Sunday, 30 August 2009

Film Review: I AM LEGEND (2007)

Director: Francis Lawrence
Running time: 98 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 15

Watched on DVD Sunday 30th August 2009.


This film, in case you didn’t know, is a remake of the 1971 film The Omega Man directed by Boris Sagal and starring Charlton Heston. Now, I have seen the original and as such I can’t help but draw comparisons between the two, you have been warned. In the modern version, the Will Smith character, Robert Neville, has a companion, his dog, Sam, whereas in the original, the Charlton Heston character of the same name has no companion. Why do I bring this trivial matter up, well, mainly because the underlying theme to the film is that Robert Neville is incredibly lonely, having lost all of his family and friends to the virus, and it is his loneliness that drives him to take some of the risks he does. I feel that the original film portrayed this so much better. But I digress…

Set in the near future, in a world where the vast majority of the Earth’s population has been wiped out by a virus that we are lead to believe was accidentally created by mankind, thinking they had a cure for cancer. Of those that are left, only a very few are totally immune, the rest are sensitive to daylight to the extent that they only come out at night. Robert Neville is a military doctor who is assigned to Manhattan in New York where, as the only survivor, he lives with his dog, Sam, and works on finding a cure. His wife and daughter were killed when the island was evacuated three years previous. As he thinks he is getting closer to a cure, he is beginning to notice a change in behaviour of the mutants, they are becoming more daring.

Although slightly flawed, it’s still a very good film. A creditable performance from Will Smith as Robert Neville, whose witty one-liners kept, what might otherwise have been, a rather dull script, alive. Honourable mentions go to Alice Braga as Anna and Charlie Tahan as Ethan, although they were not on screen for very long. Some really good CGI work as well, I particularly liked the herd of deer running through the desolate streets of New York. Over all, a pretty good effort, quite entertaining, although I did find it a bit depressing at times.

My score: 7/10

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