In many ways, I was pleasantly surprised by I am Legend. Had I seen this movie the weekend it was released in December, I am sure that my review of it would be much more glowing. But, since I waited for a slow January Saturday afternoon, I believe I saw Legend with eyes that were clear from the hype.
One thing you should know about me is that I am a huge fan of blockbusters. I think the best movie season is during the summer time. But these huge type of movies can also be found during the holiday season, and I am Legend is one of those movies. Loosely based on a novel by Richard Matheson, Legend is about the last man on earth who survives a viral outbreak because he is immune. Everyone else who is infected have become zombie-like creatures who can only come out at night because their skin cannot stand the sun. The last man, Robert Neville, was in a way responsible for the outbreak and has to find a cure while he is still alive.
I say that I was pleasantly surprised because, though I love blockbuster movies, the hype of these type of movies is what usually draws people to them. Since I saw this after most of the hype and marketing has died down, I realized that Legend might just be a special FX-fest that lacks any story. Plus the original source material (the novel) is probably way better. (Note: I plan on reading this book.) But as I watched this movie, the part of me that enjoys suspense and zombie movies had a ball. Legend has some genuinely suspenseful moments-- the type of moments where the whole theater is quiet as Neville sneaks around the zombies. So this was a good thing. Plus, if you're a little squeamish of scenes of utter gore and violence, be not afraid: this movie is almost totally bloodless. I think the only blood I remember seeing was from Neville taking blood in a laboratory.
I must say, though, that Will Smith was in top form for I am Legend. This is a big deal for me because, since I've never seen him in Ali or the Pursuit of Happyness, this was the first time I really felt true emotion from him. Usually he's playing the tough and funny role in a movie, but this time he played the emotionally and physically isolated human. I really felt that he was all alone and his suffering through his lack of human contact. By the way, Will Smith is diesel.
If there is one fault with this movie, and it's a pretty significant problem, it's that towards the end of this movie, the main character's motivation and emotion changes. I will not spoil anything for you. But the movie was rushed towards the end. It's probably understandable since the ending was changed very close to the release of this movie. I guess the first ending didn't agree with fans in the screenings. I would love to see this alternative ending and maybe it may make this movie even better.
Of course this movie was better than Spiderman 3 (horrible) but it's not quite in the caliber of Spiderman 2 or Batman Begins. Cannot wait for Iron Man or The Dark Knight. Ooo Wee!