Sunday, December 16, 2007

I am Legend (no spoilers)

Because it was over several rivers and through the snow, to Grandmother's house we did not go, as planned, and rather found ourselves at a matinee, watching I am Legend, based on the 1954 novel by Richard Matheson. It was a really fun movie to watch - had us on the edge of our seats the whole time, and I am loathe to give away any details.

Will Smith, who I really think is one of the greatest actors alive, is, as you'll have seen from the trailers, the "sole survivor" in NYC, along with his dog. I thought the movie and Smith's performance had a quality very similar to Tom Hanks in Cast Away, in that it's very much a psychological examination of what happens to a person who is completely isolated. Smith brings a lot of tenderness and sensitivity to the role; like Hanks in Cast Away, he has his Wilsons to help stay sane.

There's a new book out fright now called The World without Us which speculates what would happen to the world if all the people disappeared rather rapidly, which I thought about several times during this movie. The author supposes that nature will reclaim our urban spaces quickly. To some extent these scenes are played out in the movie, with interesting visuals like deer running wild through the streets of Manhattan and other wild life free to reign.

Anyone who's a fan of end-of-humankind movies like 28 Days Later or Children of Men will surely enjoy this movie a lot. I just love these smart (and slightly scary!) apocalyptic movies, and what's really great about I am Legend is that the movie reveals itself bit by bit, showing a lot of respect for the audience.


kbmulder said...

I hadn't really heard alot about this movie, so I'm glad to hear you give it a good review. Maybe I'll check it out.

clterry said...

Brian and I have Wed. noc to ourselves, thanks for the review, I didn't know if it was worth seeing or not. I love Will Smith as well.