I am Legend

Mikey 12 comments
I am Legend

I went into I am Legend with an open mind, which actually means I knew knowing a thing about it other than it stars Will Smith. It didn't take long to realise this movie had already been made before, in 1971 and it was called The Omega Man. My memories of The Omega Man are faint so I can't compare them and I wouldn't anyway, suffice to say the protagonist in both movies are the last men of earth.

Smith is Robert Neville, the apparent last surviving human on Earth after a man made plague wiped everyone out. Neville is immune to the disease and he spends a lot of his time trying to develop a cure.

I should say that not everyone was wiped out. Some survivors have transformed into vampire/zombie hybrids who can not be in direct contact with sunlight. On the subject of these hybrids, if there were ever an award category for most unconvincing CGI 'I am Legend' would be a sure winner. The monsters were on a par with something you would expect to see 10 years ago, nothing like today's standards. In addition to the bad CGI, the sound emitted by the monsters was completely wrong. Remember these are still humans albeit with demised brain functions and a sensitivity to light, yet they had all lost the ability to speak and instead only ever roar at the top of their lungs. My point is they will still have human vocal cords, so they shouldn't sound like lions roaring at 100 decibels.

Anyway, back to the movie, Neville spends a lot of time fighting the monsters and trying to maintain his own sanity. He is eventually joined by a couple of other survivors he didn't know existed. Anna speaks of a 'promised land' where many survivors reside although Neville doesn't believe it. More of the survival horror scenario is played out until the bitter end of the movie, which wasn't what I expected - in a bad way.

The story is complex and so intriguing you will literally be perplexed throughout - sorry I couldn't keep a straight face saying that. The truth is 'I am Legend' is as boring as it sounds. I have read some reviews that claim Smith's performance was the only saving grace, but I couldn't see anything special about it.

On the plus side the deserted city scape looked convincing with free roaming animals and overgrown flora in the cities. The eerie quietness required for the movie was achieved quite well.

I can not think of a single reason to recommend watching this movie. But there is a lot worse out there (yeah I will continue bashing Die Hard 4 until the day I die).

 2 stars

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Tuesday 18th March 2008 | 08:39 PM

Tried watching The Omega Man some time ago, but observing Heston drinking and hanging around in a lonely city and some bad guys hissing outside isn't really my idea of entertainment. Still gonna watch I am Legend for I'm a little fan of Will Smith (only the actor side - as you see at times I enjoy mindless action if it's created by a cool guy; I also enjoyed Die Hard 4 for imo Willis is one of the best older emo-face actors :D and, well, a cool actor overall anyway).

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Tuesday 18th March 2008 | 08:42 PM

Do you know what - I liked this film. However, I didn't like the overly animated "monsters". They should have used simple human beings, not physics defying, snake-jawed, supermen.

When it comes to the genetic-virus-accident-creates-undead-zombies movies the clear and away best of the lot is 28 xxxx later (as in '28 days later' and '28 weeks later'). At least in these movies the undead are still limited by movements capable of, well, people.

Plus they do the plot in a plausible and believable fashion. They also have city scapes where there are total absences of people - except they really have no people, they're too low budget for that kind of special effect. There's something very eerie about seeing London without any signs of life.

Also, 28 weeks later has Robert Carlyle.

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Tuesday 18th March 2008 | 11:24 PM

Its funny you mention the sound the monsters make Mike, as I found myself sitting next to a speaker in the cinema and my ears are still ringing. (Although I think it was turned up to loud. They did the same thing in "V for Vendetta" the sound of the knives cutting through the air bought a tear to my eye)

You got to stop with the "die hard 4" bashing. The movie rocks! Guns, explosions, cheesy one liners, and Bruce Willis. What more could you ask for? Wait I know, a chopper being taken out by launching a car at it. :0)

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Wednesday 19th March 2008 | 12:39 AM

Been wanting to see this one, will have to make it happen soon.

Like Rodney said it'll be hard to beat 28 days/weeks later. Only thing I didn't like about those movies is how they portrayed the military. In 28 Days, I mean come on, compleat and total breakdown of order/discipline, in just a couple of weeks, because they want to have sex?

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Jim-Just a Guy

Wednesday 19th March 2008 | 01:57 AM

Will Smith = Good Actor
Acting in I am Legend was well done by Smith. However I will agree that the monsters were atrocious. The bad CGI killed the movies for me. I have not seen Die Hard 4 yet. I keep talking to too many people that hated it. I am not yet willing to give up time in my life to see for myself out of fear that I may end up wanting to stick a spork in my eye to make the horror stop.

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Wednesday 19th March 2008 | 08:18 AM

I've got to make the point though mike that what we are currently doing with genetic manipulation of organisms and diseases is very similar to the work they were doing in the movie. The cure for Equine Influenza or the "Horse Flu" which cost the racing industry in Australia billions last year was a GMO of a POX virus found in birds.

Working in such a closely related field, I came out of this movie with a renewed sense of guile. Such a thing could happen in the pursuit of human immortality.

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Wednesday 19th March 2008 | 05:49 PM

Agreed with the shitty CGI. Disagree with your review. I thought this was one of Will Smiths better performances.

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Wednesday 2nd April 2008 | 12:22 AM

Good movie. I prefer the alternate ending though. Omega Man is still one of my favorites also. Both versions of the movie are far better than the vampire basis of the book.

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Sunday 11th May 2008 | 03:51 AM

you are one of the sane ones on this Blog..Indeed, this is another one of the thousands of the movies that pander to the stupid masses.

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Sunday 11th May 2008 | 03:51 AM

...in response to this comment by hollowman777. Good movie my ass, your about as stupid as they come.

Trent Greguhn

Trent Greguhn

Saturday 13th March 2010 | 03:52 AM
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Mikey, please please please read this comment.

I'm surprised that no one mentioned this little tid bit in the comments besides Hollowman777.

I don't know who you are Hollowman777, but one thing is for certain is that there's no possible way you read the book.

Mikey, go to a library and buy the book. Or buy it for $0.49 on amazon.com. The book is incredible and completely different than the movie. The only thing similar to I Am Legend the movie and the book is the name of the protaganist. Otherwise the book is absolute genious and the movie doesn't come close to capturing the poetic ending and story that the book gave.

Shame on you Hollowman777... shame.

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Saturday 13th March 2010 | 06:46 AM
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...in response to this comment by Trent Greguhn. Comment read... :-)

I'll look out for it. Now if I could find some time to read a book....

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