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Directed by Frances Lawrence (Constantine)


Produced by Akiva Goldsman, James lassiter, David Heyman, Neal Moritz


Screenplay by Mark Protosevich and Akiva Goldsman


Executive production by Michael Tadross, Erwin Stoff, Dana Goldberg, Bruce Berman


Camera by 

Andrew Lesnie, A.C.S., A.S.C.


Production design by Naomi Shohan


Co- Producer: Tracy Torme


Music by James Newton Howard


Mike Patton, former lead singer of  Faith No More, was engaged to provide all of the infecteds' screams and howls.


main actors


Will Smith: Robert Neville

Alice Braga: Ann

Dash Mihok: Alpha-man

Charlie Tahan: Ethan

Sally Richardson: Zoe



 © Warner Bros.

I AM LEGEND  start D- german CH    10.01.08

  2 reviews: by dalia di giacomo and Matthew Haumschild 




preview by dalia  di giacomo____   





If there is anybody out there. Anybody. Please. You are not alone


"I`M NOT GONNA LET THIS HAPPEN" - Just think that cancer is a very fast car, driven by a very bad “man” with distructive attitude, so what if we could be able to change the driver? In year 2009 scientists announce that a definitive vaccine against cancer has been found. Problem is: who does cure the cure? This alleged formidable genetic – engineered discovery turns very soon into a terrible lethal airborne virus that, of course, spreads and  infects human beings (and animals too after a direct contact). More than 90% of mankind will be decimated, around 9% of the infected will not die but will become extremely aggressive  living -flesh eaters, mutants that are no zombies, but violent creatures who fear the light (in particular UV light) with an accelerated metabolism, enhanced agility and a terrible , blind primordial instinct to attack and kill, without caring about any physical pain. 

Only 1% of the world population is immune, true survivor in a worse than dead world. US Army virologist Lieutenant Colonel Robert Neville should find the remedy against this epidemic strain, nonetheless the burst of the airborne strain is unstoppable, unavoidable.   The movie actually takes place in the year 2012, but , thanks to well placed flashbacks and cuts of recorded broadcastings we can comfortably reconstruct  the whole story that previously happened and that caused the change on earth. Already   the intro reminds  the past when everything began: with Dr. Alice Krippin (Emma Thompson) who appears on TV joyfully explaining her successful vaccine against cancer. Immediately afterwards we  meet immune virologist Neville who is living as only survivor, in the quiet (therefore even more frightening) squalor of a ghost city: Manhattan in 2012. Based on Richard Matheson`s novel (dated 1954), the screenplay changes location from the Los Angeles of the novel to New York, there where an empty and abandoned urban environment gets full impact. The decadence of the empty town is rendered perfectly.  Accompanied only by his dog “Sam” (Samantha -  mainly played by the German Shepherd Abbey), Neville gets out of home only during the day, trying to survive the terrible heavy loneliness through well organized routines, always broadcasting radio messages, looking for other survivors . 

"If there is anybody out there. Anybody. Please. You are not alone"


FROM HUMOUR TO PURE FEAR - The first scenes are incredible and let immediately understand how in shape Will Smith is. Speaking only with the dog, leading in reality a measured monologue, mixed with scenes of action, Will Smith can immediately involve appearing so believable. The spectator begins to empathize with him, and , at the same time, is amused to see how Neville drives along these streets left to uncultivated vegetation, to a lot of immobile cars and  to deer that Neville tries to hunt, while lions are more successfully. The spectator is also amused when Neville speaks with his dog, or when he maintains himself fit or when he watches recorded old TV broadcasting, or when he greets the mannequins he set up in a dvd store. But  the  humoresque every day life of a solitary survivor shows soon its real face. One of the most brilliant capacities of this movie is indeed  to pass quickly from smooth, unagitated scenes to the pure fear. And even when something predictable happens, no vivid emotion is lost. 


" WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE, FRED?" - So.. resuming, ..first point of attraction is the brilliant performance of will Smith, growing exponentially during the development of the story. Second point, the recreation of a ghost Manhattan, a ruin which is not only technically a ruin, mainly an abandoned environment. Impressive is that sense of emptiness, desperate decadence under the sun even when houses are there, the sense that everything seems lost for ever. Third point is the arising of fear and I don’t mean horror, I mean fear, dreadful anxiety. The horror can be imagined. When, during a hunt, Neville`s dog enters in the dark labyrinth of a building , while Neville is running after shouting “Sam, no!”, looking for it almost terrified , forced to call then the dog slowly in the obscure underground, fearing the danger, you understand how scary the imminence of danger can be. The hyperventilating, utterly aggressive mutants are there. This time Neville and Samantha escape but the true hunt has just begun. Neville never gives up to search for a remedy to this virus strain and tests various treatments on rats; when one treatment seems to appear promising, Neville decides to test it on a living mutant, and  prepares a trap . He catches an infected woman ( probably the alpha-woman), but the alpha male has observed everything and will prepare a similar trap for Neville. The rest is pure action rich in unforgettable moments, beginning with the displaced mannequin. The mannequin Fred, set away from the usual place, is a psychobomb on Neville and the ambush of the trap against him. So simple and yet so terrifying : one of the DVD store mannequins has simply been displaced. In this desolation and solitude, a displaced mannequin is the most insane thing. 

"What the hell are you doing out here, Fred? Fred, if you're real, you better tell me right now!"

