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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, including an overgrown, deserted Times Square and a lion hunting a deer in the Flatrion District, are goosebump-inducing moments of stark beauty. Though some may question the rendering of the monsters in CGI instead of using actors, it does allow them to be frighteningly acrobatic. A chilling and effective adaptation of a horror classic, I AM LEGEND is also a thought-provoking piece of Hollywood filmmaking.

Will Smith stars in the third adaptation of Richard Matheson’s classic science-fiction novel about a lone human survivor in a post-apocalyptic world dominated by vampires. This new version somewhat alters Matheson’s central hook, i.e., the startling idea that an ordinary man, Robert Neville, spends his days roaming a desolated city and his nights in a house sealed off from longtime neighbors who have become bloodsucking fiends. In the new film, Smith’s Neville is a military scientist charged with finding a cure for a virus that turns people into crazed, hairless, flesh-eating zombies. Failing to complete his work in time--and after enduring a personal tragedy--Neville finds himself alone in Manhattan, his natural immunity to the virus keeping him alive. With an expressive German shepherd his only companion, Neville is a hunter-gatherer in sunlight, hiding from the mutants at night in his Washington Square town house and methodically conducting experiments in his ceaseless quest to conquer the disease.

The film’s first half almost suggests that I Am Legend could be one of the finest movies of 2007. Director Francis Lawrence’s extraordinary, computer-generated images of a decaying New York City reveal weeds growing through the cracks of familiar streets that are also overrun by deer and prowled by lions. It’s impossible not to be fascinated by such a realistically altered cityscape, reverting to a natural environment, through which Smith moves with a weirdly enviable freedom, offset by his wariness over whatever is lurking in the dark of bank vaults and parking garages. Lawrence and screenwriters Mark Protosevich and Akiva Goldsman wisely build suspense by withholding images of the monsters until a peak scene of horror well into the story. It must be said, however, that the computer-enhanced creatures don’t look half as interesting as they might have had the filmmakers adhered more to Matheson’s vampire-nightmare vision. I Am Legend is ultimately noteworthy for Smith’s remarkable performance as a man so lonely he talks to mannequins in the shops he frequents. The film’s latter half goes too far in portraying Smith’s Neville as a pitiable man with a messianic mission, but this lapse into bathos does nothing to take away from the visual and dramatic accomplishments of its first hour. --Tom Keogh

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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 . October 01, 2010
I couldn't imagine how they'd make a movie of this. Really loved the book. Really didn't think it could be done. But it's good. Changes things, but it works.
review by . July 21, 2010
I think Will Smit did a great job playing this character. Being isolated and having to quote himself from Shrek to learn how to communicate with real peopl instead of mannequins!   The only downside to this movie that I can think of is the orribly unrealistic animlas. They just look so fake and it gets annnoying watching the movie and then seeing that they are obviously not real or look remotely real. But anyways, overall, looking past the special animals and people, the movie was good. …
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?
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