01 January 2008

I am Legend

Smith Keeps His Legend Going

Well, this was a treat. I liked the original The Last Man on Earth starring Vincent Pryce made in 1964. This film was based on a book written by Robert Mathis from 1954. There was another incarnation titled The Omega Man starring Charlton Heston in 1971. Will Smith has now tackled the same role as these two legendary actors.

The film focuses on a mysterious viral mutation of a cure for cancer. Robert Neville is the only man left on Earth who is not infected. The infected suffer from symptoms similar to that of vampirism. Neville does research on captive “dark seekers” in search on a cure. He has his own time schedule that he sticks to in order to keep himself and his companion dog alive.

This film completely relies on Will Smith to keep in audience enthralled. He is the only person on screen for over 90% of the film. There are flashbacks to help explain how we got to where we are. In his last film, The Pursuit of Happyness, his son Jaden plays opposite him. In this, his daughter Willow plays his daughter in the flashbacks.

Will Smith is box office gold. He can do no wrong. In this film, I wonder where his nomination for Best Actor is hiding. It is not his strongest role, yet, the whole film worked solely due to his acting abilities. Isn’t that why Tom Hanks was nominated for Cast Away? I do not think that his acting is on par with his past couple movies, but still. If he were to fail, the whole movie would come crumbling down. Instead, he was on it, and the CGI brought it down. The “dark seekers” were completely CGI and completely lame looking, moving, sounding, etc. Why could they not use real people and make-up? That is what was done in the two previous incarnations of the same story. I understand that they did not have CGI back in the 60’s and 70’s, but why use it now? They are still meant to be humans, just slightly mutated. There was no need to use CGI, and crappy CGI at that.When another human enters the scene in the form of Anna, played by no-name Alice Braga, the movie stalls out. The last act of the film drastically changes pace and style. Some say it ruined the movie, but I do not think that it was that bad. The end was not what it should have been, but I blame the CGI for “ruining” the movie. I have the book on request from the library because I want to know how it ends. The ending between the two versions I have seen are very similar. Apparently, there is another ending filmed, and it should be on the DVD. I am looking forward to that. Verdict: Though disappointed in the ending, I do advice seeing this. Will Smith has hit another homerun. I will purchase this on Blu-Ray when it hits the streets.

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