Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Am Legend (2007)

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Will Smith's career has been a little unsatisfying. He is a veteran of big budget, box-office smashes, but has yet to become a staple of truly powerful films despite his surprisingly strong acting chops. I Am Legend, the story of the survival of the last man on Earth, had the potential to merge the two aspects of Smith's career, using a big budget to create a popular and meaningful film. For most of the film Smith is the only character on screen, so I Am Legend provided plenty of opportunity for him to shine. For the most part, Smith comes through, elevating a slightly-above average script and mediocre directing to a riveting character study on isolation and despair. As Dr. Robert Neville, Smith plays a scientist trying to find a cure in a post-apocalyptic New York City where he has been the only man alive for years. Except for a few scenes where the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Men in Black era-Smith shine through, he raises his game to what may be his best performance. There are several notable scenes that were both acted superbly by Smith and shot beautifully by director Francis Lawrence which truly take on the feelings of loneliness and grief. Lawrence's choice of CGI effects will likely bother some viewers, as nothing CGI is different from any other use of it in the past. But for what may be the first time, the CGI and special effects are not what make this Smith film worth watching. Science fiction fans will be interested by the attention to detail, and the plot isn't entirely predictable. As a whole, the film comes across as one of those cases in which the book was probably better than the movie. For those who haven't read the book, however, Smith has made I Am Legend a fun experience with a decent dose of suspense, humor, and creativity.

Good For: zombie movie fans, sci-fi fans, Will Smith fans

Bad For: people who don't like CGI, people who dislike big-budget films

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The Writer * *

1 comment:

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Where I can read about it?