Customer Review

1 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 28 Days Later rip off, 31 Mar 2008
This review is from: I Am Legend (2 Disc Special Edition) [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
You can't judge a movie's quality by its box-office take. Then again, you can't judge it by the hype and shameless plugging that precedes it either: It seems that if studios spend enough on advertising, marketing and other sneaky techniques, even the most terrible cinematic rubbish can be foisted onto the public consciousness as a "much-anticipated event." But every so often, the media blitz backfires, the loud advance trumpeting ends in a barely audible squawk, and an overhyped movie simply fizzles and is instantly forgotten.

This 28 Days Later rip-off from the untalented director of 'Constantine' (Keanu Reeves) is littered with plot holes and inconsistencies. Luckily, for the filmmakers at least, Smith's charisma is strong enough that you store these irregularities in the back of your mind. They don't resurface until you are away from the cinema, thinking about the movie or discussing it with others.

The first hour of the film is by far its strongest. It plays like a cross between 28 Days Later and One Man and His Dog. Smith, in a performance of stamina and subtlety that recalls that of Tom Hanks in Cast Away, wanders around an island that has become a wilderness. There's something childlike and silly in the way that he re-populates the city in his imagination, decking out his local video store with mannequins whom he hails and chats to as if they were old buddies and nothing had happened recently. This is when teh movie becomes silly.

And then, perhaps inevitably, the film goes to hell. The Infected become increasingly visible and what a non-fright they are: at best, hairless fast-moving creatures; at worst, like figures from some techno video a decade ago. The increasingly zombified picture also gets more cloyingly theological (a Brazilian woman, played by City of God's Alice Braga, and her child appear as if from nowhere), crashingly literal ("This is ground zero! This is my site!" he yells), and plain icky (riffs on how Bob Marley is a musical virologist whose rhythms and lyrics might heal humanity).

Meanwhile, the film is littered with scenes that make no sense. We see Neville sprinkling liquid outside his house, presumably the concentrated garlic of the book, although we're not told this. Elsewhere he's shown curled up to sleep in his bath (eh?) and then waking up in his bed. You may also wonder why he chose to hole up in a terraced house that Van Helsing couldn't even hope to defend.

What started out so promisingly, a companion piece of sorts to Children of Men, disappears in a frenzy of screaming, head-banging, bloodiness - followed by an unconvincing redemption. I Am Legend is a disappointment, but one that cannot be laid at Smith's feet. He works very hard and gives a strong performance. Unfortunately, those creative minds responsible for making sure he had a coherent and plausible story to work with let him down.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 Mar 2008 22:30:44 BDT
This tired rubbish has been repeated over and over again. The producers of 28 days later have already stated that among the influences for their film, lies the influence and the direct book that 'I Am Legend' is based on.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Apr 2008 11:23:23 BDT
Are you knocking the fact that this person has dared to mention the likeness to 28 Days Later? So what if the producers have already stated that one of the influences for 28 Days Later was indeed the original Novel that I Am Legend was taken from.

As a film 28 Days Later came earlier (unless you count Heston's The Omega Man) and was a far better execution of the material. I believe this is the point being made.

Posted on 17 Apr 2008 12:26:55 BDT
Stefan says:
I Am Legend was a novel WAY before 28 Days Later was even a twinkle in the writer's imagination. So, it's actually the other way around.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details


3.6 out of 5 stars (331 customer reviews)
5 star:
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
£22.99 £2.98
Add to basket Add to wishlist

Location: Near london

Top Reviewer Ranking: 28,845