Will Smith is the "Legend"Remember "I, Robot"? Well, if you liked it, then you'll definitely love "I Am Legend", an upcoming post-apocalyptic science fiction movie directed by Francis Lawrence. The reason for mentioning 'I, Robot" was that these two movies share the protagosnist, talented actor Will Smith. And if you are a fan of Smith and his heartfelt performances, than you will enjoy a story which is largely about him struggling to adapt in a future in which most of the human race is already extinct, and what is left of it is in bad need of a makeover.
It's not a one-man-show technically, but it's not a classical, action-centered thriller either. Smith delivers a compelling performance and most of the focus is on the actions and emotions of his character, Robert Neville, or as he is dubbed "the last man on earth".
"I Am Legend" is based on the novel written by Richard Matheson and which has the same title. There are two previous adaptations for the screen of Matheson's work, one from 1964, called "The Last Man on Earth", and the second from 1971, titled "The Omega Man".
The new version does not change the story line dramatically, and places the action somewhere in the future, after humanity was overrun by some sort of deadly plague whose symptoms are very similar to vampirism. The only uninfected creature left in New York (Manhattan, actually) is a former scientist, Doctor Robert Neville, who has spent three years alone broadcasting radio massages every single day in the hope of finding any more survivors. But as far as he knows, he is the only man left alive on Earth.
You know the shortest horror joke in the world? The last man on earth was sitting alone. There was a knock at the door. Well, this is pretty much the case here too. The shock comes when Neville realizes that some of the victims of the plague have mutated and are now (sort of) alive, and this is where things become pretty creepy - and this is where the movie also switches from psychological to action thriller mode.
It is interesting to note that the movie was mostly shot in New York, which had a significant impact on the price tag. Also, a scene which involves the Brooklyn Bridge (and which is used in the movie as a flashback scene to a key moment when the authorities were evacuating the city) is rumored to be the most expensive scene shot in the city to date, with an overall estimated cost of $5 million.
Overall, the movie is good - some clichés do escape, but Smith knows his moves and he's obviously quite at home in the tense, post-disaster atmosphere. And we have to admit it - we all love a good vampire scare from time to time. Release date is set for December 14. Can't wait!