Saturday, 12 January 2008

I Am Legend - Movie Review

In keeping with long standing web discussion protocols I must warn you that there may be *SPOILERS* if you haven't seen the movie.

With a slew of Fantasy flicks, such as The Dark is Rising and The Golden Compass decorating the winter holiday it was left to one movie to hold the Science Fiction epic's place in the Christmas season. Perhaps unusually, due to it's dark, very unfestive tones the film has been a massive hit and held it's head high as a worthy blockbuster.

Will Smith once again proves his worth as an actor whilst playing Robert Neville, a military scientist who survives an earth shattering (not literally!) series of events and tries to find a cure for a virus which has left him alone, surviving in New York City. The opening of the film concentrates on his survival as he hunts food which was presumably escaped from the Zoo. He has one companion, his son's dog who he talks to to remain sane.

But things soon show their even darker tone because, as shown by the film's tagline, "The last man on Earth is not alone." Neville is testing a cure on "Infected" rats with little success, and soon finds himself up against the humans who have also been infected and are out to kill him. The Infected I liked a lot as they had unique properties which made them stand out against other such villains. Firstly, aside from being hairless they hadn't changed much in terms of growing fangs or having white eyes, so they were still recognizable as human whilst being horrific and monstrous at the same time.

The story sets up the infection in a unique way in that it's airborne and so has spread everywhere. Usually these things are spread by one zombie biting another and passing it on until a small group of unbitten survivors remain. Not so with this, the virus killed most people, infected most of who still lived, with a small percentage remaining immune and alive...until the infected ate most of them! The virus, instead of being some evil coporation's serum was intended as a cure for cancer, which also adds believability.

The films builds well on tension and scares yopu with more than just boogeymen jumping at you from the shadows...though there's plenty of that too. The ending is bold and very fitting, despite the introduction of belief in God being a bit random, but it is a not often seen way of ending a story to have the main character...but I've probably said enough for now.

Go and see it, 'tis good!

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