Saturday, January 12, 2008

I Am Legend: Not Legendary.

I'm usually impressed with movies that paint a picture of reality that is vastly different to our own even if it's a somewhat bleaker setting such as this "virus has killed most of humanity" scenario but not with this movie. The idea here is that Will Smith is Dr. Robert Neville alone in NYC having an immunity to the virus and his only friends are his dog, some shop window mannequins and his M4 Carbine. He spends his days hunting what the surviving members of the human race became upon being infected; Vampire-Zombies (for want of a better term), capturing them and experimenting on them in the hopes of finding a cure.

Smith is a competent actor, there's no evidence of the Fresh Prince or Wikki Wah-Wah West here as he pro trays a man who has been without human interaction for three years and is going a little bit loco. Even though his performance is excellent; Smith's character is badly written. A point is made that he's sure there is no God and he is portrayed of being devoid of spirituality or even at this stage, hope itself. Yet he speaks of Bob Marley in such a way that it reveals an allegiance that transcends mere religion, this paradox is just one example of how badly written this movie is- the culprit: one Akiva Goldsman responsible for I, Robot, The DaVinci Code and the greatest celluloid travesty of all time: Batman And Robin.

There isn't much in the way of supporting characters, these are mainly relegated to scenes of life before and during the outbreak which is expertly produced generating a real sense of fear and interpretation and just enough to set the tone of the movie. While the virus infects humans and turns them into "Vampbies" they attack and kill others before they are infected thus explaining why everyone is gone. The creatures are created entirely by CGI and that unfortunately heavily detracts from the movie's impact and indeed it's rating as the CGI is surprisingly poor for 2007 and somewhat unnecessary too as the "Vampbies" are basically human and would have been far more realistic as humans in make up.

This is one of those movies that I'm fairly apathetic towards. It was neither brilliant or shite. It fits nicely into that middle ground of movies where you would watch it if it was on TV, but you could be doing something else at the time as well.

Final Verdict: Will Smith is excellent. There are some good action sequences but ultimately this movie should greatly fail to make too much of an impression on anyone. Overall, a poor start to what looks like a promising year.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ***


Anonymous said...

"his only friends are his dog, some shop window mannequins and his M4 Carbine."

Dare I say, an uncanny description of the Lt.Col

Bruce Russell said...

Concerning the Lt. Col, you're leaving out 'the screams of all the men he's sent to their deaths.'

Anonymous said...

Ahh, Sweet Music to his ears, each piercing cry of agony a single note in the Lt.Col's symphony of glory!

Constance said...

PS - You were totally right about the cgi vampires. Disappointing.