I Am Legend (2007)

PG-13   |    |  Action, Adventure, Drama


I Am Legend (2007) Poster

Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure.


7.2/10
696,676

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


4 March 2008 | hitchcockthelegend
6
| Could have been a corker, but...
Two thirds of this film is wonderful entertainment, both in scope and story telling, and in Will Smith we have a cracking central performance that carries the film with consummate ease, sadly the final third undoes all the great promise and tension building that had gone before it.

After a genetic engineered cancer curing virus wipes out practically all of mankind, Robert Neville {Will Smith} appears to be the sole surviving human on earth, the only company he has is the family dog and an army of virus infected mutants that can only come out in the dark. That Neville is a former scientist who is immune to the deadly strain is a bonus as it means he can work on a potential cure.

Yes it's daft, and yes it's contrived, but there sure is a lot of good stuff to enjoy before the films major failing surfaces. Firstly is Will Smith's performance, there is no doubting he is a major star these days, but here he also cements his standing as a bona fide A lister of note. He layers the performance so well, his character not only has to deal with the heavy threat of being killed by the mutants at night, he also has to fight his own isolation, mans inherent need for companionship is a tortured thing when you appear to be the sole beneficiary of gods green earth.

Secondly the setting of a barren desolate New York is eerily staggering, overgrown with foliage and stalked by lions searching for food, it really is a big screen must to embrace the scope of it. Thirdly the mutants themselves are scary enough, but they honestly would have been better served being played by human actors rather than the CGI used that brings very mixed results, and fourthly the tension building is pitch perfect, the makers manage to have you on the edge of your seat gasping for a solution to this cracking story unfolding, but then...

They throw it all away by a rushed ending that had me positively seething, a quick turn of events should be a prelude to a fully fleshed out finale but instead we get a quick wham bam, oh The End. It leaves a bitter taste in the mouth on leaving the cinema and frankly the audience deserves better, and in fact so does Will Smith, did they run out of money? Well that I don't know, but what I do know is that we so nearly had a genre classic to look fondly on for years to come, shame that. 6.5/10

Footnote: Having just watched the alternate version that is readily available on disc formats, I have to say that as weak and as frustrating as the theatrical ending is, the alternate ending is far worse, trite and totally misplaced, they chose the better ending of the two for sure.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Production Designer Naomi Shohan previously worked with Director Francis Lawrence on Constantine (2005).


Quotes

TV Personality: The world of medicine has seen its share of miracle cures, from the polio vaccine to heart transplants. But all past achievements may pale in comparison to the work of Dr. Alice Krippin. Thank you so much for joining us this morning.
Dr. Alice Krippin: Not at all.
TV Personality: So, ...


Goofs

At the moment near the end, when Neville realizes the only way out is to save a vial of blood from the captured infected woman, the close-up image of Neville shows the bite mark he sustained on his left shoulder. The image is obviously flipped. He was bitten and dragged by his right shoulder.


Crazy Credits

During the opening title sequence, a news report is heard. Then the movie begins with the news reporter.


Alternate Versions

The alternate theatrical version contains several new scenes:

  • After Neville captures the Alpha Female, he notices that she has a butterfly tattoo on the back of her shoulder.
  • After Neville thanks Anna for stitching his leg wound, they go out to where Neville was trapped the previous day. Neville recognizes the equipment as his own, but can't fathom what they're doing there. Anna asks him if the Dark Seekers could've made the trap, but Neville is adamant that they can't think or feel. Anna still brings up the point that Neville could be wrong and the Dark Seekers made the trap for him.
  • Neville, Anna, and Ethan go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Neville and Anna sit together and watch Ethan fall into the water where the fish are. Ethan playfully splashes around, and Neville throws some food into the water. The fishes move frantically to get the food while Ethan floats in the middle of them. He remarks that it's cold, which makes Neville realize that he needs to lower the temperature of the Dark Seekers in order for the cure to work. He tells Anna and Ethan that they have to go.
  • Additional shots of the Dark Seekers making their way into Neville's home.
  • When the Dark Seekers corner Neville, Anna, and Ethan behind the Plexiglas, the Alpha Male shoves others out of his way and tries to break through the door. Neville shouts for him to stop, but the Alpha Male doesn't listen to him. Eventually, the Alpha Male stops on his own and uses his hand to smear the shape of a butterfly on the door. Neville sees it, and then sees the butterfly tattoo again on the Alpha Female's shoulder. He realizes that he just wants his girl back. Neville puts his pistol on the floor and unhooks the Alpha Female from his equipment. Anna asks him what he's doing, and Neville says that he's listening. He asks Anna to open the door. She grabs his pistol off the floor and reluctantly opens the door. Neville wheels the Alpha Female out into the lab, where the Alpha Male stands behind him and then growls next to his head. Anna closes the door and stays behind with Ethan. Neville tells the Alpha Male that he needs to get a syringe and slowly walks towards a drawer. Dark Seekers surround Neville and are ready to attack him, but the Alpha Male keeps them at bay. Neville gets the syringe he needs and injects the Alpha Female in the arm, waking her up. The Alpha Female hisses in delight upon seeing the Alpha Male, who tenderly presses their foreheads together. Neville is shocked that they feel love. The Alpha Male picks up his girl, screeches at Neville, and then leaves with the other Dark Seekers. Neville drops to the floor and looks at the wall of pictures he has of the Dark Seekers he's killed over the years, realizing that they have all been capable of thinking and feeling. The next day, Neville drives past the lion family he came across near the beginning when he was hunting the deer. Neville, Anna, and Ethan drive out of the city on the Washington Bridge. The film ends with Anna broadcasting a message to other possible survivors. She says that she's traveling with Robert Neville and a boy named Ethan. She says that they have a cure for the virus and are heading towards Vermont. She urges anyone who's listening to have faith and continue to listen for their future broadcasts.


Soundtracks

Three Little Birds
(uncredited)
Written by
Bob Marley
Performed by Will Smith

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Box Office

Budget:

$150,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$77,211,321 16 December 2007

Gross USA:

$256,393,010

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$585,410,052

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