I Am Legend Review
Written by: jamhorner
I’ll be truthfully honest, I only went to go see this film because of the Batman 10 minute showing, and I had to see it in IMAX. Now the concept, as some stranger told me, is vastly similar to Omega Man and stars Will Smith. In this post apocalyptic world, a vaccine, not a virus, but a cure for a virus has wiped out people. Robert Neville (Smith) is the only known survivor living in Manhattan and fights to find a vaccine to the vaccine and a pack of ravenous mutants. What I very much enjoyed was Will Smith’s performance, who had taken a major step from acting in comedy’s to a role that demands him to act harder. And boy did he achieve. I enjoyed what they did to New York and the whole layout of the story, the PG-13 horror was fantastic and presentable theme of human decay and isolation were best demonstrated through this movie.
First off, Will Smith’s acting was superb in this film. A step above his other great performance in Pursuit of Happiness and a huge step above Wild West. (MIB is a different story). There were points in the movie, and I stress the flashbacks, were you see where is passion and outstanding performance really shows, and you kind of feel for his character because of what had happened. His tears, his anger, his psyche and his humor are all present in this film. Not so much the humor, as I originally intended to watch, but there are points that compensate for some of the intense horror scenes. What I enjoyed, which goes along wit Smith’s performance, was how the writers and director achieved the very breakdown of man and who fickly man can get when isolated for so long. Smith’s intensity with this feeling was mind blowing, when he’s yelling at mannequins or asking them out, you feel sorry for him, but he doesn’t know any better because he lived with nobody except his dog. His acting, overall, was really, really good. Really!
Say what you want about apocalyptic New York City, and we’ve seen many renditions of this scene. We’ve seen NY covered in snow, we’ve seen it just abandoned with trash all over, we’ve seen it burnt down and we’ve seen just abandoned with clean streets. Never have I seen New York gradually turn into grassy plain. The way that the director approached this was unique, there are weeds and lots of tall grass growing up from the major streets in NY, there are wild animals. The way that the movie is structured is not like your typical apocalyptic movie; this one is non-linier format and only provides a vague prologue. However, the flashbacks provide a window in to the past and tell us what happened. I like this format because it keeps you watching and wondering what would happen next, since most of the flashbacks cut out. I really enjoyed this format and it really keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Now this movie is not complete without scares. Now this if PG-13, and there are some pretty strong 13’s out there and this movie ranks between high 13 and low 13, but for a moderate ranking, this movie has some pretty great scares. There are jump out scares that make you jump, some unexpected scares that make you ponder, “How did I no see this coming?” This movie had effectively freaked me out with the “vampires” scream. A thing that I want to mention is that in this movie, much like Near Dark, they don’t actually say vampires, nor do they make any reference to anything Holy or sacrilegious. The only thing that gives us a hint is that they are very sensitive to light. They could be mutants or UV sensitive zombies like 28 Days. What I enjoyed is that there is an antagonist that could rival Big Daddy’s character from Land of the Dead. This leader of the zombies seems very violent and charismatic at the same time. This movie also makes head thrashing seem like it would really hurt, but also scary!
The only bad thing that would have been great with this movie would be if they extended the relationship and the friendship that Neville has with Anna and Ethan. They would have added a great edition to the film as well as a great bond the characters would have. However, then it might be too much like 28 Days, but I don’t think so. This movie could easily be stretched out to 2 hours, and I would have enjoyed the chemistry they would have had, but then again, you win some you loose some.Overall, this movie is a very different kind of apocalyptic and should and would gladly fit n the line up of films of that same genre. I think that in of itself is a very great movie with some grade A acting, scares, non-linear plotline and a great family movie to some degree. There was one thing that could have been better and that had to so with the runtime and expansion of the movie, but other than that, I think this film was very good for so-called remake of Omega Man. It was really good, I would see it again and maybe a second time, but not a third time, because the scares are in this movie need to be seen only once or they would loose their scare. But, if you enjoy Will Smith, apocalyptic movies, vampires of some degree and some brilliant directing, then this movie would be right up your alley. I certainly enjoyed it.