"PLEASE SAY HELLO TO ME!" - The hard difficult escape from the trap, the sinister sunset, the coming of the darkness when only a ray of light can make the difference from life or death, the fight between Samantha and infected dogs (dogs are immune to airborne virus strain, but not to a direct bite) are so simple yet so masterly expressed. The touching moment is when Neville has to kill Samantha, he feels devastated like he would lose a person, indeed  he loses the only  interactive contact with another sane living being he was having as companion since years. The terrible pain for this lost and the enormous solitude explodes almost with no words in Neville’s eyes and in the few almost broken words told later to the pretty mannequin of the dvd store: “please say hello to me”. the subsequent nocturnal outbreak of Neville against a group of infected is the peak of his rage that would almost cost his life. But, in the darkness, there is always a light : two survivors  Ann and Ethan, a woman and a young boy, save him just in time and for  the moment. It's not easy for Neville to realize that he is  no longer alone. But Ann and Ethan will give renewed strength to Neville’s research. They represent the last hope, the true last opportunity. A negative point may be  Ann`s too religious inspiration, as she were a  passive instrument of God. Nonetheless the psychological profile about human reaction to prolonged states of solitude and struggle has been accurately studied  by the production who took  in consideration many details and many situations for long time . So Ann too, after all, is  believable. 



GOD`S PLAN IN A QUIETER WORLD TO BE LISTENED TO - Does realy exist a colony of survivors? Is the preparation effective on the alpha woman? Ann tells Neville that the world has become much quieter, so one should be able to listen better to the sixth sense . Call it God`s voice or instinct. It`s true, our world is so stressing but mainly so noisy, there is no space left for inner voices of any kind of nature, we don’t listen to premonitions any longer, we don’t distinguish any warning or inspiration among the opulent noise pollution of frenetic traffic, televisions, radios, video games, mobile phones, ipods and whatever. Something told Anna to turn on the radio finding Neville’s broadcasting , something leads her to Vermont. Skeptic , bitterly pragmatic Neville has a different opinion: "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!". Yet, for Neville too will come the  moment  to listen to his own inner voice, and , from a “butterfly”, a legend will fly high.


BOB MARLEY - Other point of interest : the connection with Bob Marley, the Legend. Many significative scenes are underlined through references to Bob Marley and through his music. Moreover from Neville`s flashbacks we don`t only recover the story of the viral epidemic disease, we also have a spotlight on Neville`s family and on the apocalyptic scenario of the evacuation from new York, the collective panic. Neville has lost  his family right in the moment he thought his daughter and wife would be safe. His daughter`s name was Marley, yes.. named after the musician (played by Will Smith's real daughter Willow Smith).

BLOOD TO A PLAUSIBLE WOMAN- I don’t know "28 Days later" and its sequel, but, after Resident Evil, I personally was thinking there could be no end to the kitch in movies of this genre. I was wrong: Will Smith is too great actor for performing in something gross and low. Men in Black and Men in Black II were crazy but not kitchy. I am Legend is surely no ultimate masterpiece, but it is a very GOOD movie, worth the price of the ticket and of the subsequent dvd. A valid actor is the actor that, if needed, communicates  with no or just few words, an actor that makes you empathize, that can lead a mainly solitary part without boring. Here Will Smith tops himself after I robot, being even better than in "Independence Day". Will Smith`s performance can be  compared to Tom Hanks in 2000's "Cast Away". All you have to do is following him. For an optimal enjoying of the movie you should stop to be you in order to be Neville. The rest is done. Finally, the plausibility of the movie is high. You may dispute if Brooklyn Bridge would collapse that way, but the urban scenario deteriorated, the infected who still look somehow as people,   a virus out of control, the menacing silence , the inestinguishable fight for ideals are depicted too well, in a plausible collapse of human civilization, whose fate, at the end, is in the hands of a pretty but normal woman, as Alice Braga is. Neville  gives the vial with alpha-woman's blood to  a plausible woman, for a plausible salvation. 

Rating: 9/10

dalia di giacomo  09.01.2008




review by Matthew Haumschild___ 

     The two most reliable words in Hollywood


      I read somewhere that “I am Legend” will be successful because it contains the two most reliable words in Hollywood, Will Smith. I chuckled when I read that because Wild West and Hitch were just terrible movies. However, I am Legend is completely different!


            I am Legend takes place in a semi-post-apocalyptic North America. I won’t ruin too much of the movie for you, but after a failed attempt at curing cancer, the cure had other side effects that basically turns anyone who isn’t immune into Zombies/Vampires. I say vampires because these “mutants” hate sunlight and apparently, sunlight has adverse effects on their skin.


            The story is Will Smith and his dog, hunt animals during the day to feed themselves, during all this he has flashbacks on seeing his family leave New York. For the majority of the movie, it’s just Will Smith and his dog. He hardly had any dialog but the dialog Will Smith did have, was his character, talking to mannequins. I liked this idea, because it showed on how crazy his character was getting due to the lack of communication and lack of interaction with the outside world. By adding this to the story, I believe it added more substance to his character and to the movie as a whole, because if it didn’t have this, this would just be any ordinary action movie where there’s tons of special effects and explosion, lack of a good story, and flat characters.


            I liked I am Legend.  Do I think it’s one of Will Smith’s best movies? No. Do I think I’ll be watching this movie in ten years? No. Was it entertaining? Absolutely! Would I recommend it to someone else to see? Yes. In all, I thought the story was good and entertaining, the special effects were top notch, and the sound was magnificent. I don’t have any complaints on the movie with the exception of the zombie/vampires, I thought they were too unrealistic and they reminded me too much of the zombies from 28 Days and 28 Weeks later. Other than that, I have no complaints, go see it!


Matthew Haumschild   14.01.2008

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