Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I Am Legend

I'm gonna do movie reviews more because they're easy for me. I hope you all don't mind. Oh, and they're going to be for stuff that's already on DVD because going to the movies is expensive, and I am cheap.

I read the book some time ago, but didn't feel the need to reread it for the film because this is a Will Smith movie. All you need to know is that the title is shared with a good book. The two have no other connection between them. In truth, reading the book will only confuse you.

Will Smith plays a messianic, military scientist. Trying to say that and trying to swallow it are equally difficult. But it's Will Smith! He's so likable. We'll accept anything.

The cure for cancer has killed almost everyone. (I KNEW IT! It's the carcinogens that will save humanity.) Will Smith is the lone survivor of the deadly plague in New York City. He's gone a little nutty in his isolation. He chats with mannequins and watches old news shows to keep in touch with humanity. His only real companion is his dog Sam. They go out daily to do a little hunting, golfing, scavenging, and the aforementioned chatting with mannequins. I'm surprised the dog hasn't left his crazy ass yet. But this is just the mundane stuff. The real work happens downstairs in Smith's high tech basement laboratory. Now this is one of those little details that irked me. He has to have had this set-up in his basement before the plague. How the hell did he get a laboratory? His name isn't Dexter. The military wouldn't have approved this. His wife wouldn't have approved it. So it shouldn't exist.

But it's why he has stayed in New York. He's searching for the cure for the cure for cancer. He thinks he's found it. Now he needs to do some human testing. Interspersed all this are recollections of the night New York was quarantined. Will Smith is trying to get his family out. He gets special privileges due to being Will Smith. These inter cut scenes really slowed the movie down which is ironic because they're supposed to be so taunt and dramatic, but we already know something is going to go bad because Will Smith is alone and crazy and not seeking any survivors.

I much preferred observing the aftermath. The empty, overgrown streets of New York were amazing to see. The running herds of deer were cool to watch as they darted in and out among the empty cars. Why Will had such a hard-on to kill one is beyond me, especially since he sucked at it, and there's always SPAM. Will Smith's melt down at one of the mannequins was pretty powerful as well as his quiet conversation with another. Smith is nothing if not watchable. He's someone you instinctively root for and watching him in an apocalyptic landscape, destitute and unhinged made the tragedy seem all the more awful. But that's only if you're a Will Smith fan. If you couldn't care less about him, then this film will seem pretty silly to you.

Overall, it was an okay popcorn movie, but not one I'd regularly rewatch. What do I regularly rewatch? 28 Days Later, for when I need a pick me up.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

The post-pandemic New York made me think of parts of Alan Weisman's book The World Without Us.

11:38 PM, June 18, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heston's version "The Omega Man" was pretty good, but I haven't seen "I Am Legend" yet. If I really feel the need for a post apocalyptic wasteland I can just go the the South Bronx... Engaging review!

6:57 AM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger Gardenbuzzy said...

The only part I was really sad about was when his dog died. But you are right, Will Smith is imminently watchable and I've never seen a bad Will Smith movie.

12:30 PM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger Vampire Librarian said...

Lawnchair Naturalist, I have not read that book, but it sounds really interesting. Thanks for mentioning it.

LibrarianWoes, I remember liking Omega Man when I saw it. I don't know if I could sit through it again though. Sci-Fi and fantasy movies do not age well.

Gardenbuzzy, the dog got me too. I didn't enjoy the last third of the movie. Smith's actions were some what logical but then somewhat not. The whole taking a car and killing vamps seemed unlike him. He was so methodical before this. I would think his revenge would be the same. And they basically showed that big vamp was in love/mated to the one Smith captured to test, but they didn't let Smith draw any conclusions from it.

9:33 PM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger The.Effing.Librarian said...

agree that the first hour was good, but the last hour complete crap. I don't even want to remember it... as the girls used to say, "erase erase erase."

1:11 PM, June 25, 2008  
Blogger Spike said...

Vamps? Will Smith the lone nutter turns into Buffy Smith the vampire slayer?

Bewildered of Woy Woy

P.S. I heartily concur that WS is watchable.

10:31 PM, July 17, 2008  
Blogger Vampire Librarian said...

I'm looking forward to Hancock. It should be on DVD in a couple of months. :-)

10:34 PM, July 18, 2008  

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