1/10/2008

Movie Review: I Am Legend


Picture this: "Now Showing: 28 Days Later starring Will Smith!" If that happened in our reality, the result could have been I Am Legend.

An empty New York City is the setting for this zombie/survival adventure, where Will Smith is the last surviving man in the city after a massive viral infection that turned people into light-shunning , rage-filled beings. (I don't want to use the term zombies, as the computer graphics do them such injustice). If you watched The Omega Man in the 1970's, and see the similarities with I Am Legend, don't be surprised; both are culled from the same novel by Richard Matheson.

People expecting to see a Resident Evil-type of movie should calibrate their expectations. I Am Legend unfolds very slow and reveals events in a restrained pace, and it is very effective. (The first hour seemed like Castaway from where I sat.) The movie builds tension even with just Will Smith acting on screen and the ghost town-like New York contrasts claustrophobic thrillers. Speaking of Smith, he is superb in this movie and carries it, although the story sluggishly reaches its conclusion.

The movie is a commentary on our generation's "monsters," nature turning against man for tinkering with it too much. 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later previously explored versions of this world where biological Frankenstein monsters are wreaking havoc the same way I Am Legend does.


Rating: 3.5/5


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