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We Are The Legend Being Referenced In That Title
by Alex Carnevale
I Am Legend
dir. Francis Lawrence
The only summer movie in a sea of winter misfires, I Am Legend was batted around the studio system for years. Schwarzenegger was attached to star in it; it was his next project for seven years.
The premise of the Richard Matheson novel was brilliant–a kind of reverse Dracula. Smith gets the role of a lifetime and only kind of delivers. I personally think Martin Lawrence would have been inspired casting, but then I am about as big a Martin Lawrence fan as one can be in these difficult times.
from the forthcoming Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, which we are psyched for
Of course, Smith and Lawrence teamed in the 1994 classic Bad Boys, which was probably the best picture of that year. Also notable for the only time Tea Leoni was hot and a sweet Michael Imperioli cameo, Bad Boys had a lot of awesome improvised dialogue and not much else. The ending was terrible, but the dialogue got you there. All this talk of Bad Boys makes me want to rent the sequel, which I’ve never seen.
“All That Makes Us Human Continues” — BT (mp3)
“See You On The Other Side” — BT (mp3)
Smith’s a soulless automaton (one would have to be to marry Jada Pinkett) and he was at his best as a jealous one-armed cop in I, Robot. In I Am Legend, too, he has the wonders of CGI at his fingertips. While this movie probably could have used a Kevin James cameo, and while it made nothing of the brilliance of the original concept, it’s passable fare, over quickly enough that you aren’t upset you watched half the movie while having to go to the bathroom.
someone has to do a splicing of scenes from The Pursuit of Happyness and this movie
After directing the utterly boring Constantine, Francis Lawrence helmed this one. He was way out of his depth here, and screenwriters Akiva Goldsman and Mark Protosevich have no clue what they’re including. There’s a five minute bit about a mannikin.
The dog was boss though, German shepherds are both nutritious and loyal.
the catchphrase here kinda makes this sound like Homeward Bound or something
As it was in Matheson’s original version, the story is a finely veiled political allegory. Will Smith’s a soldier and his repeated references to Ground Zero paint the vampires who haunt his curious situation as terrorists hellbent on destroying New York City. It’s actually they who are the victim, get it, get it?
You can read the book in its entirety here.
The filmmakers early on chose to set the film in abandoned New York. Smith is miserable alone in New York with his dog, while I would be overjoyed. One man’s hell is another man’s heaven, I guess. He marks off each apartment building he goes into with a red X on a map. I’d have a fine time simply sorting through the things of millions of people in New York.
They miss out on most of the jokes about living by yourself in New York. See 28 Days Later for the real comedy about being uninfected in an infected world.
Overall, I’m not sure why I wanted this movie to be made. It’s never going to come close to the fun horror and science fiction element of the original; its upside was a slightly better version of the disastrous Children of Men, which could put a ritalin-based child to sleep. That it’s no worse than most of what’s in the theatres right now is my ringing endorsement. Still, a bad idea is a bad idea, see the new Peter Berg Dune.
Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording.
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