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I Am Legend

The 2007 Francis Lawrence-directed film based on the novel of the same name and starring Will Smith.

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A new version of the 1954 novella 'I Am Legend'

  • Oct 29, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+4
Colonel Robert Neville, also a doctor, is the last man alive in New York City. He broadcasts daily on AM radio asking for people to meet up with him at what looks to be an old naval base by the water. Neville and his German Shepherd Sam show up everyday looking for other survivors of the virus, named KV. Once thought to be the cure for cancer, the engineered virus mutated and spread airborne, killing people and radically altering those who didn't die into zombie-like, mindless beings.

Neville spends his days hunting deer, loose from the park or the zoo, and picking up supplies for his house. His nights are spent inside his altered house, shuttered and barricaded against the beasts of the night. Beneath the house is his lab, where he continues to work diligently on a cure for those infected monsters that prowl the streets at night, hungry for blood. He sets traps to catch the zombies for test subjects using his serums. At last, Neville believes he's found a serum that will work.

During an excursion in town, Neville notices one of his store mannequins has been moved, and when he investigates he's caught in a trap and unconscious until nightfall. Who moved the mannequin and who set the trap? Is someone else still alive and uninfected? Neville and Sam must make it back to the car before sundown, but the hour is late and the darkness is falling. Something bad is about to happen.

To those of you who've read the classic 1954 novella, 'I Am Legend', by Richard Matheson, the movie does not follow the book very well. Other movies have been made from the novella, including the 1964 movie 'The Last Man On Earth' and 'The Omega Man' filmed in 1971 starring Charlton Heston. In this version, the infected are more like zombies than vampires, and more aggressive. The film had been modernized (the incidents in the book take place in 1976) which is more attractive to today's audiences, and there's a lot more action involved. The movie is more external (action) which is well suited for a film version than the book, which is more internal (introspective), but what I really didn't like was how they twisted the ideal of Neville's "legend" status.

Will Smith does an excellent performance as Neville, and the atmosphere of a deserted New York City was captured quite nicely. The zombies are pretty cool, though I don't know who dreamed up the hairless idea. Sam the dog is added to the film (not in the book) but Sam stole the show for me. (I love German Shepherds!) If you're a Matheson fan and have enjoyed both novella and the other remakes of this story, then 'I Am Legend' is well worth the purchase. Enjoy!
I Am Legend - Movie

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January 25, 2009
Oh, there is a dog in the original book, but its not Morgan's pet. He finds it roaming around one day. He wants to keep it but tests it first to see if its infected, which it is, so he has to kill it.
 
January 02, 2009
I really wanted to love this movie, but its over reliance on cgi and its rushed ending as well as its gaping holes in plot and logic left me almost angry. If studios are going to spend this much money on a film then they should spend a bit of it where it will do the most good--namely by hiring competent script writers who will treat the audience with some respect. When a script is this weak it shows the writer's disdain for genre fans. Their attitude seems to be, "Oh well, its only horror" as if genre fans haven't any brains and don't deserve anything that makes sense.
 
December 10, 2008
I had heard that the movie was a bit different then the book. I'm interested to read the book, as I've heard it's good. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the movie and don't think anyone could have come close to doing as good of a job as Will Smith did.
 
