I Am Legend

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I Am Legend
Will Smith in I Am Legend

Throwing Will Smith’s star power and shed loads of CGI at a remake of the 1971 sci-fi movie ‘The Omega Man’ makes sound commercial sense. After all, it worked with ‘I, Robot’ and ‘Men in Black’. The first half of ‘Constantine’ director Francis Lawrence’s ‘re-imagining’ suggests that the darker themes of Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel might survive. Then the redundant flashbacks kick in, the mutant albino monsters appear, and you’re left gawping at $100 million-worth of eye-popping futuristic B-movie.

Kudos to Smith for taking on the Charlton Heston role of Richard Neville, a military virologist who miraculously survives a pandemic that wiped out most of Manhattan’s citizens, and transformed the rest into flesh-craving nocturnal zombies. But he is such a likeable actor that he fails to take us with him when he changes from a kooky, Bob Marley-loving guy who talks to his dog into an embittered, faithless cynic. And God knows he has reason to doubt: his wife and daughter were killed during the evacuation, and he spends his days scavenging for supplies and searching for an antidote. His nights are spent barricaded inside a brownstone, while the creatures of the night howl for blood outside.

Despite the striking post-apocalyptic images of nature returning to the city, this is an oddly benign world. Like the herd of deer that Neville encounters, Lawrence’s vision is timid and evasive. The film falls apart when the appearance of Anna (Alice Braga) restores Neville’s faith and lays the groundwork for an absurd, religious happy ending.

By: Nigel Floyd

Posted:

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Wednesday December 26 2007
Duration: 101 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Francis Lawrence
Screenwriter: Mark Protosevich, Akiva Goldsman
Cast: Will Smith
Alice Braga
Dash Mihok
Charlie Tahan
Salli Richardson

Average User Rating

4.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:118
  • 4 star:14
  • 3 star:10
  • 2 star:13
  • 1 star:14
LiveReviews|169
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Tastemaker

I Am Legend disappointed me, mainly because I read the 1954 short novel years before this movie was announced and thoroughly enjoyed it. It told the story of one survivor holed up in a house, where vampires would torment him every night, trying to lure him out so they could feast on him! It was claustrophobic, and in my mind conjured up a lonely tale set in the countryside where danger was just around the corner. This remake set in modern day New York completely missed all the themes of the book, and even completely changed the ending to make it more digestible for the Hollywood audience. Why were the vampires also CGI? There was no need to have CGI monsters that made the whole thing seem even less real!


This film is a modern cinema masterpiece. How anyone can say this film is bad I do not know? It just beggers belief! Smith has made his best film to date with some serious acting in a hard hitting storyline. The way he portrays the agonisation of of being solitary is immense and I can relate to this from in my own personal life. The way he becomes suicidal at one stage just makes it worth a watch on it's own merit. Go on Smith, kill ya self!!


to everyone that claim's it's like 28 days later and that i's far to modern, read the f***ing book, use your brain for once!!! did you know this film was origonally based on the 'cure' turning people into vampires.... this taken out of the film i personally think was a good move as it improved the quality of the SCREEN PLAY, however this till remains one of my favouite books, and one of my favourite films along with american beauty and tartan's oldboy


if people claim that this is a 'terrible film' then they are not in their right minds to be film critics!! this is the best role that Will Smith has taken on in his film career. no film is perfect and the butterfly references are a bit repetitive and predictable, and the ending should lead more to the imagionation but i challenge anyone to say that this role was not perfectly fitted for Smith, The story line although different from the book has been perfectly adapted for todays modern 'cinema going person' and the limited cast all do a spectacular job at delivering the message of this film perfectly that whatever happens be it the dark seekers or his own mind driven mad by 3 years of solitude, this film is the best i have seen in a long time. Wholely deserves a high rating and anyone that rates it low is in it for the trailer and not for the film that has a very limited soundtrack and a low amount of action, however still kepy my attention strongly the first and second time through watching. Hollywood needs more films like this and less films such as alvin and the chip munks and the other badly written, badly acted films that are around these days! five out of six, well deserved!! Mark!


Thought Smith did an excellent job of holding the position as the only actor in the film - apart form a few bit parts. haven't read the book or seen the orginal so cannot comment on them compared to this, but I would not take the opinion of any one of the other critics here who cannot spell properly.


