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During Sping Break i had an opportunity to watch the DVD I AM LEGEND with Will Smith. I reall didn't have any expectations for it, good or bad. I'd always intended to read the book or at least watch the Vincent price movie THE LAST MAN ON EARTH which is based on the same novel, but i've never had the opportunity. So my ignorance kept me from developing any sort of opinion, for the most part. I don't Will Smith has made a movie i don't like. I still watch Fresh Prince occasionally. Before i watched the movie i had to check out the animated comics in the special features. These Comics are incredible. I made a regular habit of watching them before each viewing of the movie, just to set the mood. I love the kinetic style of the art and the stories really set you up for the movie without giving too much away. One of them has voice acting that was really well done. This isn't the first time i've seen comics animated. Animated comics are a happy medium between regular comics which, to date lack the ability to dazzle the eye with actual movement, and cartoons/movies which lack the ability to internalize the character. I'm seeing more and more of these animated comics and this is the second DVD i've seen with such comics on it, so hopefully this new thing will catch on.
As for the movie itself, Will Smith does an excellent job of portraying a man slowly succumbing to the effects of extreme isolation while bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders. This story manages to engagel and entertain through multiple viewings despite almost no supporting cast and scant action sequences. This one is heavy on the drama and suspense. It reminds a little of the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, or perhaps WAR OF THE WORLDS in the sense that the whole point is survial and the action is downplayed. Neville Sinclair isn't going to save the day with bombs and machine guns. Its literally him versus the world.
Something worth noting is the Biblical imagery towards the end of the movie. His pleading to the Darkseekers that he can fix this, to let him Help them, Let him save them, is very Christ-like and creates a very vivid picture of how Jesus probrably thinks and feels as he looks upon an uncaring and unloving mankind. The cure for the Darkseekers conditions lies within the blood extracted from the test subject, who in turn was cured from Nevilles' own genetic immunity. The cure was in the blood. This further parallells Neville with Jesus Christ, depicting spiritual truths using a scenerio we can understand. Then theres his little spill about God's plan:
"All right, let me tell you about your "God's plan". Six billion people on Earth when the infection hit. KV had a ninety-percent kill rate, that's five point four billion people dead. Crashed and bled out. Dead. Less than one-percent immunity. That left twelve million healthy people, like you, me, and Ethan. The other five hundred and eighty-eight million turned into your dark seekers, and then they got hungry and they killed and fed on everybody. Everybody! Every *single* person that you or I has ever known is dead! Dead!"

People i've discussed this with believe this is a pretty accurate description of the Saved, The Lost, and the backslidden. Those lukewarm the the lord will spew out of his mouth. I realize that these allusions are, more than likely, purely coincidental, and not at all intentional, but thats what i see when i see this movie. And there are those who would argue that that is the whole point.

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Comment by Anthony Rodriguez on March 31, 2008 at 11:35am
Yeah, most actors whine when they have to share too much screen-time but the task of propelling the entire show by yourself is not enviable. And i love CASTAWAY, and i could go on and on about its symbolic ending too.:)

Most great stories can usually be traced back to the Bible. Its just a great Book and a great inspiration.

I've never seen PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS, i'll have to rent it. I haven't seen OMEGA MAN either but i heard it was good. Its not often people prefer the newer version to an older one. :)
Comment by Spike on March 26, 2008 at 2:31pm
I have enjoyed every movie Will Smith ever made, and I believe he must have a good agent as well as talent. It takes hard work to be able to sustain an audience's interest and empathy when you are alone on the screen, except for a dog and monsters. (Tom Hanks propelled most of "Castaway" with only a volleyball as a co-star.)

The plot involving a large population dying off, and only one or a few surviving, has always been effective when well-handled. I think this goes back to the Bible, in which God's chosen people suffer opression and turmoil, and are never completely wiped out.

If you want to see Will Smith in another compelling drama, rent "Pursuit of Happyness."
(BTW after seeing "I Am Legend" at the cinema, we rented an earlier version, "Omega Man", and found it disappointing.)

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