I Am Legend  

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

I Am Legend
2007, in theaters

You should know
Once again, I have not read the book – but I want to. I hear the movie diverges from the book significantly.

I saw this film with Chris, Brian, and another friend of ours.

Also, be warned: there is at least one tear-jerking moment involving a dog.

For the most part I enjoyed the film. The ending fell a little flat, although it could have been worse, and I had several questions about plot points (which are spoilery; scroll down).

Maybe it was just me, but I had some trouble making the connection between the AlphaZombie/Vampire and Neville. Only on reading the Wikipedia page did I make the connection.

Why did Neville have to strangle Sam? (Hey, I warned you.) He could have put her down humanely; heck, he could have sedated her before injecting the cure, just like he did all the other test subjects. But no.

And how, exactly, did Anna and Ethan get onto Manhattan Island, anyway?

Ok, spoilers are done.

As Dr. Robert Neville, Will Smith once again proves that when he’s actually challenged – that is, not just playing himself – he’s a terrific actor. For that matter, the dog was a very good actor, as well. I can’t swear it’s true, but I’ve read that she does her own stunts (except for fetching).

In all, it’s far more sad than scary, which I think the early marketing captured pretty well. Be prepared going in to be emotionally manipulated.

See it…
…Assuming you’re ok with emotional manipulation and zombies (or vampires. It’s ambiguous). Some people hate the one; some hate the other. These people should avoid the movie. And parents of little kids should definitely see it and make a judgment call before letting their children see it; nightmares could be caused by half a dozen aspects of this film.

The rest of the Internet
Warning: Spoilers abound
The IMDb page for the film.
The Wikipedia page for the book.
Decent, if not spectacular, reviews at Rotten Tomatoes.
Christianity Today reviews the film and offers some interesting discussion questions.
Stephanie Zacharek at Salon finds the psychology much more interesting than the action. Most critics seem inclined to agree (myself included).
Tom Russo at Entertainment Weekly compares Smith in I Am Legend with Charlton Heston in Omega Man.
Different reviews describe the film as timely or nostalgic.
At Off the Meat Rack, a big fan of Omega Man reviews I Am Legend.
Phil BC at A Very Public Sociologist considers potentially sexist themes in the film.
Dave Loveless at The Prodigal considers Smith the new Harrison Ford.

Awesome link of the week
Sars at Tomato Nation is one of the founders of Television Without Pity, keeps her blog chock full of movie and book reviews, advice, creative writing, shopping help, baseball talk, and slices of New York life. If you want to know where to get those shoes, how to get the cat to stop peeing on things, or exactly what is going on with the Yankees, cruise the archives.

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