I Am Legend Review
Written by: alex1176
Ever wondered what a Hollywood version of "28 Days Later" would be like? "I Am Legend" is that movie. Directed by Francis Lawrence (Constantine), the film is a well-made PG-13 adapation of the classic Richard Mathieson sci-fi novel. In it, Will Smith plays Robert Neville, a military scientist who is the only person alive in an eerie, post-apocalyptic New York City. Armed with an assault rifle and befriended by his trusty dog Sam, Neville spends his days looking for survivors and spends his nights surviving by hiding from bloodthirsty zombies.
Director Lawerence has taken a bit of inspiration from "Castaway" by starting things out slow and showing us the days in the life of an isolated man who struggles to keep his own sanity. Neville talks to his dog as if she is human and uses mannequins to represent living people. The opening segment in which he chases deer through the streets of NYC (!) in a slick cherry red Mustang is exceptionally well done.
The main plot is interuppted throughout by a series of flashbacks which tell Neville's backstory. However, they all climax with a cliffhanger and I eventually became annoyed with the structure. Overall, the pic is effective and well made and I enjoyed it. Smith gives a more serious performance than usual and it's a good one, but I do wish the zombies were made up of flesh-and-blood actors and not computers. Just like the solider demons in "Constantine", they look like they belong in a video game, not a movie.
"I Am Legend" may not appeal to every fan of zombie thrillers, but if you liked last year's "Resident Evil: Extinction", "Planet Terror" or "28 Weeks Later", than you'll probably enjoy it. I think it's a harrowing, emotionally-charged zombie / virus flick that works quite well.