[i]I Am Legend [/i](2007)[u][/u]
Mark Protosevich (screenplay)
Akiva Goldsman (screenplay)
Richard Matheson (novel)
Will Smith, Alice Braga, Charlie Tahan and Emma Thompson
I read Richard Matheson's [i]I Am Legend[/i] dear to me. I read it several years ago and it was fantastic. It was scary, exciting, disturbing and really made you think with the [i][u]fantastic[/u][/i] ending. For years there have been talks about adapting the novel into a movie but when I heard the film was actually going to be made starring Will Smth and directed by Francis Lawrence my reaction was "...Oh, Lord." After watching the first official trailer I was surprised that it didn't look bad at all.
A human-made virus spreads throughout earth turning people into "Darkseekers" (they're vampires.) Will Smith is the last man alive and stays in New York City until he can come up with a cure for what he helped create. He has to deal with the blood thirsty Darkseekers and his own mental health by living in an isolated world.
I have to say, the first half of this movie captured the feel of the novel but it breaks down to the "Will Smith: One Man Act." Smith is a good actor and, at times, showcases it here but there are way too many times in which he was either over-doing it or channeling the Fresh Prince. "Eat your vegetables... I ain't playin'." Only the Fresh Prince would say something like that.
Another thing that really bothered me, the effects look fucking terrible. Bad as in [i]Van Helsing[/i] bad. The Darkseekers or, what I'll call them for now on, vampires looked really fake and it's really hard to be frightened of something that looks so hilariously bad at times. I was wondering if this was a take on [i]I Am Legend[/i] or if Smith is taking on Emilio Estevez's role in the remake of [i]Nightmares[/i] segment [i]Bishop of Battle[/i] starring the original Playstation's [i]Resident Evil[/i] zombies.
Most of the things I loved about the book were changed in the movie. Now I understand that novels and movies are competely different mediums and, at times, things need to be changed up but in the case of [i]I Am Legend[/i] it didn't need to changed all that much if at all. [i]I Am Legend[/i] is a great title for the novel after you read the ending, but after watching the ending of the 2007 film they tack on a terrible voice-over making sure you know what it means. Everything after the first half is unrecognizable to the book which is a real shame. I don't care what the voice-over says, the title of this film has no meaning whatsoever.
I hate bashing this movie so much, it's far from being the worst film of the year but it had so much potential that it wasted. Another major problem for me was Neville's character. He's a damn super-man. He's a genius scientist rolled into a bad-ass military man. From what I've read in the book Neville is a middle-age average joe who doesn't have any special abilities which makes him much more relatable, the movie just makes him unbelievable.
There are some intense scenes for the first half if you're able to squint your eyes enough for the vampires to not look so fake. Will Smiths dog steals the show as Sam which, in my book, gives it a few more points.
For anyone who is interested in seeing this or have already seen it please, for the love of God, read the book. It's written by Richard Matheson who is known for his short stories that have been adapted by many [i]Twilight Zone[/i] episodes. There were so many great scenes in the book that weren't shown in the movie, such as vampiric females trying to seduce Neville out of his house and Neville finding humor out of shooting his frumpy infected neighbor.
It's by far not the worst film of the year, hell, this is a joy to sit through than compared to a film such as [i]Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem[/i]. It's worth checking out for your own take on it but there hasn't been one person I have corresponded with who liked the film more than the book. Instead you may want to watch better interpretations of the book such as [i]The Last Man on Earth[/i], [i]The Omega Man[/i] and [i]28 Days Later[/i].