and turned this gripping and compelling story straight out of the sky, and into the ground. It's a pity, I had hoped that the story would get a better treatment. Oh well, maybe they'll get it right with the next book to movie adaptation.

I highly doubt it though.

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23 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

do not see this movie if you have read the book.

1/10
Author: wax69 from United States
28 December 2007

this movie is nothing like the novel written 53 years ago! if you have not read the book,then who cares go see it. you wont be disappointed because you have nothing to be disappointed about. the name of the title "I AM LEGEND" is the entire basis of the story which the movie completely ignores and changes. also it completely ignores the vampire creature as a non intelligent head banging freak. in the book they are a new civilization, some are completely infected which makes them vampire like and evil,but some are almost totally human. robert neville goes out to destroy the vampires thinking there is only the violent ones, but since they all sleep during the day, he kills all he can find including the semi human ones. in that sense he becomes a "legend"to these people as a ghost story that they tell to each other .

this movie also ignores the scientific explanations they give to the vampire myth. for instance, the sunlight would bother the infected because the virus made their skin very pale and would dehydrate them which would make them weak. another example would be that a chemical in garlic would irritate the virus thus having an effect on the infected. another would be that the virus made their blood congeal very rapidly thus u couldn't really kill them with bullets, you would have to drive something into their chest that was thick and hard , hence the wooden stake. and the last was the mirrors. they would always be disgusted with how they look now compared to what they used to look like so they did not like mirrors.none of this was explained in the movie.

it is almost like Hollywood re-wrote the novel and put it on the big screen thinking nobody had read the original. once again they are wrong thinking that all people are morons and don't read books. i am waiting for the day when Hollywood can actually make an accurate adaptation from a book into a movie. i am surprised that richard matheson is not freaking out about this, i am pretty sure he is still alive. this movie is a huge disappointment.

with the technology we have today in film making this could have been one of the best movies of the year. instead it is a "cgi drenched","post- apocalyptic", "run away from the zombies" pile of crap.only people that are die-hard will smith fans who have no knowledge of movies or books that just want to see special effects will like this film.

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24 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

Decent look, but a C+

6/10
Author: careercollegestudent from United States
16 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

An excellent movie, if you're a kid! It's even an excellent movie if you're an adult, especially a logical thinking adult, for fantasy to recollect when you were a kid.

This movie starts out great, and stays fairly decent especially with the stunning and gripping visual effects supporting the lags in common sense, and even though the logical and bibliographical explanations become apparent and try to ruin it if you let them. What it is, is a great watch for the seven dollars (fourteen for my wife and I) if you have nothing better to do.

I like Will Smith, especially for the physical portions he played in this movie. But, he does not have the portrayal characteristics of a Lt. Colonel, and especially a brilliant virologist. Samuel Jackson, or better yet Morgan Freeman however, 20 years younger and looking like they do today, would fit the bill so much better for this movie. Unfortunately, they picked Will.

The movie starts out as a typical viral Armageddon, and progressing with relapses from Will's dreams before the end of the world of what happened and what is happening three years later as the only survivor in New York City. He and his dog Sam (Samantha) hunt by day apparently for food by the run of deer and foliage that now inhabit vacant NYC. Obviously later on, this if for fun and to kill time, because of the solitude and boredom from being the only survivor in the city filled with enough canned food to supply a small army for life.

But it progresses into the typical stereotypical movie theme of "He is not alone." He hides at night with his dog in his highly renovated house from the survivors that did not die from the virus, but were mutated into flesh eating steroid enhanced super zombies. These zombies have a vampire weakness of the sun, hence all ultraviolet rays, and manifest in their darkened hives during the day. So Will is forced to reinforce his house with inside sliding guards, ultraviolet spotlights, and high explosives in case they find out where he lives. In his other time spent, he tries to find a cure for the virus for potential infected survivor if any, as well as the mutant zombies in his downstairs high tech lab.

His house is also equipped with generators to run the flood of electricity and electronics, as well as his basements high tech lab that I am sure the military did not supply him to play with before the viral storm.

One of the biggest Faux pas in the movie is where he explains the zombies are of non human nature and simply barbaric flesh eaters trying to survive. But, they trick him with an elaborate engineering and psychological ruse, along with the only communication from them with each other is only being able to shriek and howl, his physical nighttime address when a few zombies discover it. They also have their own leader zombie, and zombie attack dogs that they sic on Will and his dog, but they have no real agenda but to destroy and eat fresh meat.

