Sunday, December 16, 2007

I am Legend will not be one

I love Will Smith, I think he's a terrific actor, and does a great job in nearly everything he does (though you can see my opinion of his last dramatic work, The Pursuit of Happyness) and was excited to see I Am Legend as I really like sci-fi movies and movies about futuristic science catastrophes, so this movie should have been right up my alley. However, beyond the pretty amazing special effects converting New York City back to nature, the movie is just not fun and really not very interesting. Will Smith is a scientist trying to find a cure to the virus that 3 years ago turned 5% of the global human population (94.9% died from the virus, .1% was immune, hence Will Smith survivng) into zombies of a sort. However, Smith spends a lot of his days driving around the city hunting the deer that have moved in (although given that all the bridges were torn down and the tunnels flooded, I'm a little mystified as to how all the animals got there). He also visits a video and CD store watching new movies and talking to the mannequins that he obviously set up in the store. He also has a wonderful dog, Sam, who travels around with him all the time. They can roam freely during the day, but must get inside and hide by dusk as that's when all the remaining human zombies go hunting (they're supersensitive to UV rays). He's doing pretty well, though can't seem to find the cure, and seems entertained and hopeful until a major set-back upsets his obviously fragile mental state. He starts to attack the zombies, rather than hide from them, to his own near-destruction. After that the big attacks come as the zombies find his home, and start attacking. Luckily another living woman and a kid save Smith from his self-destructive behavior. A bunch of things blow up, and the woman and kid hide in Smith's house while he blows up all the zombies who found them. Yes, I just described the whole movie, but I still don't think there were spoilers as there was nothing particularly shocking or suprising thoughout the movie. There are all kinds of jump-in-your-seat scares as zombies attack and Smith fights back, but overall this is not an entertaining movie, nor a particularly good thriller or sci-fi story. There are flashbacks thoughout the movie that show how Smith thought he could stop the spread before it got out of hand, but it's not clear why he's responsible or why he thinks he should do that rather than escape with his family. There is a good cameo by Emmy Thompson as the doctor who engineered the virus that was supposed to cure cancer. If you're looking for a zombie flick see Shaun of the Dead instead, and if you want a post-apocolyptic story see Children of Men. Only 2 stars out of 5.

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