Monday, December 17, 2007

I Am Slightly-Better-Than-A-Poop-Sandwhich

It takes a decent amount of “bad” for a film to disappoint me. So, color me surprised at the fact I Am Legend did just that. Not necessarily a horrible movie, what I Am Legend boils down to is a prime example of wasted potential.

While Will Smith does an admirable job of playing a half-crazy survivor of an apocalyptic viral outbreak and scenes with his K9 co-star are touching enough, that’s about all the good the film has to offer. It’s a shame, since Smith really did put forth a valiant effort.

There are essentially three points that bother the crap out of me with I Am Legend; all of which I will gladly discuss for you at this very moment.

The first strike comes in the form of the utterly crappy CG used for the vampire-esque antagonists. Racking up the largest production bill of any movie out this year, I’m convinced the folks working on the computer animated and laughable baddies were paid through the film’s coffee fund. These creatures are downright ugly to look at, and I don’t mean ugly in the good, scary movie sort of way. Live actors would have served this film’s purpose a hundred times better and, rather than give me something to fear, these The Mummy Returns rejects did nothing but take away from the already less-than-stellar tension created throughout.

Speaking of tension, that’s my second gripe with Legend. Why, in a project perfect for moody, atmospheric chills and drawn-out scare scenes, would a director resort to shock tactics at every turn? I’m not even talking about gory shock here, either. I’m talking about the ever popular violin shot coupled with a quick attack from off camera. This would be acceptable if used a few times, but literally every single “scare” follows this formula exactly. Even when Smith is huddled in a dark corridor with creatures drawing ever closer, director Francis Lawrence manages to kill the mood with yet another cheap shot rather than even attempt building anything resembling a mood.

Finally, and without any spoilers, I’ll say that I Am Legend’s ending was a major letdown. Not so much the concept as the delivery. Actually, I take that back. The concept is just as fubar as the delivery. While going decently light on all the messages you would expect out of this type of film, Lawrence chooses to not only shove a bunch of crap down your throat all at once, but also a bunch of crap that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. It was lazy. Plain and simple.

As far as holiday movie watching goes, I say pass on I Am Legend. It may be worth a rent for checking out Smith’s depth, but otherwise, save your cash for extra presents or something. Heck. Buy yourself a delicious treat and throw it directly into the trash. Your experience will be almost identical.

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