Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I Am Legend (2007)

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.

Rating: 7/10.

If you liked I AM LEGEND, check out:
THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, OMEGA MAN, NIGHT WATCH.

10 comments:

  1. I have to disagree with you. It destroyed Richard Matheson's amazing story.

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  2. Actually it's a pretty decent film that uses Matheson's idea, but it falls apart once the vampire/zombie/beasts show up. The scenes in the video store are fantastic (shows what a decent actor, Will Smith really is), and Sam the dog...well, let's just say, I loved that damn dog!

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  3. TS has it right the book is waaaaaaaaay better. and the dog was the best character in the movie. sad thing is i was walking around NYC when they were filming this and saw a guy dressed up on the set like a vampire/ zombie. he looked pretty bad ass. was really disappointed when I saw the cgi in the movie.

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  4. What's the old saying? Less is more.

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  5. Heh, I was wondering when you'd finally get around to this ever since you left a comment on my review many moons ago. It seems you and I are in pretty much total agreement on this one. Good review.

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  6. I can only relate to the movies at this point, still haven't read the novel basically because I am lazy. There was plenty of potential here, and Will Smith was much better than I anticipated, but then come the Darkseekers... Lame..

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  7. good movie, great cast, eccessivamente commerciale forse, se devo trovare un difetto.

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  8. It's hard to really do the 'the novel is better' argument here, since the same story has given us...

    * The Last Man on Earth (vampires)
    * Night of the Living Dead (zombies)
    * The Omega Man (vampire-like albinos)

    That aside, I really liked the movie. I was not a fan of the CGI, but it works to a certain degree. When this is Will Smith's film, it works very well.

    In addition, the original ending is much better and should have been kept. When the film is viewed with that ending instead of the theatrical one, it works far better.

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  9. That reminds me, I need to pop the disc back in and see if I have the original ending on mine. Interested to see how they changed it

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  10. It's pretty major. If the disc doesn't have it, YouTube has it or you can see aspects of it in a list on Cracked.

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