I Am Legend (2007)

THE SCOOP
Director: Francis Lawrence
Plot: Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure.

Genre: Action/Drama/Horror/Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Thriller
Awards: -
Runtime: 101min
Rating: PG for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence.

TRAILER:

OST:

IN RETROSPECT

One of the most highly anticipated films of 2007 turned out to be a dud. I Am Legend, a remake of sorts, and an adaptation of Richard Matheson novel, has a premise that is potentially explosive, one that will make the cash register sing. A sci-fi horror in nature, I Am Legend will attract viewers just by the plot itself and of course, the ch
arisma of its star, Will Smith.

Smith is typecast as someone with a lonely existence, but with a zest for life and a personal quest to reverse the deadly effects of a plague that has turned most into carnivorous, light-terrorized zombies that thrive menacingly when dusk breaks. His performance is ever-improving, maybe it comes from being recently Oscar-nominated. The rest of the cast is abysmal though, maybe it comes from being CGI-ed. The zombies while effectively created, does not frighten as much in the second half the film than in the first.

That being said, I Am Legend is a movie of two halves. A promising start that depicts New York City in the most desolate and lifeless ever, with added eerie suspense to match, to an utterly garbage second half that is both cliché and dumb, and contrastingly much less scary. For most parts of the film, it treads on thin ice, threatening to become another “one of those horror disaster flicks”. Occasionally, the ice breaks, but Smith saves the day.

Director Francis Lawrence (Constantine) doesn’t have a proven track record; it’s no wonder that I Am Legend is this year’s most high-profile failure. This is a playground for Steven Spielberg (War Of The Worlds) and James Cameron (Aliens). One wonders what magic they would have infused into the film. I Am Legend is poorly-edited, with sudden cuts, as well as equally sudden loud bangs and crashes that irritates more than it scares. The score by James Newton Howard (The Village) is also one of his worst of his career.

Sometimes bad films are at the very least entertaining, think Transformers, or for that matter Die Hard 4.0. I Am Legend lacks substance, and will disappoint fans of the genre. It will continue to break box-office records though, but it also reminds us that popularity doesn’t equate to quality. If you enjoy mediocre films, here’s one to recommend. I Am Dismal could have been a more apt title.


SCORE: 5/10

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