I Am Legend

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I Am Legend

Directed: Francis Lawrence
Starring: Will Smith

One man is the only survivor of a biological attack that has turned other people into zombies.

Will Smith shows his age in this movie. I have no idea if the gray in his hair is real or added, but it was just enough to show that he is trying to mature beyond his usual action flicks. He is trying to combine the big action movie with a little bit of thinking, like one of the Jason Bourne movies. This is a move in the right direction. While there is action, it isn’t the entire movie. It is mostly tension building and a look of how someone could slowly start to lose themselves when they think they are the last man on Earth.

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The film nicely sets up desolated New York City with grass and weeds growing up in between the cracks in the pavement, while cars are abandoned on the side of the street. Smith’s character grows corn near Times Square when not trying to shoot deer that comes running through the city on occasion. The zombie/vampire creatures only come out at night, so they hide inside the dark places during the day and Smith hides inside his house with boarded up by steel windows to protect him and his dog by night.

I expected this movie to be more of an action flick with a scary premise, but didn’t expect the suspense. It was built up enough that it made me jump at the littlest thing. I jumped when he was hunting a deer running through deserted Times Square and a lion jumped out to attack it first. This was in the trailer, and I have seen the trailer, and yet I still jumped. That is either a sign of great suspense or me being stupid. Most likely a little bit of both.

I did not find the zombie creatures overly scary. They were freaky, but I was distracted by learning that Mike Patton was hired to create all the zombie noises. I thought of him every time I saw one of those things. I think the creatures could have looked a little creepier, which could have made them scarier, but they mostly just made noise. I was more terrified and ready to jump when Will Smith was creeping through a pitch black building looking for his dog that ran inside.

When there are signs that the creatures are messing with him, and maybe not as brain dead as he thinks, it gets a little crazy. There is more tension and suspense, and I really had no idea how the movie was going to end. Everything seemed to be going wrong and he was backed into a corner with no way to escape. I like it when I can’t figure out what’s going to happen so I enjoyed it. There wasn’t a “wow” factor that I had watching the Jason Bourne movies, but it is closer to them than other Will Smith action movies.

Rating: B

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