Movie Review: I Am Legend

Let me first start off by saying: “Wow.” I don’t even know where to begin with this movie.

Will Smith. Who knew he could match or beat his performance in The Pursuit of Happyness. This is by far his best movie to date. He is naturally funny in all his movies and in the movie previously mentioned, he shows a softer, more genuine side. This is … quite departure from, or rather, an extension of those previous roles. He makes you laugh, he makes you cry, he makes you feel like Chuck Norris needs to watch his back.

If you’ve been totally oblivious to the overall plot of this movie, that’s ok. If you’d like to keep it that way, stop reading. I won’t spoil, however.

It’s a few years into the future and a cure-for-cancer-turned-zomgee-creating virus has done its job. Granted, nobody could have foreseen it, but it happened nonetheless. Robert Neville (Smith) spends his time living in a post-apocalyptic New York City, similar to a thawed-out NYC from The Day After Tomorrow; London from Reign of Fire, substituting zomgees for dragons; or a nonraised-eyebrow version of Planet of the Apes. There’s something oddly thrilling about imagining life alone and having free reign of the world’s largest city. The flashbacks you see in the previews are actually spread out through the entire movie. They are quite predictable but provide a … completeness as to why Neville chose to stay behind. Thankfully, the writer’s don’t go overboard with Neville taking on the zomgees or trying to find their source and eliminating them. No, instead he hides away, avoiding contact while trying to find a cure.Technically, it was a good movie. I don’t recommend buying the soundtrack, as you’ll get about 5 minutes of audio and 4 of those minutes are from a Bob Marley record. Some people have criticized the CG effects, but a) compared to even 3 years ago, they are amazing, and b) when almost 100% of your landscape is CG, you sacrifice quality for quantity. The quality, however, was not distracting in any way. The acting was incredible, there’s really nothing more to say about that. I am slow, but willing, to say that he bested Tom Hanks in Cast Away. Besides, dog > volleyball any day.To summarize, it was a uncomplicated movie that was epically thrilling (more thrilling than Signs, less epic than LotR) with an amazing acting job by Will Smith in an environment that’s strangely … cool.

Acting: 20/20
Plot: 18/20
Effects: 18/20
Music/Score: 14/15 (ironically, there was next-to-none)
Cinematography/Production Quality: 15/15
Intangibles: 10/10
Total 95/100

In Top Gear fashion, I present my board of best movies of 2007 so far:

  1. I Am Legend (95)
  2. Transformers (92*)
  3. Live Free or Die Hard (88*)
  4. Bourne Ultimatum (86*)
  5. Spider-Man 3 (84*)
  6. 3:10 to Yuma (80*)
  7. Pirates 3 (78*)

* denotes a relatively scaled system since I don’t have a per-item scale for them

22 thoughts on “Movie Review: I Am Legend”

  1. pft, I’m not a huge fan of chick flicks… Ok, so I live for $1 rentals and $6 summer drive ins! 😀 (includes two movies, though you don’t really get your choice sometimes…) The drive in experience pretty much rocks. 😀 Car stereos blasting, lawn chairs and a HUGE screen… so long as there’s no fog.

    ZePuKa’s last blog post.. The Not-So-Grand Opening?

  2. Well I tend to agree with you, yet until I get my 52 inch HDTV with 7.1 surround I will still admit that watching movies in the theater far surpasses anything you can do with $1 rentals. Unless of course your movie is a chick flick or something similar where nice sound and picture doesn’t make a difference.

    HT’s last blog post.. Christmas Music?

  3. Just to throw a few things into the ring. For starters I liked the movie overall. I think Ohyo is a bit too harsh and Dan is a bit too loving. Many of the things Dan mentioned I liked so I won’t rehash them, but I did want to point out a thing or two that I thought didn’t work for me personally in the movie.

    Personally I think the thing that hurts this the most is that it can’t figure out whether its a zombie movie, thriller, or drama. To me it seemed to get lost somewhere in the middle. Worse than that though I didn’t really feel for anyone in the movie at any point. I thought Will Smith did a very good job acting and I thought his character was believable and quite emotional in the scenes mentioned above yet I really didn’t feel for him and I’m not entirely sure why that is.

    Ultimately the plot is predictable, for the most part, and the zombie special effects were a bit too much like The Mummy for my tastes. Not to mention the fact that it was hardly scary at all, and if ever there was a point that they were going to scare you – they’d let you know by making everything real quiet and “normal” right before hand. Yet it was certainly all a very good take on a very interesting situation. Like I said, I enjoyed it I’d probably give it somewhere in the high B range or say 4 out of 5 stars. All in all a good movie and worth the price of a ticket.

    HT’s last blog post.. Christmas Music?

  4. Rename this I Am Robot or I, Zomgee. Liked the audio the best, especially in visual parts completely black or incomprehensible. Didn’t like the “Stop hate” ideals; boring/distracting. Post-apocalyptic survival stories never bore however making this movie “watchable.”

    OhYo’s last blog post.. Holiday News Filler

  5. @Ashley- the part where Sam goes into the building was the turning point of the film. It was only then that you started to see that Will Smith’s survival tactics weren’t directed in relation to nature, but to the unnatural. I was completely tensed up during that entire sequence and that part isn’t even rivaled by video games.

  6. I’m definitely looking forward to this one and have been since those teasers came out a year ago. Will Smith certainly has come some where from Fresh Prince and while I think it will be tough to beat his performance in Pursuit of Happyness I look forward to what he can do in this one.

  7. I’m so glad you’ve seen it!! I just saw it and have been DYING to compare notes with someone!! =P I agree with you overall, and think this is by far Smith’s greatest role (despite PoH–that’s in another category by itself). I just think the Plot deserves at least a 19, if not a 20/20…only because of how believable it is. Okay fine, zomgee’s may not be the result/side effect of a cure for cancer IRL, however, I did some research–the whole measles retrovirus cure for cancer thing is being researched and developed as we speak by the Mayo Cancer Clinic R&D centers. It’s just that the plot was so scary because it’s incredibly realistic…Think about what we have already–the HPV cervical cancer vaccine now, and all this research with viruses used against cancer in general. Completely believable. I hope we don’t all turn into zomgee’s though…wah.

    The two people who made this movie what it is: the directors amazing vision and Smith’s acting ability was phenomenally apparent in ONE scene by far: the scene where Sam (dog>volleyball, def.) chases the deer into the hive area…his fear…for himself and for Sam, is completely shown by him alone–his facial expressions, his body language…if you noticed it was one of the only action scenes in which there was absolutely NO ambiance music. Which is just effin’ awesome!!

    Blown up bridge scene? Amazing. Chills.

    ok i’m done. it rocks! Thanks for critiquing. =)

  8. oooh ok. =X

    Call me crazy, but the overall plot seems to resemble “I, Robot” in the sense that Will Smith needs to save humanity from their own mistakes. =P

  9. zomgees? don’t you mean zombies? like RAWR eat brain chomp crunch?
    I don’t want to think of the zomgee site as something along those lines… o-O; *shudder*

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