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Movie Reviews

I Am Legend

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Reviewed by: Daniel McGuire

Released: 14th December 2007

Directed by: Francis Lawrence

Starring: Will Smith, Alice Braga, Charlie Tahan

Certificate: 12

Back in 2007 Will Smith starred in a post apocalyptic science fiction film based on the 1954 novel written by Richard Matheson. This is the third adaption of the novel ‘I Am Legend’ in which we follow Robert Neville (Will Smith) as he fights for his life in Manhattan after a man made virus originally created to cure all forms of cancer back fires into a vicious disease killing off 90% of the population.

The development for I Am Legend started back in 1994 and different actors and directors were pulled into the project, but Warner Bros struggled to get a large enough budget to get things rolling for a few years. The production for the film finally started in 2006 in New York City. A scene in the film see the Brooklyn Bridge in action, without given too many juicy details away, it was the most expensive scene filmed in the city at the time.

Now, an expensive scene isn’t going to make you watch a movie, no? So let’s get to the main subject here; the plot.

In 2009 Dr Krippen created a genetic variant of the measles virus as a viable cure for cancer, but as it mutates into a lethal virus it spreads throughout the world killing 90% of the population. There are 600 million survivors 12 million of which are naturally immune, including Robert Neville. The others evolved into the ‘Darkseekers’. The Darkseekers gained their name given that they hid during the daylight and get a pain reaction when exposed to the suns UV rays. These mutants have an increased metabolic rate which forces them into having an overwhelming hunger, making them resort to cannibalism. Despite their obvious lack of intelligence they show skills in problems solving and organization.

As you can see the film has a ‘last man on earth’ plot but it’s not as generic as you make think, Will Smith gives an outstanding performance which really keeps you emotionally to the film. The film is mostly shot during the day time and this gives it a sort of magical sensation to see the main streets of New York completely deserted.

The alternate ending

Due to the early audience test several scenes where tweaked as the audience didn’t understand the Darkseekers influences since during the film they seemed to have kept their human instincts but lost them towards the final scenes.

Personally I stand by the originally ending and that the most accurate reincarnation of the novel stood the test of time and simply was better than the alternative ending. Perhaps this shows that the audience connects with the film so much that they struggle to come to terms in the final scenes.

I simply loved this film and recommend it to everybody that loves a good science fiction .

25 year old film fanatic who loves rock music, Xbox and cat videos on Youtube. I also tweet @lewisvstheworld

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