I am Legend

I betcha you’re thinking, wow, she thinks highly of herself…  I am Legend, geez…  but no, I was just realizing how it’s been a REALLY long time since I’ve reviewed a movie!  Part of it is because we aren’t watching nearly as many, just been pretty busy lately.  With the time change, it stays light out until 8, so we like to take family walks after dinner.  By the time the kids get settled after that though, there hasn’t been any time for movies, so we’ve been watching old episodes of The Office instead…  not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s been fun, but I just haven’t seen many movies lately.  The other night, we did manage to pop in “I am Legend“, an end-of-the-world movie starring Will Smith.  It chronicles the story of the very last man on Earth (well, kinda) as he strives to find a cure for the virus that is responsible for exterminating mankind.  I said he’s kinda the last man on Earth because he co-exists with these creatures who used to be humans, until the virus turned them into creepy, maniacal, flesh-devouring beasts.  Luckily for Smith, they can only come out at night because light proves fatal to them, so he spends his days collecting samples and information to study and do experiments in his lab at night, hoping to find a cure for the virus, a virus that interestingly mutated from what humans originally believed was a cure for cancer.

The movie was entertaining, though I have to admit when I first starting watching it, I had a bit of “Doomsday” dread – see my previous post of the same name about one horrible movie – if you dare.  However, “I am Legend” ended up only sharing generic end-of-civilization-as-we-know-it characteristics with the movie “Doomsday”, thank goodness for that.  Speaking of end-of-the-world movies, the creatures in “I am Legend” also reminded me a bit of the ravaging monsters in “28 Weeks Later“, but in a genre like this, I guess it’s difficult to be entirely unique.

It might seem lonely being the last man on Earth, but Will Smith’s character does have a faithful companion, a dog named Sam.  I’m going to risk a minor spoiler here so I can tell you what I really liked about their relationship.  In a moment of weakness, Will Smith is cradling his strong dog buddy Sam, and we learn that the dog’s name is actually Samantha.  The symbolism here is very well done and notably appreciated – you’ll have to see the movie to get it, even though I probably just spoiled that part for you – oops.

Overall, as I said, it was entertaining to watch, and pretty creepy at times.  The overuse of computer animation was annoying to say the least.  There were lots of animals in the film – beasts roam the deserted shell of what’s left of New York City – but they were all computer animated.  I agree with the person who reviewed the movie on imdb.com, I can live with the animals being computer generated, but the virus-addled humanesque beasts, now THAT was BEYOND annoying!  They could be pretty scary at times, but it was probably due to the snarling noises more than the way they looked.  During most of the action scenes involving the creatures, the computer animation was horribly fake-looking and even laughable, which of course takes away from the mood of a film such as this.

If you like the mankind-is-extinct type of movies or are a Will Smith fan, I think you should see this movie.  The best parts were the scenes of him roaming a deserted New York City – those were pretty cool to see.  But if you’re the type of person who doesn’t like the hopelessness or loneliness one might feel when imagining the end of the world, not to mention watching frightening creatures unleash terror and violence, skip “I am Legend” and go for “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” instead – classic Will Smith the whole family can enjoy!

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