I Am Legend : good mood, bad end

We watched I Am Legend, the 2007 and fourth adaptation of the novel from what Wikipedia says, tonight, in the same theatre in Taipei as The Golden Compass.

Overall, it was a good movie that allowed Will Smith to shine as an actor – best described by this comment: “I didn’t know he can be so dramatic.” Certainly, being the main – and only, for the first hour – character definitely made the movie rely completely on him, and he keeps it up admirably. Darkly humourous, mood whipslashing every few minutes – he shows that he can be more than an action hero.

However, after the first hour or so, and the whole ordeal inside the dark building ends, the movie starts to flounder. Some of the mood is lost, the pondering is gone. With the lost mood, the monsters lose their scare factor – they just don’t work outside of Resident Evil style “gotcha!” moments.

In any case, there were several things that would’ve improved the experience. For one, there should not have been any other characters, at all. Maybe a talking head at the end just to finish off the virus plotline, but it should have kept the focus on Will Smith the whole time. For another, the “and then this happened” epilogue simply did not have to be there. It was jarring, out of place, and unnecessarily optimistic and cheerful. It could’ve ended simply with something relating to his character, and how his cure saved the race, and that would be the end of that, nothing more.

tl;dr – there are various issues big and small to deal with. Many events in later parts feel forced, and the action is tacked-on. But as said, the first hour feels and looks appropriately desolate, dangerous, and lonely.

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