I Am Legend Review Duke Style

I Am Legend

I Am Legend
Review by Benedict Hadley

Ill start off by saying that I am not a Will Smith fan. Fan being short for Fanatic and I’m no fanatic. That being said , I do really like the guy, what he stands for and the films he makes.Yet for some reason, in the past Mr. Smith’s role choices were not so much about his acting but the FX team creating the numerous explosions of cars, buildings, people, robots, buildings (oh wait I said that already) and aliens…but in recent years the man has done some stellar work. He made every dude with a tailor and some cuff links think they can bag any woman in ”Hitch”, he befriended and fought off some ill CGI villains in ”I Robot”, gave what I think was his finest moment to date in Michael Mann’s abstract but amazing ”Ali” and managed to not only cut the check for his little man but to also give a kick ass Oscar nominated performance in ”The Pursuit of Happyness”. So all in all the man done came up. His movies have become more about the character (I Robot, Ali, The Pursuit etc.) than the events in the picture (Independence day, Men in Black 1 and 2 !!!). So, with all that said and done I sit here at 12am at Sony Theaters in Manhattan to see what is sure to be this this weekends number one hit ”I am Legend”. The film, directed by Francis Lawrence (Constantine) is the 5th adaptation to film of the book by author Ricahrd Matheson but just off the A-List team behind the 2007 version I’m sure this one will fair far better that previous versions of the film. Either way, the movie is about to start…I will let you all know how it turns out.

Soooooo Movie didn’t begin yet but the trailers are epic. Jumper, Narnia etc…The Dark Night Trailer Dropped…”SELL-OFF!!!!”

Ok the movie is starting…Ill let you know how it goes. Epic. Its something you will want to see twice. When I saw the original teaser for I am Legend I was thoroughly impressed. But seeing FX and Mr. Smith is nothing new, so I wondered how they would go about telling the story of Dr. Arron Neville (Will Smith) a military doctor and the last survivor on Earth from the lethal KV virus. The virus as it turns out is the cure for cancer and we learn this in the first few minutes of the film in what is the start of one of the best opening sequences in recent memory. The director Francis Lawrence sheds bits of his signature style for a cleaner, more polished look than his music video days of old and opens the film with an impact that will stay in your memory for years. It’s hard to really delve into the films story without revealing key points but I will try my best.

Dr.Neville is immune to the KV Virus. He spends his days with his German Shepard Sam and gathers food, hunts the wild game that now runs free in the baron city of New York and watches movies that he ”rents” and returns from the local Tower Video. As the sun sets, his routine continues by heading back to his fortress like home where he continues his quest to develop a cure for the KV Virus. He does so because of the ”Night Seekers”, KV Virus Infected humans that roam the night, unable to see or even feel the light of day.

This is where the story becomes interesting as the film jumps between present day and the events that led NYC to become the waste land that it is in the film. You don’t really expect story telling like this from a film of this size.

I tip my hat to Francis Lawrence for directing a film and telling a story that does not follow the straight and narrow line of block buster film making. In addition, Mr.Smiths performance develops itself into something so complex that you wonder why they marketed the film as a huge, zombie filled opus. It is, but thankfully its not at the same time. If you look closely you will find a film that is thought provoking and very relevant to the climate of the world we live in, filled with action and some great, polished, hyper realistic CGI, coupled with excellent performances from Smith I am Legend is what block busters should be like, enjoyable, entertaining films that don’t forget that with all the wire frames and CGI you still have a job of story telling to do.

Later this week…
Francis Ford Coppolas “Youth Without Youth”

10 Responses to “I Am Legend Review Duke Style”

  1. Korean Slap Boxer Says:
    December 15th, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    Movie was gangsta!!!

  2. KO Says:
    December 16th, 2007 at 1:46 am

    I thought it was good as well, but I don’t like the fact that he felt it was his fault to why the whole population was died or infected and living. Maybe it was just my friend and I who assumed that. They should have went more into how people got it, and relating it to cancer just didn’t seem right. Okay maybe I’m giving to much away to those who have not yet seen the movie. Still go see it!

  3. Mindy Marin Says:
    December 16th, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    That was a great review! I’m gonna go see it tonight.

  4. S. Mathis Says:
    December 17th, 2007 at 12:47 am

    Earth to KO – some of us havent seen the movie – kill the plot point in depth discussion!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. ash Says:
    December 17th, 2007 at 5:37 am

    Um…not really sure what was so confusing about how people caught it. I thought it was pretty self-explanatory.

  6. Hezicus Says:
    December 17th, 2007 at 8:53 am

    I do not think this movie had as much action as marketed. Suspenseful, yes. Action packed, no. Moviegoers who are anticipating a science fiction tour de force will be somewhat disappointed. However, I do not sense that movie goers will bored with the film. First, Will smith has a great screen presence, and he keeps the audience interested in the plot. Second, if moviegoers accept the film as a science fiction drama rather than a science fiction action film, they will not be disappointed.

  7. S. Mathis Says:
    December 17th, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    I was disappointed with the film. To piggyback your point HEZICUS, this movie was marketed as much more of an action film then it actually is. This is more of a sci-fi version of that Tom Hanks movie ‘CASTAWAY.’ Will is too likeable to ever make you hate anything that he is a star of, but nonetheless I found myself wanting more then what I was given. I get the greater themes of the film, but when you have to give wordy explanations to emphasize how good the film is, then the director and writers dropped the ball. Like good music albums entertainment factor must be covered first, then the writers can stuff the storyline with as much societal commentary as they like. ‘Intelligent’ is always more digestable when there are couple more explosions going in the background.

  8. Philip Says:
    December 17th, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    I really was anxious to see this movie. I am very familiar with the original story, and have seen all of the previous films based on it. I like this movie, but I am surprised that they didn’t present any of the “infected” in their transistional stages. That was a great part of the original screenplay. I have never really been a big fan of Will Smith, but he did a bang up job in this one.

  9. Crank That UMass Says:
    December 18th, 2007 at 4:59 am

    Can’t wait to see it 4-D @ the IMAX Theater.

    Good Stuff.

  10. bella star Says:
    March 27th, 2008 at 11:19 am

    I didn’t know much about this movie when it can out except for the trailers i’v seen. My husband picked it up on the day it was released. I was so excited. i watched it that night. It was so good i watchd it again the next day. I thought it was mind blowing to think that somthing like that could realy happen. The movie was especially thrilling for me (being a native NEW YORKER). Will Smith was exceptional in this film. I think it takes alot of talent and personality to carry a film such as this by ur self. And still have it interesting the whole way threw. Will Smith rocked in this movie. u have to go see it.

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