Robert Neville (Will Smith, Men in Black
) is a brilliant scientist. But when a man-made virus can't be contained, Neville finds himself the last human survivor in New York City and potentially the world. For three years he faithfully sends out daily radio messages, desperate to find other survivors. But he is not alone... Mutant victims of the plague (The Infected) lurk in the shadows, waiting to catch Neville out. As perhaps Earth's last hope for mankind, Neville is driven only by the desire to somehow reverse the effects of the virus before it's too late...
Stills from I Am Legend
There are many striking sequences in this latest take on Richard Matheson’s book, I Am Legend
. The most memorable? A deserted New York City, overgrown and abandoned with Smith walking right through the middle of it. The sheer logistics of staging such a scene are staggering to behold, but the film benefits enormously from moments like this. They help get across the solitude that Smith’s character faces, as seemingly the last human being left on the planet Earth.
But is he alone? It certainly doesn’t appear to be the case, even though Smith is pretty much front and centre of everything the film does. It’s a strong performance too, and it really has to be. But for at least two thirds of its running time, I Am Legend is a terrific post-apocalyptic thriller.
The film, sadly, peters out a little as it heads towards its final act, not aided by some troubling computer effects work. But for the most part if looks glorious, and proves to be a rich home cinema workout. Superb visuals dominate much of the what the film does right, and the haunting surround soundtrack is both eery and very, very effective. And while I Am Legend is clearly a film with problems, it’s an interesting project for a big budget blockbuster, and one that wins more battles than it loses. It looks terrific on Blu-ray, too.--Simon Brew