When i heard this fil was coming i out i bought the book to have a understanding of what the film would be like. I hate reading but i loved the book. you will find that even though the film is taken from the book they are two completely different thing. The book does contain good action, however it is actually about how a person deals with isolation and dealing with it mentally and sexually. The book focuses more on the feelings and thoughts and actions of isolation and how it can turn you to suicide. But in the book Robert Neville eventually loses to the vampires and kills himself before e is executed by the new vampire race who are able to walk around in day light. The title " I AM LEGEND" is known because to the vampires he is the "day walker" the human version of dracula. Dracula would go into peoples rooms when they were sleeping. Robert Neville would do the same when they were sleeping during the day.As you know Dracula is the vampire legend in the human world. So Robert Nevlle is the human legend in the vampire world. Will Smith done a extremely good job of potraying the protagonist, but the book is a bit depressing with acions scenes flung in. But after all it is hollywood and they wouldnt do that. In my opinion read the book then see the film or see the fil then read the book. if u do this u will appreciate the film more. even if u hate reading like me u wll enjoy the book. it isnt a long book so it shouldnt take u long. It took me 3 days i fink. But upto you who ever ou are.


I fort it was a brilliant film my gf cud not stop jumpin at the scary bits, the film always had me wonderin wat is goping 2 happen next i think it was very entertaining. very enjoyabloe and definatly worth the watch Will Smith is a brilliant actor and mad the emothions in the film very real wat an actor


As i posted below, the film is brilliant but people dont seem to realise a few things. The woman and daughter were but in so they had a good excuse to make flashbacks of past events, otherwise you wouldnt know what the f*ck was going on, it was also to show that will's character had lost alot and wasnt just feeling sorry for himself for no reason, also the deer was to show what life was like during the day, with wildlife and basically like a jungle, with animals killing eachother for food, then to show the transition to night where it was deserted and no signs of life exempt for the monsters and lastly you all seem to be asking about the dummies... well im 15 and i see the reason clear as day, hes trying to keep himself social. like when tarzan gets lost in the jungle, he will NEVER return to getting used to having others like him around. i mean, you would go f*cking CRAZY if you had no social interaction atall, its just to keep himself sociable....


I dont get the people saying it was crap, i mean, it would have been better if the ending was more detailed (cure) but will smith just shined in this film, there were loads of scary bits keeping me on the edge of my seat and when sam dies because of him i actually cried for the first time in a movie, and for the next 20 minutes they kept hitting the cry factor home, watching him kill his best friend because he didnt have a cure, him burying her, keeping his promise and talking to the mannequin but she doesnt talk back, then when his family dies... i personally think its a superb movie and would pay to see it again and buy the DVD :)


I loved this film. Will Smith plays a fantastic role and it shows what a good actor he is that he can hold the film when it centers only around him. Brilliant!


Good film, but no independance day, way better than men in black though. well wrth watching. if you're unsure go see it and make your own mind up, i mean its not like there is anything else worth seeing at the moment anyway. cinema food prices are way too expensive :P


Will Smith is legendary! Never one to shy away from trying his hand at anything the big studios can throw at him, I am Legend now marks what is three for three for Smith in tackling the most ‘revered terrors’ blockbusters tend to dramatise in a big way; aliens, killer robots and in the case of legend vampires… Well that is to say for Smith (Robert Neville) a new hybrid of creature that is more complex then your usual fair of blood suckers churned out by the Hollywood dream factory. No, these are in fact super evolved raging lunatics with the physical strength and appetite for human flesh that no ordinary foot long meat feast sandwich offers one. The main attraction here is just how much Smith continues to grow not only as an actor but as a character actor. Seriously, there are other members of the human population I know many people would like to watch for nearly two hours solid however, Smiths whole approach is subtle and strong enough that he is able to carry the weight of the film with all the charm and charisma he continues to entice audiences back for more. I remember in previous years how sites and critics where never far behind from predicting the next big Will Smith ‘bankable summer’. And in many ways this years release of Hancock (2008) staring the ‘big Will’ will be seen as a return to form for the man able to cause film release dates to be moved just to avoid facing the inevitable disaster of going toe to toe with a Will Smith movie. As each film he steps into unquestionably has the potential to be labelled the next studio high venture however, with Legend there is a resounding cerebral quality to the film; such that it creates the question of what is happening, a if you like feeling of ‘can it be’ that helps make the film feel closer to an independent and somewhat more mature film then we perhaps normally expect from a seasonal film. Neville as the film opens is the last man standing at ground zero, where we are told the whole end of the world thing kicked off. And yes, the similarity to the ’28 days’ zombie series is evident here. Still what sets this action thriller apart from the others is the biographical direction Legend takes. The main focus point here is Robert Neville, his fight to stay alive and avoiding infection from the same deadly virus that has turned the majority into primeval crazies. Neville’s objective is clear; he needs to find a cure and fast. The problem is he is alone, that is for his dog Samantha, hardened special forces training and keen scientific if some what damaged mind. Consider this when watching Legend; Neville’s psychological point of view as represented by the varying scope and/or scale used in the film as it changes at times from being ‘wide’ thanks mainly to the deserted backdrop of a decaying New York, in contrast to claustrophobic dark recesses in the guise of abandoned warehouses; apartment rooms, Neville’s basement and the nightmarish night scenes. Each change in environment creating the kind of mood and atmosphere that is generally reserved for thrillers that build and build. The great triumph here for me has to be the serious dedication and far removed high action jocular notion created for Smith that is quickly becoming replaced by an evolving chameleon character actor reinstated from Ali (2001) into Legend.


