Movie Details

I AM LEGEND

Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth but he is not alone - for every other man, woman, and child has become a vampire, and they are all hungry for Neville`s blood. By day, he is the hunter, stalking the sleeping undead through the abandoned ruins of civilisation. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn. How long can one man survive in a world full of vampires?

Language: English
Subtitle: NA
Classification: PG
Release Date: 25 Dec 2007
Genre: Science Fiction / Thriller
Running Time: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
Distributor: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES
Cast: Alice Braga
Director:
Format: NA

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Review
Writer: Lim Chang Moh

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Watch this if you liked: "28 Days Later", "Night Of The Living Dead" and "Constantine"

The movie's premise is eerie and haunting enough to give you the goose bumps: New York City in 2012 is desolate and deserted. Rotting cars and weeds line the streets, broken bridges hang precariously over rivers, and herds of deer roam Manhattan, hunted by marauding lions - and one man and his dog.

The man's name is Dr. Robert Neville (Will Smith) and the dog's name is Sam. Neville is reportedly the last man on Manhattan - after an outbreak of a man-made virus devastated the whole population and turned them into vampires. The virus was supposed to be a cure for cancer (as announced by an uncredited Emma Thompson as the virus creator) but it mutated into something George A. Romero would have imagined for his "Living Dead" movies.

Of course, Neville believes he is not alone. The former military scientist, who is now immune to the virus, blames himself for this debacle, especially the death of his wife and daughter, and is earnestly trying to find a way to reverse the mutation. Everyday, he sends out a message on AM radio, urging survivors to meet him near the bombed out Brooklyn Bridge. When night falls, Neville returns to his heavily padlocked apartment alone, with Sam. They must hide from the flesh-eating creatures of the night! Is there any human survivor who will give him hope and restore his failing sanity?

"I Am Legend" is the latest screen adaptation of Richard Matheson's 1954 sci-fi novel about what it is like to be alone in a world populated by cannibalistic zombies. It was first screened in 1964, with Vincent Price playing "The Last Man On Earth", and later in 1971 with Charlton Heston as "The Omega Man". There is also a direct-to-DVD (2007) version titled "I Am Omega" starring Mark Dacascos which was apparently a rip-off of this Will Smith version.

However, this official third adaptation had a long development history. Planned as far back as 10 years ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger was slated to star in it, with Ridley Scott as director. However, the project continued to be kicked around for so long that even Tom Cruise and Michael Douglas had been considered and declined, as was Michael Bay as its director. It was only when producer-screenwriter Akiva Goldsman came on board that the movie got under way.

We should have no complaints about Smith's portrayal of Neville - or Francis Lawrence's helming of the movie, for that matter. The prolonged introductory sequences, especially of deserted NY City and of Neville hitting golf balls off the wing of a military plane, will etch on our minds for a long time. Unlike Tom Hanks in "Cast Away", who has only a volleyball for a friend, Smith has an easier time relating his feelings to his German Shepherd. Still, it is painful and even scary seeing him talking to mannequins at a DVD store and putting all his hopes on his quest for a 'cure'. Lawrence cleverly alternates these lonely scenes with flashbacks of Neville's bid to save his family (Salli Richardson and Willow Smith) and the zombie attacks which provide the fear and tension factors. The one nagging question that viewers may have is how on earth is electricity still available in a city that is essentially dead?

I am glad that Lawrence has not fashioned "I Am Legend" as a zombie movie a' la Romero but as a study on man's loneliness in a once busy city. Why, the CGI images of an uninhabited New York City is worth the price of admission and for that we have to thank production designer Naomi Shohan and cinematographer Andrew Lesnie. They are the real legends in cinema technology!

Cinema Online, 23 September 2008
   
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Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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