“I Am Legend” commercially transcends the cheap and ambient atmosphere of the early survival flicks, like The Night of the Living Dead and Legend’s prequel ‘The Last Man on Earth’, but is also a very cold and predictable affair. Will Smith stars as the titular character, but not until the end do we truly realize the meaning of the proposition: I am Legend. It is not self-sustenance, or near-scientific day-to-day living that is respected, but rather having confidence in your life’s accomplishments to accumulate the bravery to give it up for others.
The film is much more visually compelling than the earlier, home-ridden exercises of survival. In ‘I Am Legend’ Will Smith wanders around the Island of Manhattan, desolate and dry, weeds growing yards in height from the street-crevices. The man vs. nature dichotomy is truly put to the visual test: towering, once-occupied buildings, tigers roaming with as much sense of right as anyone. We see the main character strolling into a video-store and conversing in desperate verisimilitude with the mannequin figurines. How much psychological merit this has, especially considering hes a logic-sworn scientist, I’m not sure. But it is very gripping, as an emotional and plot device.
I Am Legend is not the next Romero de-throwning, but it is a good film to be seen at the multiplex. Exciting, adrenaline-packed, and featuring stand-up acting by audience-loved Will Smith, I Am Legend soars past its own faults.