I Am Legend

starring Will Smith

Based on the novel I Am Legend by Richard Matheson 1954

I am Legend is the latest version of Richard Matheson’s book of the same title.  The last one was 1971’s  The Omega Man which starred Charleton Heston as Robert Neville, the last man on earth.

He is surrounded by vampires, not zombies as nincompoop NYT reviewer a.o. Scott writes.  This movie bears no resemblance to the book, which I can forgive, but let the movie stand on its own.

This does not.  In no shape or form. 

The story is vapid, the direction awful, the cinematography pretentious and Hollywood darling Will Smith, flat.

The book leaves threads hanging, but it is, for all that, just a long short story which did stand on its own when originally published in 1954.

This movie endeavors to tell its own story but it tells nothing, and doesn’t even capitalize on the novel’s genre, which is science fiction/drama.  The movie is turned into a grade D horror movie with such little philosophy that one can only wonder if Will Smith accepted this role thinking it was one thing and it turned out to be something else.

I entered the theatre with the hope of enjoying a visual representation of a book that had long been a favorite of mine, and I even reread the novel to refresh my memory.  Leaving the theatre the movie had already lost any hope of getting a three star rating from me, and as I reflected over the next couple of days it lost more and more.  At this writing I am being overly generous by giving it one and a half stars even though I can’t justify even a single star.  Perhaps by airtime I will give it what it truly deserves:  minus one star. 

Running time is exactly 100 minutes too long.