The movie also has a few other clichés that ruin its chances to stand the test of time. Like the stereotypical heart wrench when his dog gets killed, the survivor that shows up and is the prophet to God's plan, when the heroine realizes he has been ignorant to that fact, and when she makes it to the survivors colony in what I believe was the hills of New Hampshire, and everyone is happy and will survive and repopulate the earth with Christianity in mind. (From all of this being a lesson of what happened to Sodom and Gomorra, can easily happen again)

Here are some of the other bumbling mistakes that the writers, producers, and directors failed to think about.

After 3 years, all petroleum products such as combustible gasoline and diesel go stale and turn to oily products and fail to burn efficiently in vehicles. (I.E, Will or anyone else driving any vehicle.)

Zombies with no hair and no apparent intellect (except what was stated before) that live in vacant dark buildings, will eventually freeze to death in NYC the first winter it drops to 20 degrees, no matter how much food they may have. It gets even colder than that in NYC, and especially without clothes, they will freeze like a cube no matter what their metabolism is.

Escaped lionesses and lions, or anything like that from the zoo from tropical countries such as Africa, will not survive the winters outside, or even in vacant buildings, as stated before no matter how much food they may find. Their bodies were not evolved to that type of cold like other North American and high altitude animals.

Fresh fruit such as pears and oranges (maybe they where the fake ones) on Will's table after three years of living in NYC alone. Fruit such as these are not indigenous, and will not grow like the corn he is shown picking in the fields, that are also nicely planted in straight rows and also in huge fields with a tractor, pro farming equipment, and farm boy training can only do.

Army personnel in the beginning that are evacuating certain high rank personnel and families, do not, will not, and cannot override the President of the United States decision of a FULL QUARANTINE.

SR-22 Blackbirds such as the one Will was knocking golf balls off of, are not placed, and are not launched from aircraft carriers. They also, even if they where transported on them, would not be on the launch deck in full view, especially with a variety of cluttered aircraft around it; especially in NYC harbor.

No Asians, in NYC?

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

total crap!

1/10
Author: bluegreenbluegreen from Los Angeles County
12 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

All I remember of The Omega Man is that first image of Heston, at least as I remember it, luxuriatingly driving a big convertible in an oddly empty cityscape. I think he's on some curving overpass as we first see him, elbow on the window sill, smiling in the sunshine.

That ironically odd image is iconic and dead-on right. There isn't even that much in this 2007 movie.

This movie is so bad... Who thinks this is a fine performance? Are they talking about the dog? Nothing that this actor did seemed remotely human or true.

It's not all his fault. The script had him saying and doing completely stupid stuff. Maybe a truly great actor could have found something recognizable in this non-human role, but I doubt it.

Why does he need mannikins to meet and talk with, but shows zero interest in real people? I'm not talking about being scared, or shy, or defensively, reflexively hostile... just not interested. The girl was just a nuisance. It made no sense.

Why did he put out a radio message and wait everyday if he were convinced there were no survivors?

How is it a guy this resourceful is such a whiny tantrum-thrower? none of this made any sense, not any of it at all. This movie sucked real hard.

And the acting was just terrible. My character needs to display emotional agony? I'll just screw-up my face and look like I stubbed my toe real bad. Maybe it's the directors fault. I don't know. But this is just... well, you know the word.

----

I'd like to assign more than one point, if only for variety- so I'm trying to think of something redeeming or respectable about this.. and.. I can't. Even his choice in pilfered (or inherited) art was unimaginative.

When they went to cgi for the villains, some-one said "physics-schmizix, I want them to move like they weigh two pounds, and collide like they are 500lbs of solid steel!" That's why the zombies weren't scary.. they moved too fast to have substance.

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17 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

No, no you are not.

1/10
Author: Daniel Barnes from Canada
23 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Whenever a book is adapted into a film, there is some dread. Some deviations from the source material are unavoidable, but clever scripting and a good cast can, in some instances, still make a good film. This is not one of those instances.

The charmingly blue-collar Robert Neville is gone, replaced with soldier/scientist Will Smith. The virus, rather than creating vampires, apparently turns people into poorly-textured CGI abominations. Gone even is the nightly terror of having the vampires standing about on his lawn, taunting him. Despite being able to smell blood from a great distance off and move like only modern CGI monsters can, the vampires "don't know where he lives". As a matter of fact, the only holdovers from the book are the name of the character and the idea of a virus turning people into something. It is, in that sense, very similar to the "work" the director did on "Constantine (2005)".

Now, you may wonder if the film is worthwhile if you haven't read the book, and thus have nothing for it to spoil. The answer is ... still a resounding no. If you haven't read the book, this film will simply insult your intelligence and waste your time rather than insulting your intelligence, wasting your time, and butchering a great read.

