I Am Legend - Theater
AndyO review: * * *
I saw I Am Legend over the holidays, and really enjoyed it. A friend of mine, TinyDog, did not like it. Here is our debate in e-mail:
From: Tiny Dog
Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2007 10:54 PM
To: Andy O
Subject: Re: The next Tiny dog zombie movie? I Am Legend: TERRIBLE!
On 12/16/07 10:56 PM, "Andy O" wrote:
I saw it, too. But, as usual, I respectfully disagree. I actually thought it was pretty good.
Sent: Monday, December 17, 2007 8:00 AM
Dude--the zombies were awful! Bad CGI, inexplicably acrobatic, totally not scary. The screenplay was based on a vampire book and they didn't even bother to change the details to make the plot logical. Why exactly would people with a virus crave blood? That makes NO sense. And the ending? That lady who shows up with the perfect outfit and hair? The conveniently located grenades and semiautomatics lying around in every drawer and umbrella stand? The cheesy Bob Marley and Shrek stuff??!!
I had a feeling the digi-zombies were at the heart of all this. I have to admit, they were pretty bad. And digi-dogs, too (what was with their chests?). The white Zombie guys screaming like lions was also kind of weird, as was the acrobatics.
But what I liked was the idea of this lone guy trying to survive in NY. All of that kept my interest. All of the conveniently located weapons were a reflection of Smith's character. He was a top-level Army guy, and I thought they showed how organized he was all the way through the movie. He was prepared for all contingencies. If they hadn't foreshadowed that earlier, I wouldn't have bought it--but I think they did.
I didn't mind the Bob Marley and Shrek stuff. IMHO: Bob Marley music was how he was keeping his sanity. The Shrek stuff was about how he had lived alone for so long he didn't know how to interact with people. I'll admit that they should have shown him sitting around mimicking the movie by himself before he did it in front of the kid.
I don't think the movie was perfect, but I'd give it three stars out of four. The missing one star is due to the stuff you mentioned (bad zombies, etc.). But did I care about this guy? Yes. Was it a movie that kept my interest and stirred up my imagination? Yes. Was it better than "Twelve Monkeys," a movie with a similar story? Yes.
But I can understand how those details you mentioned would have destroyed the movie for you. I guess it depends on how much you can suspend your disbelief, and I'm one of those people who can just go along with it. My friend Brian is more like you. He'll shred a movie for just copying a famous Hitchcock camera shot. But somehow I've always been able to just experience a movie without analyzing it too much. That happens later when I watch it on my super 40-inch Hi-Def TV. :-)