Genres: Action, Horror,
Thriller

Rated: PG-13

Country: USA

Year: 2007

Runtime: 101 minutes

Studio: Warner Bros.
Pictures

IMDB Page
Review done by:  Nightmare Child
Online since: February 20th, 2006
Hosted by:  Yahoo!
Starring: Will Smith, Salli Richardson, Paradox Pollack, Alice Braga, Charlie
Tahan, Michael Ciesla, Thomas J. Pilutik

Director: Francis Lawrence

Synopsis: Robert Neville is a brilliant scientist, but even he could not contain
the terrible virus that was unstoppable, incurable, and man-made. Somehow
immune, Neville is now the last human survivor in what is left of New York City
and maybe the world. For three years, Neville has faithfully sent out daily radio
messages, desperate to find any other survivors who might be out there. But
he is not alone. The infected lurk in the shadows watching Neville's every
move...waiting for him to make a fatal mistake.



Review:

Be prepared, I think this is going to be more of a rant than an actual review. In
Richard Matheson's novel "I Am Legend" we follow a man by the name of
Robert Neville, who ends up being the last man on earth. We journey with him
in his three year dilema. During the day he eats breakfast, prepares for his daily
routine and goes off into the city to hunt down vampires. Neville becomes a
source of terror to the still living, since he can go around in daylight and kill
them while they're sleeping. After slaying so many undead beasts with stakes
and sunlight (since guns are pretty much useless), he spots a fellow survivor
who seems to not be affected by the deadly bacteria that wiped out the entire
globe. Later, Neville is tricked and then executed, becoming the last of a dying
breed; hence the title "I Am Legend." Great story right? It's one of my
favorites. Well forget everything I just said, because this "I Am Legend" is
nothing like that. Writers Akiva Goldsman and Mark Protosevich took
Matheson's brilliant story and turned it into typical Hollywood cheese. Smelly
clichéd rotting "not cho" cheese at that.

In this "I Am Legend" we follow the Fresh Prince (playing the new Robert
Neville) who becomes the last man on earth. In the year 2009 the entire
population of earth falls victim to a deadly virus that was caused by a drug that
was originally meant to cure cancer. For some reason, Neville never got
infected. His blood prevented him from turning into a blood thirsty vampire...I
mean mutant. Three years pass and we follow Neville doing his daily routine of
working out, eating breakfast, feeding his canine (who doesn't seem to like his
vegetables), hunting for meat and trying to find a cure for the "KV" virus in
hopes of saving all the other mutants. The closer Neville gets to finding a cure,
the bigger the danger gets. Now, to be fair for a second, I was hoping for the
best with this new film adaption. I know the original story like the back of my
hand, I've seen "The Last Man On Earth" many times and I even enjoyed the
Charlton Heston flick "The Omega Man," though they changed stuff around in
that movie as well. I was hoping to god that this movie would reflect the book
much more than the other films did, especially since they share the same title.

I was let down, because all I got was a waste of good time. Don't get me
wrong, if you haven't read the book or at least watched "The Last Man on
Earth" with Vincent Price (which I'm sure is most of you) then you'll probably
enjoy this movie. It's pure popcorn fun, well at least the first half is. Things die
down slowly in the last half. Will Smith is a man who I admire both as an actor
and a performer. He certainly has talent, and he gives his best performance
here. I just think he auditioned for the wrong movie. I Am Legend is your basic
book turned into a movie, and thats very sad. Not only because the book is
great, but because they changed it so much that its not even the same thing
(like most books to movies), it's just a stolen idea that makes a mockery of
itself by stating that it's "based on the novel" when it really is just a cheap
Hollywood crafted imitation. Now that I think about, Stanley Kubrick's "The
Shining" was different from the Stephen King novel. Then again, I Am Legend
doesn't even come close to that. I Am Legend plays out like most apocalyptic
action movies. We've been down this road before. Anyone who thinks that this
concept is new or refreshing needs to brushin' up on their facts.

Both the novel and the original film delt with vampires. For this new film
adaptation, they replaced vampires with mutants called "Dark Seekers." We
don't get to know much about them other than that they're infected and can
jump like wild beasts,climb up polls and they hate the sunlight. The movie
hardly gets into detail about them, we don't know that much about the seekers
because it's never fully explained. We know their weaknesses, but what about
their strengths and what they hunger for? Are they flesh eaters? Or do they
just feast on blood? This is never explained, that was very disappointing.
What's worse about these dark seekers is the fact that they're all computer
animated. Was it really that hard to find actors to fit the roles? Especially for
the up close shots? They could have at least hired stunt workers to portray the
creatures. Just put some makeup on and you're good to go. The CGI (which
the movie is polluted with) looks very outdated and definitely hurt the viewing
experience. I had more fun poking at the animation on screen. If this were a
sci-fi channel movie I would have expected it, but considering the film's budget,
more of it should have went into the practical special effects.

Half the time I was watching a poorly drawn out cartoon. You know those
moments in horror films where everything gets quiet, and all of a sudden
something loud pops up on screen? This movie has a ton of 'em. Hollywood is
under the impression that fake jumpy moments actually scare the audience. It
doesn't. Just because something makes you jump doesn't mean that it's scary.
It just means that you weren't expecting it, like blowing an air horn behind
someones ear. The sad thing is, you can see these moments happening from a
mile away. This cliché has yet to die out. I think I should mention the good
things about the movie. While they're slim, there's some stuff in here that at
least makes it worth a rent. The acting is great, the action itself is pretty
impressive and the humor didn't go over the top. I just never expected to see
Shrek pop up in the movie. Seeing Will Smith talking to mannequins was also a
nifty little treat. That's where the positives end. Of all the things wrong with the
movie, I just found the story and computer effects to be the most painful. I
might have enjoyed this movie more if I didn't know anything about the source
material, but it's too late for that, and I happen to be fond of old movies and
books. I Am Legend was one of the biggest letdowns this year.

Well, at least for me. You may enjoy it more than I did. I don't know, maybe
it's because I know the source material so well that I couldn't help but pass
judgement to all the major tweaks. About eighty percent of the story was
changed for the movie, and the stuff that they did change was what made I Am
Legend such a great story in the first place. Everything got lost in the big
screen translation. Hollywood turned Richard Matheson's vampire novel into a
cartoonish action/comedy loaded with silly humor and a typical output. Oh
Hollywood we know your formula all to well. To top it all off (and
this may spoil
it for you
, honestly I really don't care), they gave it a happy ending. WHAT?!
OH MY GOD REALLY??? I guess they figured that the movie was way too
depressing (minus the humor) that they had to add in a clichéd ending. I was
waiting for big willie style to look into the camera and say
"sorry folks, just
watch me dance instead!"
If you've read the book, by all means DON'T SEE
THIS MOVIE. Unless you want to see Hollywood take a big fat shit on one of
your favorite stories. Just take my advice: Don't see this movie, just read the
book.


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Overall: 5/10
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