Movie of the Day – I Am Legend

I am going to keep with the pandemic theme since my illness is still kicking my ass and this is a late post.  Sucks being bed ridden and tired.  So yeah, I Am Legend, I got to say that I am a fan of this movie, but I will contest that there are a lot of things that hampered my initial enjoyment of the movie, which I will get into after the jump, but suffice to say I am a staunch supporter of this movie despite the blow back from viewers.  Again, this movie hits upon the whole post apocalyptic tones that I love in movies, seeing the lone survivor angle in a wasteland of danger and desolate locations.  The ending though, bad bad bad.  I do much prefer the “controversial ending” that was included on the home video release and it isn’t really controversial.

I Am Legend 1a

A brilliant scientist who raced to discover a cure for the man-made virus as humanity came crumbling down all around him, Robert Neville (Will Smith) was inexplicably immune to the highly contagious superbug. Now the entire population of New York City — and perhaps the world — has been transformed into carnivorous bloodsuckers that fear the light and live solely to spread their contagion to any remaining living creature that crosses their path. It’s been three years since civilization came to an end, and the loneliness has taken a devastating toll on Neville. By day he scours the city for food and supplies while sending out desperate radio messages in hopes that someone might respond, and by night he attempts to find a way to reverse the effects of the virus by experimenting with his own blood. But time is running out for Neville as the legions of infected watch his every move from the safety of the shadows, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. They, too, long to learn the secret that lurks in Neville’s blood, though they will have to take caution while attempting to procure it because Neville will sooner die attempting to slay every last one of them than willingly giving up a single drop. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Seeing Will Smith in an abandoned New York wasteland really pulled my into the story. Again with Contagion or any apocalyptic movies, I love these sort of desolate settings.  Seeing the ruins of a civilization being taken over by nature is just my jam and adds to the feel of the movie.  Seeing Smith cruise through Times Square, playing golf on the deck of a naval ship, and harvesting corn in a urban wasteland, all these little things just set up a world in which he is the lone survivor.  It’s fantastic to see him try and make a normal life inside the ruins of New York, carrying on daily activities like renting movies and harvesting food.

I Am Legend 1b

While the entire setting is lonely, with an undercurrent of darkness, the movie does shoot itself in the foot with the villains in the movie.  Christ, with all the money put into the special effects, the “vampires” are horrible looking.  Simple makeup would have solved this issues, but what we get is just weird looking, very cgi heavy monsters.  They aren’t fear inducing in any way since you are just watching very unreal looking monster swarm all over Smith at his compound or chasing him in the city.  That is the disappointing factor of this movie.  Such a waste on making the villains like they were in the novel.

What captures my attention, while breaking my heart is the relationship between Neville and his dog.  God I was a wreck when the dog got infected and he lost that last bit connection to humanity.  That is the truly compelling aspects of the movie, the psychological impacts of losing that connection to what keeps you sane.  I just about lost it when that happened, but that makes for the most impact in this movie, seeing Neville lose that last bit of humanity in a world where he believes he is the last one alive.  The ending for didn’t make a lot of sense, as it was a selfless sacrifice to save two people and only showed the monster as just that, monsters.  The alternate ending actually was closer to what the monster were like in the book, a society that has been changed by the outbreak and are the new evolution of the world.  They show the capabilities to reason and rationalize, showing a sort of family unit when all they want is the woman that Neville captured.  It is the better ending that is closer to the novels feel, instead of just having those vampires be ruthless beings.

So, now I am going to dose myself with medicine and get to sleep.

About Nick
I am just another blogger putting his thoughts into a website. My love is movies so most of my musings will be movie related. I work as an online marketer for an advertising company and when I am not earning a paycheck, I moonlight as a vigilante film blogger.

9 Responses to Movie of the Day – I Am Legend

  1. Good point to the alternate ending which I haven’t seen. I’m going to have to look for it now.

    Have you seen “Omega Man”? Charlton Heston’s version back from the late 60s/early 70s.

    • Shah Shahid says:

      The novel was actually the basis for most zombie / post apocalyptic films and the genre itself.

      OMEGA MAN was adapted from the I AM LEGEND novel. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD was inspired by it.

    • Nick says:

      The Omega Man is awesome, pure Heston at his best. Plus he just mows countless zombies or whatever like a boss.

      I like I Am Legend solely for the alternate ending as it comes close to the book as possible.

  2. filmhipster says:

    Not as good as Omega Man, but still really good.

  3. mistylayne says:

    Don’t remember what happens at the end but I do love a good post-apocalyptic flick. Go rest and feel better!

  4. Shah Shahid says:

    I loved this movie, and suspected that they changed the ending when I first watched the movie, even before the ‘alternate ending’ controversy came about.

    The scenes showing the lead ‘zombi-pire’ almost burning himself when Neville captures his ‘mate’. How they set a trap for Neville using the mannequins. How there was clearly an alpha in the group and they specifically attack Neville’s house after he captures one of their own.

    All this indicated there was a set up of the ‘zombies’ being intelligent, or something… which the official ending got rid of. The alternate made so much more sense.

    • Nick says:

      That is what bothers me most about the original ending and why that got shelved in favor of the sacrifice ending. It made no sense to do any of that sacrificial crap. Everything pointed to the vampires or whatever, being intelligent and rationalizing beings, but the main ending made them out to be just monsters. Any time I watch this, I prefer to put in the alternate ending disc and enjoy it that way.

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