I Am Legend – The Crappy End Movie

Wow. What the heck happened here? The last third (perhaps even the last half) of I am Legend is as bad as can be. In other words: It’s bullshit. It’s as simple as that.

The disaster begins around the one hour mark. Up to that point I am Legend is about solitude, a fight for a cure and some other stuff. I thought it was rather interesting to watch despite some very big problems regarding the presentation (but more about that later). Then after a very heartfelt scene in which Smith’s character has to kill his dog, not only goes I am Legend for a standard zombie slasher route, not there’s also a woman and her beloved child who suddenly enter the movie.

I am Legend in this exact moment totally jumps the shark because both of them are pure distractions to the plot. What’s worse is that the mother out of the blue starts sputtering some nonsense about God, God’s Plan, that He gave her an Order and so on. This is as fitting as Hannibal Lector being in a romantic comedy. I am Legend is about a catastrophe brought upon mankind by mankind (because of science), while one of mankind tries to revert it back (by using science). God doesn’t fit into this story equation at all. Period.

But if it were only that I could forgive I am Legend a little bit, because I’d be able to book it as “woman got nuts”, which even would be fitting for a post apocalyptic flick (see The Mist). But no, the producers decided to go the full way for the theatrical ending. Not only does Will Smith’s character have a sudden change of heart from atheist to martyr because of some ridiculous butterfly motif. No, we also get a good view of some sort of human haven in Vermont that looks as cheesy and cliché as humanly possible. While the rest of the world sunk into chaos we see a clean, wonderful little town with a church in the middle, the American flag on the left and a bunch of people having nothing better to do than greeting some new sheep into their gated community. There is not one single sign of the apocalypse. Nothing. Everything looks perfectly clean and small and rural. Here’s the image in question:

I immediately booked this ending as the worst ending I have watched for a very long time. If I had a Top Ten List, this would be a contender for the top spot.

But enough about that shitty ending. Let me get to another point that nagged me about I am Legend, which is director Francis Lawrence himself, who started his career with music videos. I don’t know how you feel about it but during the first half of I am Legend I couldn’t stop thinking that Lawrence never ceased being a music video director. You know, the kind of music video director who learned how to put up a nice front and nice imagery in any way possible.

When you watch I am Legend knowing his background, its visual problems become obvious. The whole movie is photographed as clean and stylish and nice looking as an off-the-shelf music video. The colors are warm although cold colors would be more fitting. The picture is perfect although something grainy would’ve been better. Below I have used an image from the movie and altered it a little bit so you can see the difference (click for larger version).

Besides the post production aspect the setting itself is not very convincing either. We see cars everywhere, but there’s not one single broken window. We see no signs of fires, riots or robberies although Manhattan was cut off from the world. We see no signs of desperate fights against the Dark Seekers, we see no bones or dead bodies. And although nature seems to be everywhere everything looks perfect without any signs of dirt, smut, mud or other nasty stuff.

This is anything but intimating let alone post apocalyptic. The whole city feels like a ride in Disneyland. As a result everything about I am Legend feels bland and boring, although some of the visuals look stunning. But there’s nothing else.

By the way: the CG looks so crappy you’d think some hobbyist worked on it. Where the hell went the more than $100 million? Well, at least I didn’t want to kill the dog myself. His role in the movie is executed quite nicely I think.

Conclusion

As with many other movies I am Legend is a waste of talent. I feel sorry for Wil Smith who does some remarkable performances here.

Rating
From start to finish it's a downhill ride.

Comments

  • that alteration looks horrible. Glad you are not the color timer for I am Legend.

    Sure it looks “cool” for about 5 seconds, but after that you would probably go and murder babies because of how annoying and bad that type of color timing would be for a full movie.

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