Review of 'I Am Legend'

i_am_legend.jpg Ok, I was expecting a big Will Smith action-fest such as I Robot or Men in Black but was pleasantly surprised at this very human set piece – Either that, or extremely disappointed for the same reason.

Smith plays the role of Dr. Robert Neville, seemingly the last human left alive (and/or sane) when a cancer curing virus goes horribly wrong and turns the population of the world into light-sensitive human monsters (in the original story, vampires) out to kill anything. Neville, who appears to be imune to the virus, and his pet dog Sam survive in this difficult world by living in a well baracaded house in the middle of New York while Neville tries to find a cure to the rampaging virus. The scenes in the streets of New York with grass and trees growing through the pavement are eerie and disturbing. When the only remaining meaning in his life is taken away a crisis develops that very well mean the end of his fragile existance.

The effects are quite well done and not completely over the top. What is surprising is the sensitivity that Smith brings to the role with many scenes simply focusing on Neville's sorrow and state of mind. Flash-backs give the view the background to the current situation but are over-done at all, breaking up the fairly monotonous existance of the only man left alive. His conversations with store dummies in a DVD rental shop are amusing but also present a believable portrayal of Neville's loneliness. It is quite brave of the director to make such a movie that so much relies on the leading man in this one-man show particularly when that man is known for action and this is, decidedly, not an action piece.

Though some may find this boring I found this quite refreshing and quite a surprise let down only on a few occasions by cheap shock tactics on the part of the movie makers. Smith again shows his acting credentials in not the easiest movie in the world to watch but really quite a “human” one.

Rating:

Review Date: 2007-12-30


Directed by: Francis Lawrence

Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

Year: 2007

Length: 101 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0480249/