Tuesday, January 1, 2008

An (unedited) review on I am Legend-comparison between old and new

HI Guys,

Before I proceed to the review, I do admit that living in solitude with all the cool stuffs in the world is rather cool.
This movie is based on based on the 1954 novel "I am Legend" by Richard Matheson. The first silver screen adaption of this book was the 1971's 'OMEGA MAN', with Charles Heston (a.k.a the NRA Taiko in USA) as Richard Neville. In this version, Richard Neville,the doctor,due to an experimental vaccine, is the only survivor of an apocalyptic war waged with biological weapons. The plague caused by the war has killed everyone else except for a few hundred deformed, nocturnal people calling themselves "The Family". The plague has caused them to become sensitive to light, as well as homicidally psychotic. In this version, Richard Neville is trying to get out of the city and find a human colony. In terms of execution, the movie is somewhat similar to sic-fi movies of its time, esp. Planet of the Apes etc.

Fast forward to 2007, in latest adaption of the novel, the producers decided to name the movie as the novel title, I AM LEGEND, and I do have to admit, it is definitely an improvement in comparison to its predessor. In this version, The movie begins with a newspaper interview with Dr. Kripper (Emma Thompson) who is speaking about the her scientific breakthrough. She has taken the Measles virus and altered it at a genetic level so that it attacks only cancerous cells. The treatment has proven 100% effective in over 10,109 clinical trials. The film then cuts to three years later and we see that New York is deserted. Grass is breaking through the concrete, cars are rusting in the streets, and entire buildings are covered in titanic sheets of plastic with Biohazard signs plastered all over them. Our Hero, Richard Neville (Will Smith), comes blazing in his Mustang GT500, hunting deers in downtown, run down NY (In Omega man, Charles Heston breaks into a deserted dealership and drives out the Mustang from the store window).
As in the earlier version, Neville is the last human survivor in what is left of New York City and maybe the world. For three years, Neville has faithfully sent out daily radio messages, desperate to find any other survivors who might be out there. But he is not alone. Mutant victims of the plague -- 'The Infected' -- lurk in the shadows

In a nutshell, the special effects of this movie is ok, not that it is bad or anything, but after watching Beuwolf, playing countless gory video games such as Resident Evil, Silent Hill etc; 'The Infected' looks nothing more that 100% CG characters, fresh from the PC. I really wished the Director paid more attention on this. As for the storyline and cinematography, the pace was good and there were times I was on the edge of my seat, especially when Neville was entering an Infected hideout trying to get his dog back. The other character are Alicia Braga (Anna) andCharlie Tahan (Ethan), though their contribution didn't matter to the to the movie plot, they were in the movie till the end.

The movie centered on Neville's coping with his solitude life, that is constantly in battling to stay away from 'The Infected'. And by potraying the effects in embarking in risky genetic biotechnology projects with inadequate safety protocols, I believe the movie highlights the state of our modern hightech biotechnology industry, where company rush to produce cures for major ailments from the most unlikely sources, in order to claim novel discoveries and patents, in order to attain instant fame, glory and monetary rewards that comes with it.

In short, I would say that this is one cool movie, and I am definitely getting a DVD copy of this movie.



jindavis said...



Whoa man. Luckily I didn't read your review first before seeing the movie. There's a big spoiler in your review. But what was your reason in giving away that plot point? Doesn't seem to serve any purpose in your review.