Robert Neville (Will Smith) is a scientist who was unable to stop the spread of the terrible virus that was incurable and man-made in this post-apocalyptic action thriller. 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
About ten minutes after the beginning, in a recorded television program, the movie can be seen for a few seconds at the Piazza San Carlo in Turin, Italy, the city of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. See more »
Towards the beginning of the film featuring a shot of the UN building, one can clearly see on its glass exterior a reflection of the UN building as seen from the East River. This is obviously impossible, as you cannot see the reflection of a building in the same building. 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 case...
[...] See more »
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.
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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