Three days ago, I passed by the video rental shop to return the animated movies I borrowed. I noticed that they changed their window posters with new ones, among them is “I Am Legend.”
I remember watching this film adaptation of Richard Matheson’s book of the same title last year. Starring Will Smith, it is set in the future where a cure for cancer (in the form of a mutated measles virus) was created. However, this virus has the potential to kill and/or turn living creatures into aggressive zombie- and vampire-like beings called the “dark-seekers.” Inevitably, the virus spreads, eradicating 90 % of the world’s population and turning 9% into the dark-seekers. Somehow, 1% remained immune and were ironically fortunate–fortunate because they were given a chance to live, and ironic because they stand as prey to the dark-seekers who prowl the streets at night. One of them is Dr. Robert Neville (Smith’s character), who purposely finds a cure in his laboratory home in New York ground zero, together with his German Shepherd, Sam (canines are immune to airborne transmission of the virus but can get infected through the bites of the infected).
The first 45 minutes can be boring, but it is essential to understand the way of living employed by Dr. Neville. It is in this parts of the movie that the viewer would backtrack to the events before the epidemic, all in the view of Robert.
The second half covers adrenalin-pumping action as he and his dog encounter the infected–the thrill of being attacked by infected dogs, fighting the infected alone in the night, and having a house infested by the dark-seekers. One part of the second half’s story is the eventual death of Sam. I cried in the scene where Robert had to strangulate Sam because she was already transforming into one of the infected. He was all alone. It is also in this second half where Robert discovers two other human survivors. His encounter with the survivors opens an outlet as to understanding his motivation, sociability, and Faith.
At parts of the movie near the end, there was the mention of “GOD.” It then gave me the impression of the “end of days” where a portion of the world’s population would suddenly disappear. It got me thinking that what happened in the movie could also happen in the “rapture.”
The movie was satisfying and I would recommend it for the viewer who adores both thinking/problem-solving/tactics-discovery, and thrills. The cinematographer did a great job in presenting a ghost town of New York. The CGIs of the infected were amazing (which, by the way, resembled villains of “Resident Evil”)! As for the reason why it was titled “I Am Legend,” I leave that all up to you to find out.