Jack Hall, paleoclimatologist, must make a daring trek from Washington, D.C. to New York City, to reach his son, trapped in the cross-hairs of a sudden international storm which plunges the planet into a new Ice Age.
Robert Neville is a scientist who was unable to stop the spread of the terrible virus that was incurable and man-made. Immune, Neville is now the last human survivor in what is left of New York City and perhaps the world. For three years, Neville has faithfully sent out daily radio messages, desperate to find any other survivors who might be out there. But he is not alone. Mutant victims of the plague -- The Infected -- lurk in the shadows... watching Neville's every move... waiting for him to make a fatal mistake. Perhaps mankind's last, best hope, Neville is driven by only one remaining mission: to find a way to reverse the effects of the virus using his own immune blood. But he knows he is outnumbered... and quickly running out of time.Written by
Warner Bros. Pictures
The sounds made by the fleeing whitetail deer are elk noises. See more »
The world of medicine has seen its share of miracle cures, from the polio vaccine to heart transplants. But all past achievements may pale in comparison to the work of Dr. Alice Krippin. Thank you so much for joining us this morning.
Dr. Alice Krippin:
Not at all.
So, Dr. Krippin, give it to me in a nutshell.
Dr. Alice Krippin:
Well, the premise is quite simple - um, take something designed by nature and reprogram it to make it work for the body rather than against it.
You're talking about a virus?
Dr. Alice Krippin:
Indeed, yes. In this...
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During the opening title sequence, a news report is heard. Then the movie begins with the news reporter. See more »
The alternate theatrical version contains several new scenes:
After Neville captures the Alpha Female, he notices that she has a butterfly tattoo on the back of her shoulder.
After Neville thanks Anna for stitching his leg wound, they go out to where Neville was trapped the previous day. Neville recognizes the equipment as his own, but can't fathom what they're doing there. Anna asks him if the Dark Seekers could've made the trap, but Neville is adamant that they can't think or feel. Anna still brings up the point that Neville could be wrong and the Dark Seekers made the trap for him.
Neville, Anna, and Ethan go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Neville and Anna sit together and watch Ethan fall into the water where the fish are. Ethan playfully splashes around, and Neville throws some food into the water. The fishes move frantically to get the food while Ethan floats in the middle of them. He remarks that it's cold, which makes Neville realize that he needs to lower the temperature of the Dark Seekers in order for the cure to work. He tells Anna and Ethan that they have to go.
Additional shots of the Dark Seekers making their way into Neville's home.
When the Dark Seekers corner Neville, Anna, and Ethan behind the Plexiglas, the Alpha Male shoves others out of his way and tries to break through the door. Neville shouts for him to stop, but the Alpha Male doesn't listen to him. Eventually, the Alpha Male stops on his own and uses his hand to smear the shape of a butterfly on the door. Neville sees it, and then sees the butterfly tattoo again on the Alpha Female's shoulder. He realizes that he just wants his girl back. Neville puts his pistol on the floor and unhooks the Alpha Female from his equipment. Anna asks him what he's doing, and Neville says that he's listening. He asks Anna to open the door. She grabs his pistol off the floor and reluctantly opens the door. Neville wheels the Alpha Female out into the lab, where the Alpha Male stands behind him and then growls next to his head. Anna closes the door and stays behind with Ethan. Neville tells the Alpha Male that he needs to get a syringe and slowly walks towards a drawer. Dark Seekers surround Neville and are ready to attack him, but the Alpha Male keeps them at bay. Neville gets the syringe he needs and injects the Alpha Female in the arm, waking her up. The Alpha Female hisses in delight upon seeing the Alpha Male, who tenderly presses their foreheads together. Neville is shocked that they feel love. The Alpha Male picks up his girl, screeches at Neville, and then leaves with the other Dark Seekers. Neville drops to the floor and looks at the wall of pictures he has of the Dark Seekers he's killed over the years, realizing that they have all been capable of thinking and feeling. The next day, Neville drives past the lion family he came across near the beginning when he was hunting the deer. Neville, Anna, and Ethan drive out of the city on the Washington Bridge. The film ends with Anna broadcasting a message to other possible survivors. She says that she's traveling with Robert Neville and a boy named Ethan. She says that they have a cure for the virus and are heading towards Vermont. She urges anyone who's listening to have faith and continue to listen for their future broadcasts.
If you are fan of Matheson's book prepare to be disappointed as the film entirely misses the point, especially when it comes to the title itself. Having said that, taken on it's own merits the film is not all that bad. The opening half hour is well constructed and the lingering shots of a deserted NYC are quite effective. Will Smith reigns in his usual on-screen persona to deliver a good performance as Robert Neville, although at times it does seem as though he's playing to an audience which is at odds with the permeating sense of isolation (problems with the script rather than Smith himself). Aside from it's deviation from the book, the film's most glaring problem are the dark seekers themselves. They are entirely rendered in by today's standards unconvincing cgi and therefore never quite achieve the feeling of menace we're supposed to feel. Real actors in make-up with perhaps a little cgi augmentation would've been far better. Also the attempt to create an antagonist for Neville falls a little flat, as he comes across as nothing more than a slighter smarter creature with a grudge. What does work though is Neville's relationship with his dog, Sam. Considering they spend the majority of their screen time together it was important it felt like they had a genuine bond and they do. Also Neville's flashbacks to a time shortly before the worst of the outbreak are well-implemented, never interrupting the pace of the narrative. Ultimately it's the last predictable half hour of the film that falls flat and undoes most of the good work. It's worth seeing but for all Richard Matheson fans it will be frustrating at best. In fact, for anyone who read Mark Protosevich's script that leaked online a few years back you'll probably wish they made that film instead.
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