I am LegendRated MDirected by Francis LawrenceNo d

I am Legend

Rated M

Directed by Francis Lawrence

No doubt many a New Yorker has wished to himself as he or she has pushed through the maddening throng: Why cant all these (insert appropriate expletive) people just go away!

Be careful what you wish for

In I am Legend scientist and soldier Robert Neville (Will Smith) finds himself in such a predicament after a virus designed to prevent cancer turns out to have unfortunate and deadly side effects. Two years after its introduction the majority of the worlds population has died and the remainder have turned into Dark Seekers - crazed, hairless, flesh-eating zombies with an aversion to sunlight, hence their name.

Then there is Robert, who is immune to the virus. He and his faithful German shepherd Samantha roam the deserted streets of Manhattan searching for food.

They hunt deer on Park Avenue, pick fresh corn in Central Park and in his spare time Robert attempts to find a cure for the virus. Then at night he and Sam huddle together while the Dark Seekers roam the streets.

I am Legend is not the first adaptation of Richard Mathesons novel. Earlier versions of the Robert Neville character have been played by Vincent Price and Charlton Heston, the latter in the film The Omega Man.

These earlier films didnt have the advantage of CGI, which I am Legend director Francis Lawrence uses to great effect to recreate the decaying city of New York. Its a haunting sight; the once bustling metropolis is reduced to a ghost city full of abandoned cars, rotting billboards and not a human in sight.

Far less effective is the use of CGI to create mutants. They didnt look real, they have no substance to them and because of this I am Legend had far less impact on me than many other similar themed films. And believe me, as far as zombies go, Im an expert. The Resident Evil series, Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later - all these movies had me chewing my nails down to the quick and loving it! I expected the same, if not more, from this film but my expectations were not met and I departed the cinema with fingernails intact. Even the zombie dogs were a disappointment. For really wicked zombie mutts check out the Resident Evil canines!

Obviously Im not a huge fan of CGI in some cases but I am a huge fan of Will Smith. He has the ability to make a crappy movie good and a good movie great, and when he takes on a role he becomes that character, body and soul.

Like I said, I am Legend failed to live up to my overly elevated expectations, but Im still glad I saw it.

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