Saturday, October 31, 2009

I Am Legend (movie #79)

The first time I saw this movie (a very very loose adaptation of Richard Matheson's novel of the same name) I didn't like it. I thought it was maudlin, melodramatic, and some of the plot twists were silly (not to mention the creatures are incredibly stupid looking). this time around, all those problems are still present, but I ended up liking this movie a lot more for other reasons.

The movie centers around a man who worked as a scientist, trying to combat the effects of a deadly virus. Let's just say that things went wrong and basically the world pretty much ended, with some 90 percent of people turning into weird, dark dwelling creatures who hate the light and rabidly feed on human flesh. The doctor is immune to the virus, but he loses his family and pretty much everyone he loves and knows. For all practical rights and purposes, he's the last person alive in the world. All he has is his dog, and he spends his days roaming around looking for other people like him who survived the apocalypse.

The premise is compelling and Will Smith does a great job with his acting. The first half of the movie, despite the horrid looking CGI creatures, isn't half bad. It's the second half that gets totally ridiculous. I just don't buy the ending, either. It seems silly to the extreme, and what happens is annoying because the characters keep sdaying "oh, he had to do this" and I'm like, "Um, no, he didn't have to do that, there are 20 million other possible solutions that don't involve THAT" and it just grates on my nerves because the very very end seems pretentious given that the climax didn't HAVE to play out the way it does. I know, I'm being vague, but trust me, the ending made me want to chuck a brick at the director and everyone involved with making the movie (except for Will Smith and the dog).


The thing is though, this time around, I was touched a lot more by Will Smith's situation. He has no loved ones left, all he has is his dog, and when the dog dies, that scene had me bawling. Maybe it didn't hit me before how desolate that scene is, or maybe I'm more sensitive now than I was a year ago when I saw this movie, but it really got to me. Right after the dog dies, when Will Smith is in the store talking to the mannequin and he says "say hello to me...say hello to me..." those lines made me roll my eyes when I first saw this movie, but like I said, I must be more sensitive now than I was before because that scene made me cry too. I think that emotional appeal let me enjoy the movie more this time around even though the ending still pissed me off.

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