Saturday, March 29, 2008


I AM LEGEND is one of my favorite new horror films of the last several years. It has great imagery - New York City totally devoid of human life. Desperate. Depressing yet beautiful.

With the sun shining down on a desolate urban jungle, we see Dr. Robert Neville (Will Smith) - speeding through the streets in a mustang with his loyal canine companion (his only friend, we are to learn) by his side.

Bob Marley references oddly abound in this tale of one man's struggle to right a wrong that wasn't his fault in the first place. The premise is that a cancer vaccine has been developed and given to thousands of people - it is successful, at least at first - until it begins to show the most evil of incarnations.

The movie deviates a great deal from the source material, a book by the same name by Richard Matheson. But similar themes exist, and the transition from novella to screen (for the third time since the book was written in the late 50's) is pretty impressive. It has been updated for modern times in a fluent and relevant manner. It seems as though this kind of thing could actually happen. Let's hope to hell it never does.

Nearly everyone has seen the trailer for this movie, and I hate to give things away - so I won't. But you need to see this film if for nothing else than to see a fantastic (as usual) display of acting on the part of Will Smith. I have heard this referenced to Tom Hanks' role in Castaway, and that is fair at least in that Smith basically carries the entire film on his shoulders, and quite ably. There is one scene in particular - you'll know it when you see it - where his emotional state is so completely believable.

He embodies the part. He is the light in the darkness. You'll know what I mean when you see it.

So, what are you waiting for? Rent it!

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