Monday, February 21, 2011

Movie review: "I am Legend"

"I am Legend" is a 2007 film starring Will Smith. Except that, I knew that there was some dog and maybe some zombies. I am not fan of zombies (Stephen King's "Cell" was good, though). I have nothing against the undead (vampires are great, Erikson T'lann Imass also), but idea of mindless violent creatures poised on eating human flesh don't struck me as brilliant of interesting. If there is "something else" behind them, that is another story...

Will Smith is almost single character in this movie, alone until last sequence of the movie. Time is immediate future (2012) and Smith plays military doctor Robert Neville. Few years before, a virus used for curing cancer showed bad side-effect (mildly said) and turned everybody into mindless zombies. By trick of fate, Neville was sparred having a singular immunity to it. He now lives alone in New York, most people dead and the rest vicious, super-fast and super-strong zombies. They are not particularly bright, but that has been changing lately. A mitigating circumstance to Neville is the fact that zombies cannot stand UV light, so they hide during the day. His only companion is a dog, one he gave his now dead daughter. We join him as he struggles for his continuous survival and for finding a cure for the virus.

As I said, I am amateur in zombie-arts, but even to me it is clear that this movie doesn't bring any new ideas and concepts to this type of movies. A plague/virus killing all, leaving only a handful of survivors struggling to survive (in this case a man and a dog). Even though, these zombies are good. They are really not something you would like to meet during the night. Fast, strong and violent. And what is more ominous, showing traces of growing intelligence and social organization.

Movie is done in a good way. We are first plunged into the middle of Neville's life, and the circumstances are then revealed in the run, with several flashbacks. His acting is solid and you easily develop empathy for him. Movie has a well guessed running, not too long, not to short. Effects are good, although zombies are evidently CGI. Plot is good, first comes the worldbuilding, then the real action, with strong ending.

All in all, "I am Legend" is a very good movie. I can't be sure what zombie-fans said when it was first screened, but it is a movie that mainstream audience can watch and enjoy. So this is definitely a recommendation...

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