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.
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. Robert Neville, the lastest man in the Universe, ever.
By day, he and his trusty Alsation, Sam, hunt rogue deer for food in the deserted streets of New York.
The visuals here are quite striking. Familiar city scapes that have graced the canvas of many a movie screen, devoid of human life, over grown with unkempt vegetation evokes an eerie and lonely feeling.
When he and his dog aren't shooting big guns at defenseless deer, he is atop a Jet Fighter, shooting golf balls off the tail section with his nine iron.
I guess you can get pretty bored in a deserted city.
He scavenges peoples abandoned apartments for food and medication, before hightailing back to his fortified abode when the sun begins to set.
For he isn't truly alone. The virus that has rid our dear world of it's trusty inhabitants, has indeed turned most of them into blood thirsty, cranky cgi mutants. And they can only come out at night.
Like a vampire cross, hybrid thingy.
This, unfortunately, is where a good movie falls apart.
The decision to use CGI to create the beasties was a poor choice.
In our day and age, (hell...Romero pulled it off in the 70's), movie makers are quite capable of creating hordes of ugly, angry, hungry critters with some well applied makeup.
The threat level would have been tenfold, had the mutants felt real.
Instead, we are meant to watch Will Smith, phantom fight, digital creations that would barely make the cut for a Playstation game.
Sucked me right outta the movie.
It could have been great, as there is much to like here.
As I mentioned, the mood and atmosphere is truly dripping off the screen. The portrayal of the emptiness of a city known for it's hustle and bustle is spectacular.
Streets with grass growing through the pavement. Vines creeping up the sides of buildings. Abandoned cars littering the city and it's sidewalks.
Very cool. Much like the opening scenes of 28 Days Later.
Smith can act.
He takes his character to some deep, emotional levels. Portraying the lonliness of man who has taken to talking to mannequins, just so that he feels he has someone to talk to.
(Working up the courage to approach a female dummy at a video store is hilarious and heartbreaking).
The suspense is quite good too. Following his wayward canine into an darkened building, inhabited by our CGI friends, is some serious, hold your breath stuff.
I wanted to love this movie. Instead it's a little more than "meh".
Smith does the best he can here and carries the movie for as long as he can. Being by himself for the majority of the flick is a testament to the guys onscreen presence. He is immensely watchable.
But the execution is weak. I never once felt like he was in any real peril when being chased by cartoon vampires.
Will Smith fans undoutedly will check this out and most likely get a kick out of it.
Everyone else will just groan at the special effects and leave the viewing experience empty.
Like eating a large tub of popcorn for dinner.
Fun, but ultimately unsatisfying and leaving you with dry mouth.
Would have given this movie a rating of 3, but the filmmakers decision to use cgi unnecessarily, really pissed me off.
It should be used to enhance the storytelling process. An invisible aid. Not a shortcut for some cheap thrills.
That is just lazy, uncreative film making.
What did you think of this review?