I was only going to do new movie reviews on this blog, but there has not been much worth seeing out there in the theaters, so here is a DVD review of the recently released I am Legend. I was unable to go see this in the theaters in part because I was seeing other things–possible Oscar flicks– and in part because my wife had no interest in it. As it turns out, to no great surprise, my wife was right on.
I generally like this type of film if it is done well or is meant to be completely frivilous. I suppose that means that I have not seen many movies like this that I have liked. Anyway, I am Legend starts off very well. The first hour or so plays very much like Cast Away once it gets on the island. The lead is a skilled actor who is able to carry a movie with no other person in a single frame. The lead character is a ridiculously gifted survivalist. The lead character goes insane, then comes back from the padded walls of his mind. The lead character carries on a friendship and running dialogue with a non-human (volleyball v. dog). And hey, while we are at–they are both on an island!
Also like Cast Away, I am Legend completely breaks down in its final act. First, I am Legend completely abandons its very thoughtful pacing and cinematic scope once the absurd CGI zombie-things show up in a major way. Second, it introduces new characters who, unless they can fly, have no business being in New York, and then largely does not explain how they could possibly accomplish some of the things that they accomplish once in the City. Third, and I guess I might as well wrap it up here, after the even pacing is literally blown up, the ending comes at blistering speed; attempts are made to tie up every loose end in mere milliseconds; and the Legend concludes with a sentimentally heroic–and as is normally the case when what happens, happens–and unneccesary action.
Did you see how over the course of my review the sentence structure got blown all to hell, until I was basically writing in unfinished phrasings and numerous asides? Well, that is kind of how I am Legend ends. See it if you have seen everything else. Better yet, watch the first hour and then shut it off. Afterward imagine it had a satisfactory ending. I guarantee you will not be disappointed this way.