Friday, January 04, 2008

Movie Review - I Am Legend


Movie: I Am Legend (2007)
Starring: Will Smith, Alice Braga
Synopsis: (from Yahoo Movies) Robert Neville (Will Smith) is a brilliant scientist, but even he could not contain the terrible virus that was unstoppable, incurable...and manmade. Somehow immune, Neville is now the last human survivor in what is left of New York City...and maybe the world. But he is not alone. He is surrounded by "the Infected"--victims of the plague who have mutated into carnivorous beings who can only exist in the dark and who will devour or infect anyone or anything in their path. For three years, Neville has spent his days scavenging for food and supplies and faithfully sending out radio messages, desperate to find any other survivors who might be out there. All the while, the Infected lurk in the shadows, watching Neville's every move, waiting for him to make a fatal mistake. Perhaps mankind's last, best hope, Neville is driven by only one remaining mission: to find a way to reverse the effects of the virus using his own immune blood. But his blood is also what The Infected hunt, and Neville knows he is outnumbered and quickly running out of time.
My two cents: I saw this movie on Sunday night (12/30/07) with my cousin PM and her husband JM. I think that before going into the movie I had a very general idea what it was about, but not a whole lot more. I knew it was about Will Smith, last man on earth. Good enough for me. What I didn't know was how freakin' scary this movie was at times. Or how deep. Or how sad. I've heard from several people who've seen this movie, and I've heard "I loved it" and "I hated it"...I actually haven't heard any inbetween opinions, so it seems it's one of those movies that evokes strong feelings one way or the other. I'm in the "I loved it" camp, although as I was watching it, I hated it. Let me clarify. I don't watch scary movies, I hate scary movies. I live alone, therefore, scary movies serve to only make me a paranoid mess, hearing every little noise in my condo complex, and getting zero sleep. Therefore, I don't watch them. I Am Legend was the type of "something is going to jump out any minute now" scary movie that I like the least. And yet, there's a sort of adrenaline rush that makes it clear why people choose to watch movies that make them jump out of their seats. This movie has quite a few of these scenes, and it made for an interesting viewing experience. PM and I actually screamed out loud a few times, which led to fits of giggles afterward, but there were other screams in the theatre, so we weren't alone. In fact, there were two "thuggish" looking teenage boys sitting in front of us, and during one of the scenes one of them jumped so far out of his seat I'm pretty sure he was airborne for a while. He then promptly slunk down in his seat, zipped his jacket up over his face, leaving only his eyes, and watched the rest of the movie in that "I can see, but I can't really see, just in case something else jumps out" position. I myself watched quite a bit of the film through my fingers.
Besides the "scary" parts, the movie was also heavy with a sort of dark, end of the world gloom, broken up only by the humor Will Smith's character infuses in his conversations with his dog, himself, and well...his imaginary friends. Being the last man on earth has led him to develop a sort of "crazyness" to keep him from going crazy. Through flashbacks we learn how the world came to be what it is, and how Smith's character has taken it upon himself to be the savior. He almost literally carries the weight of the world on his shoulders, and Will Smith does a tremendous job of displaying the range of emotions a man in his position suffers through on a daily basis. I've always been a fan of his, but I think in this movie he reached a new level of his acting abilities. And ladies? HE LOOKS HOT as hell.
From a "special effects" perspective, the movie was pretty cool. Seeing New York City in a post-apocalyptic, weeds growing in the middle of highways, cars abandoned on the streets, wild animals roaming free sort of way was pretty magnificent. A true urban jungle. I was pretty impressed with the sets, scenery, what have you.
The movie certainly raises a lot of questions, and you walk out with a "wow, that was deep" sort of feeling. At least that seemed to be the consensus among the viewers at the theatre that night, from what I heard as we were walking out. The teenage boys who sat in front of us? "Man, that was some deep shit" is what one of them said as they walked past us.
I don't think PM liked the movie nearly as much as JM and I did, but that is mostly because she was upset at several "turns of events" throughout. It is by no means a "feel-good" movie, and tears were certainly shed (by yours truly as well) while watching it.
Overall, I really enjoyed the film, even if I was crawling out of my skin waiting for it to "be over already", and I will probably watch it again in the future.
Rating: I'm going to give it 4 out of 5 Martini Glasses.

7 comments:

FRIGGA said...

Okay, I'm not into scary movies, and for me Will Smith has been very hit or miss ever since I saw the previews (2 min of my life I'll never get back) of Wild Wild West... But your review makes the movie sound kind of interesting. I like end of the world sort of things (Waterworld, the Postman, Idiocrasy)... I may have to take a look at a trailer of this movie...

Happy Friday!!! :-)

Karina said...

Frigga, yeah, Wild Wild West is one of those movies I like to forget he was ever a part of (and no, I've never seen it). I think most actors have at least one of those in their repertoire though, right?

IF you like end of the world movies, you'll probably like this one, although, I will warn you that as much as I liked it, one of my friends HATED it vehemently, so it can go either way.

If you do see it, I'd love to know what you think of it.

FRIGGA said...

Okay, if we agree on Wild Wild West then I think I should see this one - I'm going to add it to my movie list - THANKS!!! :-)

Lil Mouse said...

i'll never watch it. does he make it reverse or not? thanks!

ana said...

I have been wanting to watch this movie ever since I saw the preview back in october. But I want to finish the book first, I'm on it....thanks for the review, 4 out of 5 martini glasses will make one hell of a hangover....

qualcosa di bello said...

i think i would need to *drink* 4 of the 5 martinis just to get through it...much as i love, love, love will smith (excepting WWW, of course), i don't think i can do this theme. maybe i will netflix it later & see how i do...

Karina said...

lil mouse, I won't reveal that here, because I don't want to post any spoilers, but if you really want to know, email me and I'll tell you.

ana, it's the 5th martini that creates the makeover. ;-) you'll have to let me know what you think of the movie in comparison to the book (I haven't read it).

qdb, I totally hear you on that! I definitely felt like I needed a drink (or two or three) while watching it.