January 3, 2008

I Am Legend - $7

I Am Legend is a movie that should have been brilliant. I enjoyed it immensely as it was, this is an action packed science fiction story with a great performance and images that stuck in my head for hours afterward. It could have been so much better though.

I Am Legend is the story of Robert Neville (Will Smith) who is the last person alive in New York city after a virus, initially hailed as the cure for cancer, wipes out most of the worlds population. 99% of the survivors of this virus devolve into creatures who can only exist in the dark and feed on the very small percentage of people who are immune to this virus. Robert Neville is one of the few to be immune, he is a scientist and a military man and is attempting to find a cure using his blood as a base. He has also developed intricate methods of staying alive along with his only companion, his dog.

Will Smith is great in this movie and he needed to be as most of the story revolves only around Robert Neville. The story itself is intriguingly told in a series of flashbacks while the audience follows Neville around in his day to day existence in an empty present day New York. I Am Legend is full of fascinating imagery and very good pacing especially in the early parts of the story as we are introduced to Neville and the life he now leads alone.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie, besides some slightly disappointing CGI there really isn't much to criticize in what this movie had in it. My criticisms instead are reserved for what it did not have. There was so much more I wanted to know when the movie was over that I felt I had only been told part of a story.

What was going on in the rest of the world during the years Neville was alone in New York? There is a subtle rivalry between the strongest and seemingly smartest creature Neville comes in contact with throughout, where did this come from, why was this never explained or expanded on? I was also frustrated with the gap in storyline, the flashbacks at the beginning of the movie only take the story to a point when things started getting bad and the virus is only just getting out of control. We are never told what took place between that point and the state that the world is in now. There is just so much more background that I Am Legend could have given it's audience and at a running time of 100 minutes there was certainly time for more.

It would be impossible not to recommend a movie when my only major criticism is that I wanted more. Still I can't rate I Am Legend as highly as I'd like because it really could have been so much better in my estimation.

I put I Am Legend on my 'Watch It' list and give it a value of $7.


nathan davies said...

i 100% agree with your review.

Sheamus the... said...

you should read the book...AMAZING. I love Francis Lawerence but I won't tip my hat too far for the movie. I think the ending is where it gets me.

Bryce Ashlin-Mayo said...

Agreed...but I too found the ending a bit lacking and would have appreciated some sort of tie in to the rest of the world.

Tony Tanti said...

nathan - that may be a first for us

sheamus - I'm very interested in checking the book out

bryce - no doubt, I think with a couple minor improvements I would have loved this movie

jon or angie said...

i think i agree with you. didn't think will smith was amazing (as in Tom Hanks in Cast Away amazing, compare losing Wilson to losing the dog and you know what i mean), but it was good. You are right, there was so much potential and the story-telling was too short and the CGI not as fun as the old-fashioned way of doing things.