The Last Man on Earth… is a Long Way from Bel Air.
Will Smith is synonymous with what people think a Blockbuster film should be. It all started in July of 1996 when a movie by the name of “Independence Day” was released. Since then Will Smith has worked his way to the top becoming The box office gold standard in Hollywood. His latest release “I Am Legend” further cements his decade plus of supremacy.
“I Am Legend” is indeed the third adaptation of a
book of the same name written by Richard Matheson. The other two adaptations were ‘The Last Man on Earth’ and ‘The Omega Man’. While I’ve seen neither of these former adaptations it seems that based on public opinion ‘I Am Legend’ deviates the most from the original work. (that and Wikipedia is a hell of a drug)
Will Smith portrays Dr. Robert Neville, a scientist who is immune to a virus that wipes out mankind (incase you don’t own a tv this is info available on the trailer) He is the last man on earth, yet he isn’t alone.
The film instantly captures you with impressive imagery of a barren New York City. Famous landmarks like Times Square, Union Square, The South Street Seaport and Washington Square Park are transformed from urban utopias to post apocalyptic barren wastelands where nature has reclaimed its former place. The scenery is so expansive it becomes the supporting cast to the one man show Will Smith masterfully presents. Of course that one man show is supported by his trusty dog who acts as his companion and in some cases sole comfort.
The idea of solitude might not seem daunting to some, but absolute solitude with no human contact and the prospect of never seeing another person alive again is a lot for us to truly fathom. This backdrop not only forces Will as the actor to obviously carry the entire movie, seamlessly I might add, but also forces the character Robert Neville to experience the entire range of the human condition. From joy to fear, triumph to sadness, victory to defeat. Watching this movie you feel privy to the intimate thoughts of a man and from the safety of our voyeuristic standpoint, you allow yourself to become emotionally tied to this Hero of sorts as he fights what seems to be an impossible fight.
Without revealing too much I must say the antagonists of the film are frighteningly displayed and you sympathize with the fear Robert faces every day as he lives to survive and regain the world he feels he lost through his own fault.
While the ending left people wondering, I felt it suited the movie perfectly. We as moviegoers have been too conditioned with what we expect to see so just for the simple fact that people were forced to *GASP* think about the ending makes me think it was a job well done.
Will Smiths compelling portrayal is sure to raise some nods come Oscar time. Is it his best movie to date? It’s too fresh in my mind to safely say. His performances in IRobot and The Pursuit of Happiness are merely too strong to discount. Should you go see it. HELL YES! I live in NYC and movie tickets here cost 12 bucks a pop, shit paying that much a ticket you’d think I’d see my name as Associate Producer. Though during the Manhattan montage they featured the theater I was actually in… in the movie.. NY wins again.
I Am Legend Trivia – Ahnald Schwarzennegger was originally tied contractually to play Dr. Robert Neville.. Imagine that.
Thanks for sparing us that Kha-Lee-for-Knee-Yaa.
Yep. Cosign that whole thing.
good shit, I still haven’t seen this shit yet but am most definitely gonna check it out this week shit looks to offical not too, and obviously i’m hearing nothing but good things
Good write-up. I thought it was dope just from the isolation point of view and his struggle. Not trying to give away anything as well though I just wasn’t feeling how it ended…it was a dope all around good movie but for all the hype I’ve been asking myself all weekend if it was truly worth it.
I guess dollars speak more though.
Well movies like this tend to not live up to the hype.. but I felt it was a very very solid performance.. and the story was great.. im glad it strayed from the original story in the book like it did.
great review BK..I heard mixed feelings about the movie and the ending. I have not seen it yet, but I will def. try to go see it this weekend. Majority is telling me its great. Luv your writing.
Thanks LL.. and yea.. its worth a check out.. besides me seein that movie ensures will smith will be able to afford a platinum and diamond bathroom sink.. :)
also the ending.. you have to see it to understand the controversy
don’t get me wrong – the ending justified the movie but personally I wanted more. Unfortunetly, I have yet to read the book to see if it strayed or not.
Nonetheless the hype for Will Smith’s performance is definetly warranted.
If it’s half as good as ‘Into The Wild’ (which I doubt it is) then I’ll be chuffed. Go see ‘Into The Wild’ if you want to see quality cinema though. Might be too complex for most Yanks to get though.
*sprays randomly at Yankees*
*drinks cup of tea with pinky extended* (nh)
*Spits in a tin
*Fed Exes it overnight Down under (none)
I saw this movie twice. The first time around I was also scratching my head at the ending. But I suppose that was partly because of the hype behind the film and may be â€œmoviegoers have been too conditionedâ€ to expect a certain outcome, because the second time around the ending seemed to fit perfectly with the movie.
I don’t want to get too deep on the meaning of that so I don’t spoil things too much for the one guy who still hasn’t seen it. But, when you take into account the isolation (the desperate need he -or anyone in his position- must have felt for it to end), the fact that this was not a hero-saving-the-world movie and the realism of the entirety of the film, realistically this is as close to how a situation like that might actually play out, quick and to the point. Up to this point iRobot was my highest rated Smith movie but I may have to reconsideration that.
On another Will Smith note, Hancock as looks like itâ€™ll be a decent flick.
^^BTW: No homo!
At first I was getting ready to grab my bat (flash back of Cast Away) then they showed Will’s body….Point is: I dig it. Great movie: Script, imagery yada yada
Next one to translate from words to the big screen would be ‘High Rise”
Only if Spike Lee was involved.