I Am Legend (DVD)
Will Smith is the last man on earth in the third movie adaptation of Richard Matheson's classic 1954 vampire novel. Set in a devastated, deserted Manhattan - Ground Zero for a viral plague that's turned humans into ghouls - I Am Legend sees Smith deliver a surprisingly moving performance as he wanders empty New York streets going slowly ga-ga. Some cartoonish CGI and a mangled screenplay that misses the novel's point are downsides but the apocalyptic vision brings definite chills.
In 2012 precocious scientists engineer a cancer cure. It's Nobel Prizes all round until they discover an irritating side effect: it's turning mankind into CGI ghouls. 1001 days later, New York's deserted, overgrown with weeds, populated by wild gazelles and ravenous zombie/vampires (zompires, perhaps?). It's also home to one man and his dog, virologist Robert Neville (Smith) the sole survivor of the global pandemic who's searching for a cure. Holding the movie on his own, Smith does an apocalyptic version of Tom Hanks in Castaway. He's lonely and slightly loopy: begging shop window mannequins to talk to him, playing Bob Marley on his i-Pod (Three Little Birds) and fighting running battles with the creatures that hide in the shadows.
"STUNNING DISASTER PORN"
Meanwhile, flashbacks to the epidemic let director Francis Lawrence (Constantine) capture the social meltdown in a terrifying blur of whooping sirens and martial law. The movie's villains can't quite match the stunning disaster porn, the chalky CGI creatures too awkwardly digital to scare. As Neville starts to lose the battle against them, Smith bravely mines dark emotional depths until the screenplay's sanitised ending undercuts all his hard work. Rewriting Matheson's ambiguous novel - which slyly suggested its hero might be the real monster - I Am Legend merrily destroys New York but doesn't have the bottle to tarnish its star's squeaky-clean rep.
OVERALL, YET AGAIN WILL SMITH HAS STARRED IN ANOTHER AMAZING AND THRILL FITTING FILM!
BUY IT AND YOU WILL NOT GET DISSAPOINTED!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
I Am Legend (DVD)
Based on Richard Matheson's "I Am Legend", which was recommended to Charlton Heston by Orson Welles, and that Heston was inspired to make into a film - The Omega Man, is a truly creepy sci-fi/horror classic - unfortunately, that’s where any similarities end.
I remember watching the Omega Man as a teenager and it certainly stuck in my mind over the years. It was with a little trepidation that I bought this Wil Smith version - would I be disappointed?
Before you get your knickers in a twist, I think this is one of the worst films ever made for the following reason:
a) It's NOT EVEN HORRIFYING, so it fails to fulfill its main objective. Due in most part to the CGI: If they wanted to suck out any atmosphere and suspense built up by the first hour, they couldn't have done it any quicker than with the cheaply rendered, animated zombies on display. The zombies are on the whole laughable and look as though they have been hacked together on a home computer.
b) The worst thing of all though, is that they squandered all the great, quirky, and original ideas of the book - it's a classic FOR A REASON! - Instead of taut, psychological horror; we get Will Smith playing golf off an aircraft carrier.
c) And of course, there are some glaring errors throughout - when the zombie dogs attack his dog, the zombie humans don’t seem to bothered in attacking an injured Mr Smith! There are so many unexplained happenings that this review would turn into a rant to explain them all !
I found the first hour or so epic, wonderful, suspenseful stuff. Mr Smith is gripping as the sole survivor of a plague ravaged world. His loneliness is portrayed so clearly and cleverly, i.e. watching old recordings of news programmes just for some background noise, and the underlying knowledge that there is something nasty out there in the dark adds to a growing feeling of unease. I was able to overlook the plot holes as the partnership between Smith and the dog was so endearing. And then it all sort of falls apart in the second half, everything gets a little too far-fetched. For one thing the city is riddled with zombies that are apparently mindless yet can train their apparently zombie dogs and supposedly clear the streets of cars and corpses as the place is pretty clean.
Mr Smith is trying to find an antidote to the disease yet doesn't have any strongholds in libraries, laboratories or even a university - preferring to trial in his basement, the dog is a super star but the film just didn't live up to the hype. Its a nice enough film, if you've seen 28days and 28weeks later, its the same kind of thing, but in set in USA, and doesn't quite work as well. Maybe that’s because it is just too similar to our British version - same virus!! And looks like a lame plot copy.
Lastly, how about this for an alternative ending: instead of wasting TWO HOURS of your life watching this weak, failure of a movie, Go see 'Dawn Of The Dead' (2004 version), '28 Days/Weeks Later', OR The Omega Man, that I bought soon after this and was pleasantly surprised to find, that despite the awful soundtrack, was just as I remembered it. Heston is marvellous as Colonel Robert Neville, a scientist who is immune to the plague that resulted from biological warfare, due to an experimental vaccine he injected himself with. This film has everything great "empty city" settings, fantastic 70s music, a brilliant story and plenty of action a a great ending.
Watch it now!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
I Am Legend (DVD)
One man and his dog subsist in a near future New York where a manmade virus has killed most of the world's population and transformed others into ravening monsters. Will Smith stars in this latest adaptation of Richard Matheson's classic novel
The movies have given us some classic visions of a world in which human civilisation has been destroyed, and a fair share of them are based on, or inspired by, just one novel: Richard Matheson's 'I Am Legend'.
Published in 1954, the book has been explicitly adapted as 1964's The Last Man On Earth and 1971's The Omega Man. And now we have a film that borrows the original title, even if it excises the novel's reasoning for it. This version is very much 'I Am Legend' for the 9/11 age. Will Smith takes the role previously played by Vincent Price and Charlton Heston.
