Sunday, December 16, 2007

Early review from Al - I AM LEGEND

28 DAYS LATER rip-off anyone??!!This review is brought to you from Al, who can usually be found here.

Just got back from Kuantan couple hours back - still recuperating. It was raining pretty much every second I was there, but turned out quite a therapeutic experience if you take the nightmarish weather aside. Anyhu, managed to catch I AM LEGEND while I was there - a film I wasn't particularly excited about, but finally decided to watch (it was between this and ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS) knowing how in the past, the charismatic Will Smith was the only good thing about movies like
PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS and HITCH that were otherwise massive stinkers.

Oh wow, looks it's Will Smith trying what he does best - saving the world!*Applause* But alas, Smith looks fatigued and reluctant in this movie - out of his usual energetic self, from start to end he's pretty much moping around and by the time a pedantic attempt at an emotional climax arrives, it's evident that nothing can save this movie from the self-destructive monotony it's chosen to pursue. I understand where it intends to go - to try and construct that magnificent 28 DAYS LATER effect - relying on the sights of a usually chaotic city (in this case, NYC) now disturbingly quiet & inhabited only by overturned cars, rubbish and a main character who seems to have lost hope in mankind and lost his soul along the way. But here, it's just dead monotonous and dreary as fuck. It just doesn't work on any level. Oh,and it probably didn't help that the "Dark-Seekers" were as scary as Spongebob.

Possible SPOILER ahead. As if it weren't bad enough that for an entire three quarters they put all this weight on this bloody dog I really wanted out of the picture from the get-go: not that I hate dogs, but you could see from the start the way they established the man-dog relationship in this tacky, superficial dog-food commercial way that they were eventually going to USE the dog for some exploitative purpose. Oh,and once they're done with the dumb disposable dog as a plot-driving tool - suddenly this pile of dung about Bob Marley Being A True Inspiration and Survival Philosophy and Where is God pops out of NOWHERE - no,seriously, the film walks miles just him and his bloody canine, talking about nothing specifically, then without any build-up or the slightest hint this random mother-son pair show up and before you know it they're having THAT argument about The Human Race and Fate. At this point, I felt like choking myself on popcorn.

It's just so damn stupid and ridiculous-I can't put it any better than that.Think movies like Transformers,The Day After Tomorrow-movies with really one-dimensional,self-important characters with laughably shallow motivations at the center,where the writers have this EPIC movie in mind and they take everything so goddamn serious the final film turns out some sort of banal mockery of itself.There's always a cheap family-related backstory,a whole proud bunch of unfunny jokes and the action scenes seem lavishly done but are flatly disappointing.There is absolutely nothing to salvage from this film.

Spoiler-free: I went in hoping for a half-decent post-apocalyptic film with mildly scary devolved humans, and I also read beforehand they were showing a 7-minute Dark Knight preview before I Am Legend in US theatres and also, I vaguely remember seeing online a screenshot of the making for this film featuring Charlize Theron. Well,obviously none of those materialized.

I AM LEGEND is on release in the US, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the US. It opens next week in Spain, France, Belgium, Israel, the Netherlands and Denmark. It opens in Christmas week in Denmark, Egypt, Iceland, Norway and the UK. It opens in January in Greece, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Estonia, Turkey, Germany, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Italy, Brazil, Russia and Sweden.
Bina007 adds: If we were gonna get a remake of The Omega Man, then wouldn't it have been cooler to get a Ridley Scott/Schwarzenegger remake as originally intended? Apparently Gulliermo del Toro also turned Smith down which is how we ended up wih relative newbie Francis Lawrence (CONSTANTINE). I also have a soupcon of suspicion about any flick that's green-lit without a script in place.

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