I loved this movie, I've been to see it twice and I'm going to see it again on Saturday!.. I think Will Smith done a great job acting on his own in this movie. I must admit that I was quite let down when the woman turned up but I found the movie really moving!.. I love scary movies so maybe that's why I loved it so much.. A lot of jumpy bits too!.. 6 stars!


Read the comments, went to see the movie and we really, really enjoyed it. Only a few actors can pretty much carry a whole movie on their shoulders alone (ie Tom Hanks - Castaway) but I think Will Smith did a bang up job. Post Apocalyptic NYC scenes impressive. The Film could have comfortably been half an hour longer, but all in all we give it a big thumbs up!! Go see it, we will buy on DVD.


Decent film and was well interesting i love it, everyones like oh its dump don't go and see it, do its class.


this film was AMAZING. go see it, sdon't wait for the DVD! it's much more than a zombie story, and i give it 5 stars, no less.


it was amazin ! seen it 3 times i luv it ! best film ever though it scared teh hell out of me ! xx ALIENSS xx


I give this film alot of credit, Mostly respect. When the dog "Sam" dies, I nearly cried. I've only ever cried at one film with was "The Lion King" It's a very touching film. It's hard to make a good film these days as everything has been done, Yet everytime Will Smith does it hands down. He is one of the best actors in this day and age and to be honest. I don't think he gets the credit he deserves. He uses emotion like no other actor i know. This film is by far one of the best of 2007.


It was a great film and largely because of Wills amazing acting skills. Some parts of the story line you have to think about but it does explain itself. Through the whole film if i wasn't jumping from my seat every five minutes i was nearly in tears. Just to let confused people know the title of the film might have something to with Bob Marley collection of greatest hits called Legend. Every one should go and see it!


id have to say this is the BEST film ive seen in ages!!! Will Smith is a sik actor!! getting it on DVD!!


Absolutely Loved it! Sat there with the biggest grin over my face at the end of the film. The dog thing was really emotional, and the film had me jumping in my seat about 10 times throughout it (which i loved). I dont think i would have enjoyed it as much on a tv screen though. Loved it! Probably gets into my top 15 films.


superb film....beleive the hype this film is a must see.....don't wait for the DVD got to be seen on the big screen!!!


ben and joe, u are obviously blind or stupid! He is a legend because he came up with the cure, and the people stil alive where his legends. I thought the film was pretty ace, Will Smith did a good job and it was really entertaining!


GREAT!!!......I thought that this film was really good it was jumpy in all the the right places and Will Smith made it enjoyable to watch. Sad the dog had to die and ending could of bin better but all in all beasty film!


This film was brill! Don't diss!! So what if it's a bit like 28 days later, most films are similar. WILL SMITH ROCKS!!!!!!


It was a brilliant fillm i liked it ALOT but i didnt like the gemran shepard on it 2 skinny


I didn't know what to expect from this film but was very pleasantly surprised - it was a very well made, gripping film which I would completely recommend - stayed in my head a couple of days. Loved it!!


