I Am Legend- Will Smith All Alone

That was kind of a depressing.” person behind me in the theater.

Gene Shalit on the Today Show seemed to feel I Am Legend was a bit of a downer as well. Did you happen to see the trailer for this movie? It’s about the Last Man On Earth, how funny did you think it was going to be?
In the book I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, Neville is the last man on earth because everyone else has become a vampire. Yes, vampires. The people in Hollywood still don’t have the balls to make that movie.
I Am Legend with Will Smith has a happy ending compared to the book. In the book Neville is Legend because being human has made him into a myth that the vampires scare their children with to get them to go to bed on time.
I like the way this I Am Legend starts off. There is an interview with
Emma Thompson, who has cured cancer-then a shift to the empty streets of New York, overrun with weeds and abandoned cars. These are cool images, building covered in plastic wrap, movie posters for films that have not be released yet-Batman and Superman? and a herd of deer running down the street. This is the first letdown in the film, these CGI deer and the CGI lions that show up soon afterward, look just like CGI deer and lions. They look like cartoons, they look fake. But it is still a good moment as Will Smith decides normal lions are not really bad.
When we met up with the bad guys-the infected all bear a striking resemblance to Gollum from The Lord of the Rings. I loved those movies, but I never looked at Gollum and saw anything but a computer generated image-he was just about as real as Jar-Jar Binks, which is to say, he was not real at all.
If I had not seen 28 Days Later I would just assume that its impossible to make quality effects anymore. But 28 Days Later, and 28 Weeks Later, both had amazing effects, from empty streets to raging monsters. I Am Legend is a video game waiting to be marketed, not a movie.
Having said all that, the parts that don’t use bad CGI were pretty damned good. There was a lot of good CGI, broken buildings and rusted metal looks absolutely perfect when rendered by a machine. Will Smith does an amazing job of invoking empathy and more than once I found myself chocked up about the loneliness of being the last man on earth. Just a straight, everybody is dead but Will Smith movie, would have been pretty damned good. But then, Will Smith was not really the last man on earth.
There are way too many unanswered questions in I Am Legend, everything from simple stuff like why does Will Smith want to hunt deer when he has more food than he can eat in three lifetimes in his apartment? Why do the infected suddenly act with intelligence? How did a stranger drive into New York City after the brides were all bombed, and I’m assuming, the tunnels sealed? Of course, you can never look at Sci Fi too closely, just be thankful that someone is making it.
In the end none of the questions really matter, all is well, and Bob Marley sings-Everything’s Gonna Be Alright. Just don’t expect it to be very happy.

Jon Herrera

Jon Herrera

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.
Jon Herrera

Latest posts by Jon Herrera (see all)

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.

Posted in I am legend, movie review, will smith

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