Newest Review: ... Neville to roam the streets as a literal "one man and his dog." On paper, it isn't the most sophisticated of stories. In fact... more
Bleak and depressing
I Am Legend (DVD)
Member Name: Tracy_1127
I Am Legend (DVD)
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For a couple of years I avoided watching I Am Legend purely because of the one man and his dog element, you often find if there's a faithful animal involved the animal isn't going to make it to the end of the film and I find that upsetting even though I know it's just a film. However recently we joined lovefilm.com and this was one of my partner's choices so a couple of weeks ago I ended up watching it after all.
Like alot of women, and men actually, I love Will Smith. He's usually excellent in all roles he takes and can easily hold a film on his own. This film is situated in New York City where Robert Neville (Will Smith) is the sole survivor after a cancer cure went wrong and turned the majority of the population into what can only be described as vampire type creatures. He is immune and spends his time trying to find a cure, he's a scientist in this film so very little humour is allowed. The vampire type population can only come outside in the dark and are fiercely violent, screeching their way around the streets at night causing mayhem and looking for people to kill. Robert Neville thinks he is the only survivor but tries to contact any other survivors each day using a radio broadcast when the "sun is high in the sky".
His faithful dog Sam is always at his side, they do everything together and huddle in the bath with a gun when it gets dark. I knew this would be a bad thing the second I started watching and I'm not spoiling anything by saying there's heartbreak along the way.
The story of his family's death is told in a series of flashbacks which worked ok but it took a while to actually understand what happened to them. Unfortunately for us the copy we rented kept jumping and it was during these flashbacks that it mostly happened so we had to keep rewinding and trying to get bits to play to figure out what happened there.
The concept is a good one but somehow I found the film rather bleak and depressing. I know it wasn't supposed to be a light-hearted comedy affair but the desperation of the situation and Neville's restricted life isn't particularly appealing. The vampire people are very disturbing, especially as there is vampire dogs too although it does take a while before we see any of them. The depressing aspect of the film isn't the fault of Will Smith it's the storyline in general, Will Smith probably does a better job than most would have with what he was given.
There is one moment of horror movie stupidity where Neville does something that you just wouldn't do in order to lead onto part of the storyline and these stupid acts annoy me if I'm honest! I can see how they keep the story moving along but you just know if it was you you just wouldn't have done that. There are a few moments that make you jump too and another moment where Neville is injured where I got irritated because what happened didn't need to, that's all I can say without giving away alot of the plot.
The film isn't too bad considering Will Smith is the only actor who's totally human for the majority of it and he does manage to keep the film ticking along without it becoming boring but we're used to seeing him bounce off other people and obviously with this film it couldn't happen. I'm not really a fan of one man films as situations have to be very contrived to get to the conclusion and this was no exception.
The ending is fairly predictable but equally depressing and I actually wished I hadn't watched this film at all. I was right not to be keen and I didn't really enjoy it, for me it would have been better if there hadn't been a dog to worry about!
Apparently this is a remake of the 1971 film The Omega Man but I haven't actually seen the original so can't really comment. We didn't check for extras as we were both feeling a bit bleak by the end of it and couldn't wait to turn it off and get something more cheerful on the T.V. It is a 15 certificate and I think that's fair.
We rented our copy but if you wanted to buy it it is available for £4.98 from Amazon or just under £2 used on Amazon Marketplace but I would recommend renting and not buying.
Summary: Watch it if you must but don't buy it