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Mar 25

Will Smith is Legend

Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2008 in On the box

I just adore the horror film genre.

What I love about it is its ability to produce fear and adrenaline within the person who is watching it, even though they aren’t taking part in the horror themselves.

Take ‘SAW’, for example.  A girl is thrown into a pit full of used hypodermic needles.  She claws around desperately trying to reach the edge of the pit to escape, and becomes impaled horribly by these needles, screaming in agony.  As horrifying as this seems, I can watch this with a big smile on my face, knowing that what I’m seeing is just the product of a screenwriter’s deranged mind.  It’s all just prosthetics and tomato ketchup, after all.  When the film is over, I can let go of the horror, and this is healthy.

‘I am Legend’ is different.  It’s horror is entirely more realistic.  It re-defines the term ‘edge-of-your-seat’, and left me with a complete inability to think about anything else but the film for the rest of the evening.  I also had a very hard time stemming tears at several points during the flick, and I’m not the sort to blub during films at all (nope, not even during E.T.).  Will Smith plays an entirely new sort of character, one with depth and a desert-island mentality that beats the pants off Mr. Hank’s ‘Cast Away’.  His acting is supreme in this film, he is now the almighty master of the pregnant pause in my book.


So what’s it about? 

Emma Thompson appears at the start of the film in a cameo role.  She is being interviewed, and tells the world that she has discovered a cure for cancer, by mutating virus activity.

The film then skips forward a few years.  We are shown a dead New York City.  The buildings are surrounded by grassland and deer wander amongst abandoned cars.  It soon becomes obvious that there is something evil now lurking on the streets – that something horribly wrong happened with the cancer cure that turned the world into sunlight hating zombies.  (Zombies?  Hurrah!!!)  Smith and his faithful doggy seem to be immune to this virus, and choose to stay on ‘Ground Zero’ to continue work on a cure.

As the film progresses, you’ll find with delight that most of the cliches involved with Zombie films have been discarded and replaced with a real look into the human mind and its attempt to preserve sanity amid chaos.  Think of ’28 days’, but multiply the suspense and loneliness by ten, and divide the hope by twenty.  Naturally, there is not much dialogue in the first half of the film, but this is replaced by a Bob Marley track which Smith repeatedly plays for himself in a desperate attempt to keep his candle burning, or as he puts it; ‘To light up the dark’.

That’s all I’m saying, apart from a sincere statement that this could possibly be my new favourite film of all time.  Yes, I’m building it up and feeding the hype, because this time it’s deserved.  (Okay, okay, I’ll admit maybe that perhaps the zombies were a little reminiscent of ‘The Mummy’ CGI abominations, but it’s a very weak critiscism indeed.)  Go on the legend: 9/10.

Bring on the comments

  1. 9/10? Really? Well hell in a handbag, I’m going to have to watch it now.

  2. OboyOboy: should be here tomorrow from Blockflix or NetBuster.

    I watched Into The Wild over the weekend and recommend it. True story of a young man looking for truth in wilderness Alaska.

  3. I loved 28 Days Later (in a painful kind of way) and I also enjoyed the second one (28 something elses later… weeks maybe?) I’m still disturbed by them now if I think about them too much. I haven’t seen I am Legend though. Maybe I should put it on the list. I’d heard the ending was disappointing though. No?

  4. Brianf says:

    I have never seen ET.

  5. 28 days later scared the pants off me. I used to have nightmares about zombies, but they never freaked me out much because, like in all the films, they were slooowwwww. The ones in 28 days later were quick bastards, mucho freaky. Still want to see I am Legend though.

  6. Baino says:

    Loved it too but agree the ending was weak. I did cry in ET . . .each of the four times I saw it.

  7. K8 says:

    Sam; Yep, really! I was so glued I forgot to think about not smoking, it was that good.

    Sixty; My buddy Caoimh just recommended that a day or so ago… something about a rich kid ditching his wealth and majorly annoying his parents in the process for the quest of solitude?
    Sounds bleedin’ excellent, that.

    J Adamthwaite; (Did I ever tell you that I love your surname?!?) The ’28’ flicks were extremely disturbing what with the quick shots and bloody vomit and stuff. There’s none of that in this film, the director tortures your imagination instead!
    I wasn’t going to mention the ending. I’m still not, because I don’t want to spoil anything.

    Brian; Are you taking the piss?

    Thriftcriminal; Loike I say, 28 days is far more horrific regarding gore. This is more psychologically crippling. Also there is FAR more humanity in this one. If you watch this, you might find yourself wanting to have Will Smith’s babies.

    Baino; The only films I ever came close to crying for were this film, and The Fly II. When the dude had to kill his poor horribly mutated labrador, I was shattered.

    Don’t you find that the most excellent films seem to have weak endings though? It’s because you’re just dissapointed it’s finished I reckon.

    There’s an alternative ending to the film too, apparently…

  8. Nope, can’t have his babies, got snip.

  9. Ben says:

    The only film i cried at was “All dogs go to heaven” and it was my 8th birthday.

    Google the alternative ending to I AM Legend and it throws the whole thing in a new light IMO.

    The best films are the one that has the young one clasping yer arm or tryin to hide behind ya! Ideal first date movies. Not however if you pee yourself and try to hide behind her!

  10. My surname is the bane of my life!

    I like the sound of the tortured imagination – more my thing than the blood and guts really. You’ve convinced me!

  11. Kudos to you, Madam! This is the best review I’ve read of, “I am Legend”. And, ET is still awesome! :)

  12. K8 says:

    Thrifcriminal; Yes but you’ll still WANT to.

    Ben; Ahhh I remember “All dogs go to heavenâ€?, it was kindof depressing all right. I once dated a bloke who hid behind me during a horror flick, though he thankfully didn’t pee himself. He wasn’t your average ‘alpha male’, y’know?

    Miss Adamthwaite; Your name instantly makes you sound extremely intelligent :) It’s a perfect name for a strict but friendly teacher!

    Brian; Seriously serious?

    Jefferson; Hey thanks! The best part of ET are the comedy pisstakes:

  13. Brianf says:

    For real.
    I also have never seen that movie where Tom Hanks is on an island with a volleyball.

  14. K8 says:

    Hmmm. I suppose I can’t slag you seeing as I don’t have my own personal Maltese Falcon, so I suppose we’re quits.

  15. @Brian – What’s wrong with you, dude? Get with the programme man! :)

  16. If only the kids could say it…

  17. Doc says:

    wow – yet another reason you should ditch your hubby and marry me: i LOVE horror films!

    what’s that you say? that’s not enough to put paid to a great and loving marriage to a good and gentle man and, besides (what with my earlier adoption of Grandad) it smacks to close to incest, right?

    well, what if i brought something else to the table?

    what if I brought the original ending to I Am Legend.

    What then, eh?

    p.s. – have you seen 30 Days of Night yet?

    O M F G

    you’ll love it.

    ; ‘ )

  18. K8 says:

    Doc! Y’auld chancer!
    Meet me under the Eiffel Tower at this time next week and we’ll discuss this further…

    (I haven’t seen this 30 Days of Night yet, but have a hankerin’ to now! Must finish last few series’ of Boston Legal foist…)

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