Movies – “I Am Legend (2007)” – “The Omega Man” Rip-Off Worth Seeing
“I Am Legend (2007)” is a rip-off of Charlton Heston’s cult classic “The Omega Man (1971)” down to the zombies coming out at sundown. But it’s an excellent rip-off thanks to Will Smith’s good acting, and immense production values pumped into this expensive production which was sorely lacking in the original.
In this dystopian nightmare of a post-apocalyptic and post-plague New York City, we are treated to the heartbreak of a world with a single survivor, the scientist Dr. Robert Neville (Will Smith) and his German shepherd (and boy, can that dog act!). Will Smith carries the movie all on his own for quite a while until we come across the first other human-zombie. That’s quite a feat.
All stores and streets are empty and “free” but what is value of such freedom when there’s nobody to share it with?
An utterly lonely Will Smith in a store, begging a mannequin: “Please say hello to me…” with tears in his eyes… heavy stuff. The scene happens after Smith is forced to kill his only companion, his dog, with his own hands in order to prevent it turning into a zombie monster.
These zombies hide during the day and come out only in dark, when the sun goes down. They jump like a kangaroo, run like a cheetah, hiss and roar like the devil. They attack by the dozens. They bite (shark teeth) and chew and turn you into another mutant like themselves. You’ve never seen monsters like these…
Then Smith meets the first normal human, a female, at which point we are treated to flashbacks of Dr. Neville’s past. A wife. A son. NYC under attack. And they are all asked to evacuate the city. Brooklyn Bridge melting down. Powerful images that evoke emotions similar to those I’ve felt on that terrible day (9-11).
Dr. Neville starts to hallucinate after being attacked savagely by the zombies. He is saved by Anna (Alice Braga), by this beautiful girl, and not only that, she has son as well, Ethan. Breakfast is served at Anna’s house, in the kitchen, a mirage of normalcy, back to American Civilization as we know it, a “normal” family sharing food around the kitchen table on a sunny morning. And it is real. He is not dreaming… Powerful images… She tells him there’s a whole colony of survivors up on the mounts to which Neville reacts harshly — “EVERYBODY’s dead!” He can’t come to terms with the idea that he is not alone, yet. But he will…
At one point Anna looks at the Polaroid photos of the victims of the plague and blurts out: “God!” To which Neville responds: “God didn’t do it. We did it.”
An inspiring story of human courage, resilience and love in the face of EVERYTHING. If Dr. Neville and Anna could survive this, we all can survive whatever life keeps throwing at us in our daily lives. This is therapy in the form of a movie. This is hope, fine entertainment and art at its best.
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