Where the previous films relied wholly on inventive shooting, this new version is able to depopulate the world and ravage the big city with the aid of CGI. Although the digital effects have a few ropey moments, they enable director Francis Lawrence (Constantine) and his collaborators to create a chilling vision of a Manhattan populated by only one healthy human.
The post-apocalyptic city is first introduced with a lack of thriving city noises: no cars, no horns, no yelling, just birds. Times Square is a meadow, ivy twines its way up the walls, plastic sheeting flaps on hastily quarantined buildings, and the bridges connecting Manhattan to the boroughs are all destroyed.
We find out why in flashback, as Dr Robert Neville (Smith), a lone figure in this 2012 Manhattan, reminisces back to the end of the previous decade. The virus, 'KV', was accidentally created from a genetically engineered cure for cancer. It spread to humans, became airborne, and Manhattan was decreed a quarantine zone. Neville rushed to get his wife (Richardson) and daughter Marley (Willow Smith, Will Smith's daughter) out before the bridges were blown.
In the present, Neville - who is miraculously immune - experiments on rats, and occasionally on the infected remains of humanity. We learn that the virus killed 4.5 billion straight away. Then 588 million 'dark seekers' were created, those infected who avoid the light but hunt for live flesh by night and have consumed most of the remaining healthy humans.
The dark seekers are not unlike 'the infected' of 28 Days Later, as Danny Boyle and Alex Garland drew very much from Matheson's story (as well as from Romero's zombie films, which were also in part inspired by Matheson).
Unlike the monsters of 28 Days Later, these folks are digitally improved - they're bald, loud and very formidable, fast and agile. Dash Mihok (Hollywoodland) is unrecognisable as the nastiest of the lot, exhibiting leadership and organisational skills, and thus demonstrating they are not just mindless beasts. It's all looking very bleak for Neville, who's only company for most of the film is his loyal Alsatian Sam (an animal who really should get a Best Supporting Animal Oscar for a great turn).
A film that blends a blockbustery bluster with a gaunt apocalyptic sobriety to good effect that is only compromised by its latter stages.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
I am Legend - A good release of an unorigional theme
Director: Francis Lawrence
Writers (WGA): Mark Protosevich (screenplay) and
Akiva Goldsman (screenplay) ...
Release Date: 26 December 2007 (UK) more view trailer
Genre: Action / Drama / Fantasy / Horror / Sci-Fi / Thriller more
Tagline: The last man on earth is not alone
I Am Legend is a 2007 American post-apocalyptic science fiction horror film directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Will Smith. It is the third film adaptation of Richard Matheson's 1954 novel I Am Legend, following 1964's The Last Man on Earth and 1971's The Omega Man. Smith plays Robert Neville, possibly Earth's only survivor of a man-made virus. He works to create a cure, but is stalked by nocturnal mutant survivors of the plague.
Warner Bros. Pictures began developing I Am Legend in 1994, and various actors and directors have been attached to the project, though it never entered production due to budgetary concerns. Production began in 2006 in New York City, filming mainly on location in the city, including a $5 million scene at the Brooklyn Bridge, the most expensive scene ever filmed in the city at the time. Warner Bros. launched a tie-in comic and an online multiplayer game on Second Life as part of its marketing campaign.
A genetically reengineered measles virus called Krippen Virus or KV, created as a cancer cure (by a doctor in a cameo by Emma Thompson), rapidly spreads and wipes out the population of the world by the end of 2009, leaving military virologist Robert Neville (Will Smith) the last human survivor in New York City and possibly the world.
The virus killed 90% of the people on the planet, roughly 5.4 billion. Less than 1% of humans are immune, leaving roughly 12 million people unaffected. The remaining 588 million people were infected, but did not die; they instead exhibited early symptoms of rabies and then lost all normal human behavior, degenerating into a primal state driven by hunger and blind rage. Neville is watched by these "Infected" people. The Infected are painfully affected by UV radiation, so they avoid sunlight and hide in the dark underground, and in buildings (in groups called "hives" by Neville), swarming out at night. Dogs and rats are also susceptible to the virus. By 2012, Neville has not seen another normal human being since the virus' release three years earlier, and suspects that the infected have succeeded in killing the remainder of the survivors. Neville finds himself outnumbered by the infected and running out of time as he seeks a cure.
Very enjoyable film. However it falls along lines we have seen many times before, but in fairness the original book was out first.
Not just all action either some mild story and some emotional moments.
Will Smith was great as always.
Definitely worth a watch
**** 4 STARS
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
A man and his dog
The opening half of the movie...in which New York is vividly recast as post-apocalyptic dystopia.
Smith's portrayal of a man slowly going insane. Considering this is a big-budget Hollywood movie, this is subtle and quietly moving. Flashbacks to pre-apocalypse confusion are interspersed with care and inform Smith's character and the plot.
The idea that it is Smith who is now the monster. After all, from the perspective of the other residents of the new New York it is Smith who is the outsider. He lurks in his basement like a Frankenstein conducting lethal experiments on innocent subjects he captures.
The sense of dread. This is built slowly and cumulatively. The scene where the dog runs into a dark, seemingly empty building is exquisitely tense.
Sam the Dog. Seems strange to praise a dog for its acting, but for most of the film it's just Smith and Sam and they make a fine double act.
The second half of the movie. Once the monsters are revealed in all their CGI glory the movie turns into a loud, shouty action flick. The psychological and moral arguments are shunted out of the way and we are left with a series of ever-louder explosions.
I'd consider this an interesting but flawed movie. The first half is great - filled with loads of striking imagery and interesting thoughts about isolation, survival, personal morality, the boundaries of sanity and human arrogance. The second half is more interested in bombs, guns, and monsters. Worth watching for the performances of Smith and Sam.