There isn't enough time or prose to explain all the reasons why the movie-going public shouldn't pay to see this utter dreck. I implore you to skip it, for the sake of your mind and well-being. This film may, indeed, become a legend, but only in the sense that a great many people paid a shocking amount of money to see something so indescribably wretched.

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18 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

7 - 6 - 5 - 4

4/10
Author: The_Defiant1 from United States
17 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie just got worse as it went along. It started out interesting with Will Smith walking around a deserted New York City. He had man's best friend-- a dog-- right by his side. I'd have given it a seven at that point because it was interesting. The minute he walked into the dark to get his dog, I already knew there were "creatures" in the dark, so it was just annoying at that point. I don't like looking at black screen. If I want to look at darkness, I can stay home and turn off the light. This is where I drop the movie down to a six. Creatures in the dark don't interest me. I've seen it before. Then we have to suffer through vague flashbacks and Will Smith talking to mannequins as if they are alive. I was bored with that, but I went along. So we have this brilliant scientist that can juggle microbiology, rigging explosions, hunting for wild game, guns, installing metal doors and gates. This guy can do it all, but he's amazed when he injects one of the creatures and it isn't healed within 5 minutes. I'm no genius, but even I know that cures take time. So I have to ignore the fact a very learned person is an idiot disguised.

Will Smith's character goes the whole movie looking miserable because he's alone, yet a young lady and a kid are surviving fine. They show up and all he does is argue with them.

The creatures have enough social structure to keep their dogs on a leash, but they can't stay calm two seconds otherwise. Why is it that fictional creatures only eat the healthy people. They'll chew their way through a ceiling, but they won't attack each other. What were they eating? The most merciful scene in the movie is when the dog dies. The friend I was with said the movie should have ended there. If it had, I'd give it a 7. Unfortunately didn't, so the best I can give it is a four. I kept wondering if the CGI for the dogs was leftover from some other movie.

This is just my opinion, but heroes and legends don't earn their status by being lucky. The hero in this movie is inept. What happened to heroes having providence? They should have the ability to walk into a dismal situation and fix it because that is who and what they are.

On top of everything else, there appears to be a Christian theme tossed in. It is a hero trying to save the lost. That would be okay if there was some interesting plot, but there isn't.

This movie is not worth buying or renting. Save your money. The visuals are interesting at the start, but it goes nowhere.

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35 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

Great first part, loses energy toward the end

6/10
Author: thedevilyouknow00 from United States
10 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Criticisms about the first part being better than the last part are understandable. The mechanics and struggle depicted kept me wanting more and dreading what the next corner or shadow might bring. As with any LMOE (last man on earth) movie, the set design pertaining to a deserted world are fascinating and subliminally terrifying (the novelty of having New York all to yourself lasts only so long until you'll have New York, all to yourself). The cinematography and look of the picture are top notch. The story starts off with a great "hook" that tells you everything you need to know with ONE CUT. Will Smith doesn't have much characterization to work with, but he's a lot more believable here with a low amount of dialog than he has been in some of his previous movies. The movie doesn't have some of the philosophical conceits that Matheson's novel has, but the set-up has been retained along with the character's main purpose- future filmmakers that want to remake this in 20 years won't have to fight against the memory of this film. That said... the movie does contain a needless (and tacked on?) subplot involving "faith." I'm not talking about the belief in a creed or idea, I'm talking about the kind of one-dimensional boilerplate you'd find in a "left behind" novel where the simple fact that a character says he believes is enough for plot and character development. I've nothing against characters or plots dealing with theocratic concepts, but those ideas and concepts better be at the heart of your story. Here, it's a few lines of dialog inserted to give the characters something to yell at each other about. Oddly, most of this seems like it was inserted. My concerns about this probably stem from the fact that the "faith" element randomly pops up where it doesn't need to- the main danger of the story is that scary things are coming to kill you. Deal with that. The main thrust of Dawn of the Dead comes from the idea that there are people locked up from hordes of zombies- all their actions stem from that set-up. In I Am Legend, the main motivator of one man against rampaging ghouls is set aside because one character has "faith." Unfortunately, and I'm not sure if this is a drawback, the whole project comes across as a big budget remake of 28 Days Later (so much so that the ghouls of the picture are called "infected" in the credits). Is this bad? Only if you don't like the movie. I like most of the movie so I'm not too bothered. Final verdict, not the disaster I was expecting but not something that will stand the test of time. If you're sick of Enchanted and relatives, Joe Bob says "Check it out."

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