Three years after the supposed cure for cancer eradicates all of human existence, Dr. Robert Neville must stalk the streets of New York City during the daytime to try and destroy the vicious half-human monsters that rule the night, while secretly working on a serum to reverse the deadly disease. Will Smith steps in for Vincent Price and Charlton Heston in this third adaptation of the classic post-apocalyptic tale by Richard Matheson. Smith takes on an emotive role as the paranoid and schizophrenic Robert Neville, with an ability to portray the loneliness and despair evenly with his anger and rage. Unfortunately, his performance is wasted against the computerized abortions that are The Darkseekers. The CGI monsters that Neville must face in this version have no distinct personalities like in the previous attempts, but are instead a pack of bland and poorly-rendered cartoons that are never the least bit frightening or intimidating. I AM LEGEND's strongest point is director Francis Lawrence's devastating vision of the lifeless New York City streets, now filled with wild life and overgrowth. Lawrence traps himself in the same pitfall that Boris Sagal had in 1971's THE OMEGA MAN by adding modern technology and special effects that will clearly expose the film's age in the decades to come. I AM LEGEND is still a bleak and depressing post-apocalyptic nightmare with enough action and horror to appeal to most major audiences.
If you liked I AM LEGEND, check out:
THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, OMEGA MAN, NIGHT WATCH.