I Am Legend Review

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I Am Legend Movie PosterWe saw two movies during the holiday time frame. The first one is I Am Legend. I’ve looked forward to seeing this one since hearing about it awhile ago. I’ve always really liked the 1971 version of this story — The Omega Man starring Charlton Heston. It was typical for an early 70s movie in that it includes some scenes that don’t age all that well but the overall effort is quite entertaining and interesting. The original had a lot of grit and personality that really made you care about Neville (the main character).

The latest incarnation stars Will Smith and, of course, pretty much no one else. I was, to be brutally honest, bored to the point of having dozed off for a short bit. Much has been made of the effects and how convincing Manhattan looks after suffering the effects of mass desertion. I wasn’t impressed at all. My biggest question is, where are all the bodies? Where is all the blood? The streets are devoid of everyday human life but it seems that perhaps some janitorial service still functions to remove all traces of human bodies each night. It’s as if someone hired Disney Imagineers to deal with this before they disappeared.

There are countless things that are introduced only to go entirely unexplained throughout. Why, for example, does Will Smith’s Doctor Neville hunt deer around the city? Does he need the food? Is he looking for subjects to study? Are they infected in some way? Is he just bored silly? We’re never told.

Then there’s the bad guys. Okay, they look neat but they too make no sense and there’s one that really defies explanation. Don’t look to the movie to try to explain this one either. In Omega the baddies are interesting, haunting and understandable. Here we’ve got someone who thinks viewers can only accept more zombies. The result is that they’re pretty much lifeless and uninteresting. Good plot choice there (that’s sarcasm for those who missed it).

I found virtually nothing in this movie to recommend. It was slow. The effects are a bit cartoonish. Idiotic plot choices come up at every turn. For a brilliant man, this Doctor Neville leaves me wondering how he manages to tie his shoes each day. The worst of this happens with the ending sequences that fail to provide any relief from the earlier catastrophes. The biggest disaster story of this movie is that someone thought this was an entertaining retelling of the original.

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