Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure.Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure.Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure.
Entertaining but misses the point.
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.
- Dec 25, 2007
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