Review Room

Book reviews and miscellanous thoughts

I am Legend

Written By: amodini - Dec• 31•07

I Am Legend (Full-Screen Edition)If there must be a last man on earth, I cannot imagine it being anyone else other than Will Smith. He plays one in this film, and does it beautifully. I say this because the story is a bit unusual, in the sense that mostly there is only one actor in the scene (save of course a dog and some unearthly blood-sucking creatures). To make the most of the film, with only one actor and yet hold interest is great work.

“I am Legend” falls into the sci-fi horror category. Smith plays Dr. Robert Neville and army scientist, alone in Manhattan after a man-made virus has struck and wiped out most of the earth’s population. The remaining have mutated into rabid, hairless, super-strong creatures which hide from daylight and hunt by night. Thus while Neville roams about fearless in the day-time he barricades himself up in his home at night. His lone companion is his dog.

Neville, also a scientist, is working his way towards a cure in the laboratory in the basement. However many attempts meet with failure, and his spirit broken, he foolhardily puts himself in danger one night . . .

When going in to watch this film, I had no idea that this was part horror. Thus, while it was amazing to see Manhattan empty and deserted, overrun with weeds, the rabid vampires were a total surprise. Yes, you know this guy is all alone, save for his pet dog, and he’s hunting deer in downtown Manhattan, and competing with a pride of lions for the food. Surprise, Surprise !

Then we discover he has a very well-appointed home, with cans of food, electronica, ammunition and a well-stocked laboratory. He also had a wife and daughter (that story unfolds in flashback). But at the back of your mind, you know this can’t be it. There’s got to be a bigger problem, and it’d better be more major than what you’ve already seen, yeah ? Because he seems to be coping all right with his solitude – he works out everyday, and amazingly keeps body and mind intact. So when his dog rushes down this dark hallway in pursuit of a deer, and Neville is hesitant to go behind him (he does of course) you know that there is something IN THERE.

Will Smith does a bang-up job as Neville; he appears just as plausible as the last man on earth in deserted Manhattan, or as a scientist amid chaos battling to save the lives of humanity. His ability to emote, carry off wry humor, and appear to have the intelligence, physical strength, and the wits to keep himself alive in a weird and bizarre situation, help him no end in this role.

“I am legend” is based off of a 1954 novel by Richard Matheson and it works well, save for a few minor holes in the story. It’s very easy to imagine, while watching this film, how easy it would be for humanity to kill itself off. A good entertainer and well worth the watch.

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