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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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The freaks come out at night

  • Nov 15, 2008
  • by
If you've read The Road by Cormac McCarthy, or the book on which this movie is based, or the other two movies inspired by the book, then you're already familiar with the post-apocalyptic theme of this movie. Robert Neville (Will Smith) and his dog are home alone in New York City, after a cancer cure goes very, very wrong.

Did I say "alone"? My bad. Also inhabiting the Big Apple are mutated creatures that once were human, but have been changed by the virus into CGI nocturnal monsters who'd love a bite to eat.

Having been tasked with finding a cure, Neville refuses to leave what he calls "ground zero", not giving up even after not seeing another healthy survivor for three years. The movie meanders around the middle part, as he passes his days driving around an overgrown Manhattan, scavenging, chasing wildlife and talking to mannequins, spending his nights locked in his home.

The action gets into gear just before the end, when on the brink of giving up, he discovers that he is not alone, and then gets some unwelcome company. It sort of drifts off after this point, quickly summarizing the events to come in almost indecent haste.

Short Attention Span Summary (SASS)

1. Measles disease comes in handy as a cure for cancer
2. Oooops! Serious side effects from KV vaccine
3. Beware of things that go bump in the night. They bite!
4. Will Smith stands alone (except for his dog) trying to find a cure based on his immunity to the virus
5. Will Smith exercises without his shirt on
6. Watch the above scene again
7. Will roams about by day, scavenging, listening to Bob Marley and practicing survival for dummies
8. Will's about to chuck it all in when the unexpected happens
9. The expected happens

An excellent beginning with graphic imagery (and a buff leading man) peters out into a tepid and somewhat rushed finale. Worth the admission price for the settings, the cinematography, and for Smith.

Amanda Richards

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April 02, 2009
This movie scared the crap out of me I must admit- I guess it is apparent that I am not a scary movie flick chick. I know Iknow the movie wasn't scary to most but to me Blwaaah! Good review:)
April 03, 2009
Don't worry, about a thing - Will's character was plenty scared too :)
January 26, 2009
The brilliant Amanda strikes again! Great review!
January 25, 2009
Funny. I loved your summary of the film. I really wanted to like I AM LEGEND too, and initially I gave it 4 stars, but after a day or two I found myself thinking about all the things that bothered me and didn't make sense. Just because its a horror film is no excuse to have a weak script with plot holes you could drive a tank through. And then there's that rushed ending you mentioned which also confused a lot of people I talked to. Some thought that folks were safe there because it was COLD there. Well in that case why not just go to upstate New York? Its pretty damn cold there too. It would hardly be a worldwide plague if cold detered it. See what I mean? Very weak script, very big gaps in logic. But Will Smith was great in the part, you have to give him that. In the end the film was barely 3 stars for me.
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 . 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.
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
About the reviewer
Amanda Richards ()
Ranked #39
I write reviews for a hobby. Most of my reviews are short and to the point, on account of my short attention span. I try to make my reviews both informative and entertaining, and sometimes I succeed. … more
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About this movie


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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