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Sunday, March 16, 2008

I Am Legend

***½ I Am Legend. Science fiction.

Directed by: Francis Lawrence.
Starring: Will Smith, Alice Braga

We saw this at the Hercules about a month ago--yes, it's already out on DVD. *sigh*

Mostly, this is a one-man show, kind of like 1408 was. And interestingly, I had very similar reactions to the two movies.

Will Smith is Robert Neville, the scientist who stayed behind in New York City to work on a cure for a plague that's left him, as far as he knows, the last man alive on earth. His only companion is his dog Sam and the mannequins he's placed around the DVD rental store. Well, Sam and his memories. We learn about what happened (with the disease and with his wife and daughter) through flashbacks interspersed with Robert's real-time adventures in staying alive and away from the infected victims, who the disease has turned into something very like vampires.

Eventually, a young woman (Alice Braga) and her son show up to tell him of a group of survivors, and Robert finds a possible cure.

Will Smith was amazing in his portrayal of a man who's lost everything but is working tirelessly to solve a problem. He was utterly convincing as someone who'd been without human companionship for 3 years. If I were grading just on his performance, it would be a 5-star movie.

However, the story left a lot to be desired. The cancer cure that turns people into vampires is a little too goofy to swallow. Robert's wife and daughter leaving the island with seconds to spare made no sense. The CGI vampires looked like every other pale creepy CGI monster in dozens of films--think Gollum in LOTR. I kept wondering about the electricity and the water and the food and the gas, and why the heck he was chasing deer in a car.

And then there were things introduced that went nowhere--particularly the hint that the vampires were developing intelligence and becoming less animalistic, which I found very disappointing.

Worst, though, was the ending, which was horribly schmaltzy and preachy (like Signs, it's All About Faith) and made my teeth hurt. I haven't read the book, but I'm assured it has a much better ending.

Still, it's definitely worth seeing for Will Smith's performance.

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I thought the movie was okay. I would agree that if anything was good about this movie, I would say it'll be Will Smith performance role as "Robert". Which I thought was amazing and excellent. But the movie left lot of unanswer questions, even though I get what happening. And the movie did seem slow but the ending was what left me to remember him in this movie.

I think the most emotional scenes was what happen to his dog (not gonna spoil it).
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