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More I Am Legend reviews
review by . October 25, 2010
Not Quite Legendary But A Good Re-Imagining of The Concept....
I AM LEGEND is a post-apocalyptic disaster film that is another attempt at adaptation of Richard Matheson's novel back in the early `50's. The first adaptation being "The Last Man on Earth" (1964) with Vincent Price and the cheesy but entertaining "Omega Men" (1971) with Charlton Heston. Being a remake, "I am Legend" leaves a lot to be desired with the unpredictability factor. However, with the current evolution in CGI effects, expectations would be …
review by . November 17, 2010
In just a couple of years, cancer will be cured via a mutated version of the measles virus...reprogrammed to destroy cancer. Yet just three years after that, mankind will be all but extinct, as the virus has mutated yet again to where it either kills the person carrying it or turns that person into a type of light-fearing zombie set on eating living flesh of any kind. In Manhattan, the lone "normal" survivor is Dr. Robert Neville, who coincidentally was the military scientist who was madly …
review by . May 13, 2008
I wasn't sure what to expect going into "I Am Legend", but I can say that I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.  It's almost like it is two movies -- Act I is "Last Man on Earth", Act II is the "horror" part.  Without going into details, the movie really pulls you in and forces you to imagine how YOU would handle being without any other human contact.  Despite the horror movie label, Will Smith does an excellent job of acting without the support of other actors to interact with.  I …
review by . November 16, 2009
Will Smith saves the World from bad CGI.
   I dig on Will Smith. The dude has more onscreen charisma than a dude with lots of onscreen charisma. Yessir, the guy is a genuine, mega-buck making, sooper star.   He is garnering his earnings, by providing us simple entertainment, where he saves the world.   A lot.   And we lap it up.      But he couldn't save this remake of the 1971, Charlton Heston Classic, The Omega Man.      The story focuses on Dr. …
Quick Tip by . July 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
i was so sad about the dog! another movie to prove will smith's acting skills. hes alone in the majority of the scenes and hes still great!
Quick Tip by . June 17, 2010
Decent movie, didn't follow the book though
review by . July 15, 2009
I Am Legend is a famous book by Richard Matheson.  The book has been adapted a couple of times.  The version starring Will Smith is the most recent.  However, I still have a love of the one starring Vincent Price (although that movie was called "The Last Man on Earth").  The version starring Will Smith is actually the first adaptation to actually use the name of Matheson's book.  Will Smith gives a good performance, although there are some things that can …
review by . December 15, 2009
I love zombies and I love Will Smith. That said, this was still a top of the line zombie movie (which isn't easy!), and Smith was at his best. I cry every time I watch this (when he parts with his family and the dog scene). The special effects are top notch and the story is good, gripping, depressing and hopeful. A must see for everyone! Even those who don't love zombies or Will Smith! But really, how can you not?
Quick Tip by . November 16, 2009
Could have been great. Too bad it feels like you are watching a cut scene from a video game
review by . May 01, 2009
I read I Am Legend when I was still at school, and it left me shell-shocked. The twist-ending concept used in Fight Club and The Sixth Sense is infinitely more effective in book form, and I found myself thinking about it for weeks. I won't spoil it here, but believe me it's a good one, and completely explains the title (which on my library-abused copy, looked like an extra space had crept in - I am Leg End?).  Matheson's book had the hell kicked out of it in the super-cheesy Omega Man …
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I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
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In I AM LEGEND, Will Smith joins the ranks of Vincent Price (in 1964's THE LAST MAN ON EARTH) and Charlton Heston (in 1971's OMEGA MAN) as the star of an adaptation of Richard Matheson's 1954 novel of the same name. Often surprising in its focus on loneliness and loss, this thoughtful, eerie, and restrained sci-fi horror film provides a parade of startling visuals, but never allows special effects to overcome the human element. Smith, in a strong performance very different from his usual persona, is Robert Neville, the lone survivor in a New York City where streets are overgrown and deer gambol among deserted automobiles. Following an epidemic, the Earth's population has been turned into an army of nocturnal zombies. Immune to the virus, military scientist Neville searches for a cure in his Washington Square townhouse. Haunted by visions of his family leaving quarantined Manhattan two years prior, he drives through the city with his German Shepherd, Sam, by day and barricades his home from the monsters nightly. But when Anna (Alice Braga)--another immune stranger-finds him, they will have to fight the onslaught twice as hard. Akiva Goldsman and Mark Protosevich's emotionally-charged script showcases the charisma of Smith, who commands the screen alone for most of the picture (aside Abbey, a talented German Shepherd). Director Francis Lawrence (CONSTANTINE) uses music minimally, wisely allowing the eerie cityscapes to remain mostly silent. The set pieces, ...
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