I just saw this movie today, the day it opened here. And was deeply, deeply moved.
I've got to start with the scenes of a deserted New York City post-apocalypse. These were so very, very moving; and very, very convincing. The clips in the trailers for the movie were good, but you really have to see the full panoply of close-up shots, distance shots, etc to really appreciate the sheer scale of what this movie is depicting. There's something of On the Beach and Resident Evil and of any number of disaster movies and zombie movies here. But none of them do justice to the New York depicted here. This is a New York City we see large-scale and micro-scale in order to show us the environment in which the main character is acting.
And Will Smith is simply brilliant as the sole survivor, Robert Neville. Will delivers movingly and convincingly on a script that really focuses on giving us a picture of "what it would be like" ... to be the last man on earth, living off the land in NYC. This is the real strength of this movie: there's really not a lot of blood or gore or zombie scenes at all. Yet I was riveted as Robert goes through his "typical days" in NYC. Every moment was full of pathos and full of menace, too. And occasionally we got some relief from Smith's trademark humor that blended seamlessly with the rest of his performance to give us "what it would be like" with a powerful delivery that just leaves me almost breathless.
There's an effective use of flashbacks that partly tell us the story of how we got to where we're at in this grim New York City; and the flashbacks also serve to give us an overwhelming contrast between Life Before and Life After the apocalyptic disaster wiped out the city. Yet use of flashback was sparing, which I found all the more effective.
Cinematography was excellent throughout, the storyline and script are brilliant, the use of a dog, Samantha, as a key actor was perfect to show us both Robert as companion and Robert as lonely, isolated survivor.
I won't give away the ending, but think it was satisfying as far as it goes, but not nearly as appealing, from my angle, as the foregoing material. That brings up my one complaint: the title. By the end of the movie, we have some sense of the meaning of the title. Yet it still seems to me to feel cheesy and really unworthy of the movie.
But that's a minor plaint. If you haven't seen this movie, and would enjoy seeing a really powerful story about a survivor in post-apocalypse New York City, hey, go check out this flick. It's really worth it.
I Am Legend
Drama / Sci-Fi
I Am Legend
Drama / Sci-Fi
Robert Neville is a scientist who was unable to stop the spread of the terrible virus that was incurable and man-made. Immune, Neville is now the last human survivor in what is left of New York City and perhaps the world. For three years, Neville has faithfully sent out daily radio messages, desperate to find any other survivors who might be out there. But he is not alone. Mutant victims of the plague -- The Infected -- lurk in the shadows... watching Neville's every move... waiting for him to make a fatal mistake. Perhaps mankind's last, best hope, Neville is driven by only one remaining mission: to find a way to reverse the effects of the virus using his own immune blood. But he knows he is outnumbered... and quickly running out of time.
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August 23, 2011 at 5:04 am