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
Big budget thriller based on the novel by Richard Matheson. Robert Neville (Will Smith) is a brilliant scientist but even he could not contain the terrible virus that was unstoppable, incurable, and man-made. Somehow immune, Neville is now the last human survivor in what is left of New York City and maybe the world. For three years Neville has faithfully sent out daily radio messages, desperate to find any other survivors who might be out there. But he is not alone. Mutant victims of the plague - The Infected - lurk in the shadows, watching Neville's every move and waiting for him to make a fatal mistake. Perhaps mankind's last, best hope, Neville is driven by only one remaining mission: to find a way to reverse the effects of the virus using his own immune blood. But he knows he is outnumbered, and quickly running out of time.