7 November 2008 | Electrified_Voltage
Has its share of thrills and poignancy
I am aware of the fact that this 2007 blockbuster is a remake of a remake. It's a remake of "The Omega Man", which is a remake of "The Last Man on Earth". All three films are adaptations of the novel, "I Am Legend", by Richard Matheson. I haven't seen the previous two versions, but definitely intend to. However, for now, since I've just seen this 2007 version of "I Am Legend", and haven't seen the rest, I'll just have to judge it strictly as a movie, not how it compares to the previous two, or the book. So, while this particular version of the story seems to be polarizing, I was definitely impressed.
In 2012, three years after a genetically modified virus which was supposed to cure cancer ended up wiping out most of the world's population, a scientist named Robert Neville, immune to this virus, appears to be the only uninfected human left in New York City, maybe even the world, and his only companion is his dog, Sam! Neville does research in his basement laboratory to try and find a cure for the virus, and regularly sends out radio messages, calling for other survivors to come and meet him, if there are any out there, but so far, this has not worked. Eventually, the scientist discovers people in New York who have not been killed by the virus, but have been mutated by it, and as a result, they have become dangerous monsters! Worse still, there are many of them in the city, and Neville is still waiting to see another uninfected human, so he is grossly outnumbered!
This film is slow-paced around the beginning, but this works well, starting with the introduction to the virus which was yet to fail, and going from there to views of a deserted New York, which are reasonably intriguing. Some scenes may be a bit tedious, such as Robert Neville looking through the dark building before finding the mutants, and the camera is sometimes a bit unsteady, but to make up for the flaws, there's quite a bit of tension (which includes scenes with the mutated, zombie-like humans and they're chases and attacks, even though I'm sure we've seen scenes like that before in movies), as well as some poignant moments, with Neville and his loneliness. Also, for Bob Marley fans, the main character is a big fan of his, and at one point, he talks about Marley and his philosophies. As someone who listens to his music and has read a lot about his short life, this part definitely touched me, and it obviously isn't featured in the previous two adaptations, as they were both made before Marley became an international superstar.
Yes, this film has its flaws, and seems to have gotten a lot of positive feedback as well as negative, but personally, I have to give it a positive review. While not quite a masterpiece, I still found it to be a memorable sci-fi/horror film, with a fair amount of suspense, action, and poignancy. Once again, I don't know how it compares to the book or the previous two adaptations of it, and clearly, it seems to be widely considered inferior to those, but while that may be true, I cannot join the naysayers on this one. If you see this version of "I Am Legend", I guess you could easily end up on either side, but if you want to see a combination of sci-fi, horror, and drama, and you're a Will Smith fan, I think it's worth a try, and yes, it just MIGHT help a BIT if you're a Bob Marley fan.