I am Legend (2008) starring Will Smith, Alice Braga, Charlie Tahan, Salli Richardson, Willow Smith, Darrell Foster, April Grace, Dash Mihok directed by Francis Lawrence - movie review on The Movie Scene

I am Legend (2008)   3/53/53/53/53/5


Will Smith in I am Legend

The Legend of Robert Neville

I wasn't really sure what to expect when I watched Will Smith in "I am Legend" as I had only seen the trailers and not read any of the countless reviews written about it. Thankfully I was not disappointed as "I am Legend" mixes action, drama and excitement with a touch of unpredictability to keep you glued to the edge of your seats for the duration, and the time certainly does seem to fly by whilst you are watching it.

After a miraculous cure for cancer goes drastically wrong, causing the majority of the worlds population to turn into dark seeking mutants. Colonel Robert Neville (Will Smith - Hitch) is the sole survivor left in New York desperately searching for a cure to save the world whilst also saving his own ass from being killed.

Will Smith as Robert Neville in I am Legend

In reality the underlying storyline to "I am Legend" is nothing more than one man against a world of mutant humans which in all honesty is nothing really new, but more often seen as the premise for zombie fuelled horror movies; where as for me "I am Legend" is predominantly an action, drama with the added bonus of few frights. The balance between action and drama is hugely impressive with enough high energy action to satisfy those who need high pace to entertain them. Yet there is also plenty of drama and an unravelling story, which at times is quite emotional, to keep those with the need for more substance to be satisfied. Although saying that, do not expect an overly complex plot line, which requires huge amounts of concentration as you definitely won't get one.

There are also 2 other reasons why I found "I am Legend" such great entertainment. Firstly is Will Smith who manages to bring humour to the screen without detracting from the overall feel of the movie. Be it in the scene where he berates his dog for not eating its vegetables or the conversations he has with mannequin dummies as he has no one else to speak to, these moments give "I am Legend" a lighter feel which it definitely needed but at the same time giving an insight into a man who has no one to talk to.

The other reason as to why I found "I am Legend" so entertaining is that it is hugely impressive. From the abandoned and vandalised New York city through to the look of the mutants, everything wows you, but in a very realistic way.

What did surprise me is that despite a few scenes, mainly flashbacks to before the cancer cure became the mutant virus, the majority of "I am Legend" focuses solely on Will Smith's character and his attempts to survive. Whilst it may not be Smith's greatest performance it still shows what a talented actor he is to carry the movie pretty much single-handedly. As previously mentioned he manages to lighten the mood where need be without detracting from the drama of the story. But also his ability to show emotion, despair and numerous other feelings without over egging things really makes his character exceedingly engaging. Also his interaction with his pet dog is very touching but also humorous and added a further dimension to "I am Legend".

My only sort of criticism comes from the ending, which although unexpected, not only felt slightly rushed but a little too contrived. But then that may be just me and probably making an ending which was less rushed would have caused the movie to drag and lose its momentum, which for me was spot on.

What this all boils down to is that at the end of 2006 I watched Will Smith in "The Pursuit of Happyness" and was not disappointed, at the end of 2007 I again watch Will Smith in "I am Legend" and again I am not disappointed. Not only does "I am Legend" perfectly mix action, drama with a touch of horror, but it proves that you can create something entertaining from an unoriginal plot. If you want to watch a film which will keep you glued to your seat and entertain through out then I highly recommend seeing "I am Legend".


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