I thought the film was great.. The best film i'v seen in a while... the only time i'v came out the pictures saying... yeah, that was really good in about a year! And i dont think it dragged in like other comments.. and if u payed close enough attention then it all clicked..at -the slightly rushed- end! Over all i enjoued it... and so did all my friends.... must see =)


I'm not surprised by the majority of the comments up here - most of the reviewer's limited vocabulary reveals where they're coming from on this. If you want wham bam action, then avoid. This is an intelligently directed and screen-played film, which allows time for character development. The tension's cranked up nicely over the course of the film, when the main action arrives it does seem to be rounded off a little too quickly. The biggest surprise is that Will Smith demonstrates he can do more than yell "hell no" every now and again and actually gives a convincing portrayal of a man driven close to insanity by solitude. One thing though. . ..in British hands, an equally good post apocalypse thriller could have been done for a fraction of the budget - 28 Days Later anyone?


I am a long-term sci-fi/fantasy buff, and I went back to see this movie a SECOND time---when it somehow seemed more coherent. The eerie, deserted sweeping views of a 'ghost-city' NY [probably achieved via post-production CGI overlays] are brilliantly-realized, and thoroughly convincing in their depiction of the barren, rapidly-decaying city wasteland: as 'LOST'a civilization as any mounted in movie history........this scenario conveys, effectively, the terrifying dilemma of being [apparantly] the last survivor on EARTH. ----On the downside, the usual malnourished-CGI legions of the 'living dead' are wheeled out, and typically often fail to integrate convincingly with their live-action counterparts. ---Oor hero ROBERT'S only companion in the opening reels---the alsation, SAM------is sadly missed, after being sadly justly excized from the full running-time. Contains exquisitely-achieved scenes of destruction, which tie in nicely with the aftermath we have witnessed earlier---------the narritive contains cross-cutting drama from differing time periods, that never confuse the viewer. A compelling, thought-provoking, well-paced, diverting and engaging sci-fi drama that paints a not-quite-as-bleak-view-as-it-COULD- have-been apocalyptic vision of the near-future. ---Contains a nice, low-key opening 'media interview,' in which a miracle 'cancer-cure' is touted as a turning point in human history----THAT much is true!


Agree with most of KPs comments but aliens ????? agree with tom as well, could have been a much better film if it lost the mutants and concentrated more on his loneliness etc... but we must satisfy everyone and I'm as much of a fan of action as anyone else so all in all a good film that should please most with a magnificent performance from will smith. definitely the best thing on at the flicks at the moment and worth every orange wednesday penny.


Amazingly great film-slightly rushed ending but all makes sense if you pay attention.perfect acting, perfect environment and all works well. Onlything is the aliens are slightly fake looking - if you look past this you won't be dissapointed.


wow wht a film, me and mel really lvoed this one was tad borin but we made up for it with soem lovin


Amazing film... Will Smith was as good as ever... Love the story, the idea of being alone, but not alone! Makes you think " What if it was me" Loved it! Watching it again as many times as i can..


First, you call Children of Men overrated? What a tool. Second, The Omega Man sucked. Talk about an overrated movie. Maybe if you weren't so focused on writing a terrible review you'd have made a point, but really, all I see is left-over hate from last year and an inability to focus on what's at hand.


ppear on the site This is the movie I and many others have long awaited, It appears that this film incorporates elements of Stephen King"s " The Stand" in its beginning of the outbreak, it also appears that elements of George R Stewart's Sci Fri Classic Earth Abides inspires some of the way the post plague world is portrayed. As the Unofficial Acting President of the Tom Savinni Fan Club I hope this film will be the vehicle which becomes the Opus of the apocolyptic zombie genre incorporating the Defoeesgue crusoenean dilemma of being shipwrecked on a wrecked civilization, combined with the ultimate "Opps my bad, tragic irony" of having the last vestage of preplague man, as the demigod of death to those who are the remaining human race, infected but still human in a state of chemical suppression treatment, this new order which finds its greatest threat lies not in the infection, or the undead it produced, but in the single remaining Man who like all legendary threats be they Hannibal or Plato MUST BE DESTROYED, It appears that the bloodsuckers portrayed for the screenb !st with Vincent Price in "Last Man on Earth" whose attack was later to be reflected in the zombies of George Romero's Night of the Living Dead will be of the high octane variety as introduced in 28 Days Later. And by the way I NEED A DATE WITRH A HOTTIE BABE $ PREMIERE MUST BE ZOMIE AFFECTIONADO! I have been told (too often ) that I resemble Bruce Camble of Army of of Darkness and Evil Dead SuperSMart Fame!

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