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December 09, 2007

I Am Legend


Director Francis Lawrence ("Constantine") was clearly not the best choice to helm the latest adaptation of Richard Matheson’s 1954 classic sci-fi/horror blender that spawned "The Last Man on Earth" and "The Omega Man." Will Smith plays super-buff military virologist Robert Neville, the last man alive after a cancer-cure virus wipes out all of civilization—at least in and around Manhattan where Neville hunts deer from his Shelby Mustang GTO and holes up inside his West Village home fortress. With his dog Sam as his sole companion Neville works in his home lab to find a cure for the pandemic that has turned infected people into flesh-eating vampires that come out nightly to feed. Once you get past the film’s impressive visuals of a desolate Manhattan moldering amid asphalt-breaking weeds, the story settles into a run-of-the-mill chase movie punctuated by Neville’s emotional pain. Absent is the kind of social allegory that make Stephen King’s "The Mist" the best horror movie to come along in years. Even "A Boy and His Dog" (1974) carried a stronger punch than this visually transformative but thematically weak movie.

Rated PG-13, 100 Mins. (C-) (Two Stars)


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