I had mixed feelings about watching I Am Legend – some of the reviews around at the time weren’t terribly kind, and also I was going with 3 people who had read the original novel by Richard Matheson. Viewers who compare films to their original books are always likely to be disappointed so these weren’t good omens, however, we were all destined to actually quite enjoy the film.
Will Smith plays the part of Robert Neville who is a brilliant scientist, but who soon becomes the last human survivor in New York City and potentially the world, of a man-made virus that cannot be contained. He spends a lot of time trying to contact other survivors, and trying to find a cure for the deadly virus, under the constant threat of mutant victims of the plague…
I Am Legend is pretty well constructed, and although it inevitably turns into a bit of a zombie fest near the end, the beginning and middle parts of the film are very enjoyable. At the start of the film we are shown the extremely happy and world changing events that cause the later problems. Because Robert Neville is the sole survivor, a narrator would have been strange and removed some of the isolation from Will Smiths character, so instead we learn about the events through old television and radio news clips.
Probably the most interesting part of the file for me though was the middle part, which was a focussed study of how one man might survive an event like this – routine, routine, routine! The film shows Robert going about his daily activities, his search for more food, other survivors, and his quest to find a cure for the disease.
The final part of the film as mentioned turns into a bit of a zombie fest, but there is enough action to keep every viewer riveted to their seat.
Watch on a Wednesday night with a plate of cold tinned spaghetti and a glass of dirty water for that authentic “sole survivor” experience!
What to consider before you watch I Am Legend
If you are of a nervous disposition, you are likely to be a gibbering wreck at the end of the film! There are frights aplenty, but also some sad scenes to bring you to the other scale of your emotions. It’s not a horror film as such but there are some good moments where you are taken by surprise. Viewers expecting a faithful adaption of the book are also likely to be disappointed.
Why you need to see I Am Legend
“I Am Legend” can be a hard film to watch. Not in the same way as the similar film “28 Days Later”, but I still wouldn’t class it as a Saturday night popcorn film. There are frights aplenty, but also a fairly in depth study of a man, how he survives and the hopes he has for a future.