Week Seven: #45 – I Am Legend

The Nitpicker Guide to the Movies
“See the films you love in a whole new way!”
 
To make the top 50, a movie doesn’t even have to be unique and incredible.  (Shrek 3 was neither.)  It does have to be something that people want to see over and over again–which drives up the box office gross.  Here’s my question: why did people want to see this one over and over?  Yes, Smith does an incredible job portraying a man who has been completely without human contact for three years…but I felt bad for him, not intrigued.  Plus the constant fear of Infected leaping out of the darkness wouldn’t allow me to really get into the movie, not on first viewing, and not during my review.  Maybe I just can’t handle creepy movies.  (Thank goodness The Dark Knight didn’t creep me out!)
Anyway…
 
-0:03:20            Robert’s fancy Mustang is so new the sticker is still in the window.  With wild animals running around New York, I would imagine wanting as wide a field of view as I could get.  (And did he just boost this car today?  It looks absolutely brand new–I would think after three years, the daily new car novelty would have worn off)
-0:04:03 The deer (elk, antelope, whatever) runs in front of Robert’s car and he spins the wheel–cut to an outside shot, and a second later the car starts turning.  Better get that steering checked!  Oh, wait, he’s the only human left alive in Manhattan.  My bad
-0:04:17 Where are deer coming from?  I’ll buy that the lions are escaped from the zoo.  (Though is it really possible for animals to just escape, when there’s nobody around watching them?  Or did Robert let ‘em all out?)  But this is the island of Manhattan–these deer swim over from Jersey?
-0:09:05 I understand why the filmmakers would show Robert cruising the city without any music–to emphasize just how alone he is.  But considering how alone he is, if it were me, I would have music playing constantly.  Anything with the sound of a human voice.
-0:11:54 When did Robert have the metal doors on every entrance put in?  After everybody died?  How did he accomplish that all by himself, and how did the Infected not break in before he got these doors put in place?
-0:17:10 The close-up shows a rat cracking the glass on his cage, but the wide shot show no cracks in any cage.  In fact, the wide shot makes it look as if the cages are plastic, which would make a heck of a lot more sense.  (Glass breaks, and Infected rats are apparently quite capable of breaking it.)
-0:17:11 Doc’s getting sloppy.  He lists off the rats that are still Infected, mentioning “eight, nine, ten, eleven…”  Right in front of us are cages 2-5 and 8-11.  The rat in cage 9 looks dead.  He’s not moving.  Yet Robert doesn’t list that rat as dead, but rather Infected.  The shot at 0:17:23 still has that rat unmoving.
-0:19:32 As Robert talks to the mannequins he unlocks the video store.  He unlocks the video store.  Why does he keep it locked?  The roaming Infected maybe planning a video slumber party?
-0:25:40 After three years Robert had better be as much of a warrior as he possibly can.  There are beings lurking in the darkness who would rip him apart if they got a chance, not to mention loose lions.  So when Sam perks up, it surprises me that Robert doesn’t notice for about three seconds.
-0:31:27 Robert breaks through the second story window, Infected on his neck, and it takes him three seconds to hit the ground.  Which puts the window roughly eight stories up. 
-0:33:42 When Robert smashes the vial of blood, there’s sunlight on the scene enough that we see him do it.  Once he steps out to wait, suddenly it’s totally black inside the doorway.
-0:36:09 As Dr. Robert treats the captured Infected, she leaps at him–then the shot changes and she leaps at him again.  Then the shot changes and she leaps at him a third time.
-0:38:00 “Blood tests confirm I remain immune to both the airborne and contact strains (of the virus.)  Canine remains immune to airborne strain only.”  That only bugs me.  Yes, Sam is still alive, therefore still immune to airborne strain.  But did she get a good contact which Robert cured when we weren’t looking?  If not, then Sam has only proven immune to airborne–and contact remains unknown.
-0:46:04 Am I missing something?  Did the Infected set this trap?  Last night?  Figuring Robert would see the mannequin and come arunning?  That just leaves one question: how did the Infected figure out how to do this?  Robert told us their brains don’t work right anymore!  (Wait, wait–maybe the lions rigged it!)
-0:48:29 This must be magic wire.  Robert trips the trap, and the taxi starts moving–and there’s no wire attached to it.  (Some poor stuntman really had to hit his head on the ground for this one!  Ooch!)
-0:52:00 The tiny barrier of sunlight totally stops the demon dogs?  Really?  They don’t just yelp through it and keep going?  (How lucky for Robert)
-0:52:37            Apparently it does, because they wait until it’s absolutely gone before running for their prey.
-1:02:40 It’s time for the Will Award, and it’s also time for a huge what the hell?  The filmmakers have gone to great lengths to establish that Dr. Robert is the only human being left alive.  Not just in New York, but anywhere.  We’ve heard his desperate radio messages, we can imagine all the fruitless Internet messaging, attempt to get a cel signal, anything!  He has been alone for three years.  The last man on earth.
Except that–whoops!–he’s not!  Suddenly out of nowhere here are a hot gal and her adorable son!  And a whole colony in Virginia!  Whaaaa?!?
-1:08:07 Bit of a strain of credibility.  Anna says there is a whole colony of people that didn’t get sick because the virus couldn’t stand the cold.  If that’s true, across the face of the earth there should be hundreds of thousands of people who survived, simply because they live in temperatures too cold for the virus.  Where have those people been for the last three years?  How come Robert couldn’t find any of them?
-1:11:19            “You’re not so good with people anymore, are you?”  Great, just what Robert needs.  Hasn’t seen another human being in three years, this is (maybe) the only woman left on earth–and she’s snarky. 
-1:26:30 The Infected break into the basement lab.  How did they get through the upper door so fast?  Robert locked and bolted it, and these guys don’t exactly have power tools…
-1:29:08 I suppose it makes sense that there’s a grenade in the medical supply cabinet.
-1:29:35 Sure is really incredibly lucky that the grenade’s explosion didn’t send metal fragments through the relatively thin coal chute door–killing Anna and her son!  Somehow the room-clearing explosion doesn’t harm them in any way!
 
I think that about does it for Will Smith.  How about…Will Smith?  Come back for giant cockroaches and Noisy Crickets in Men In Black!
See you in seven…
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2 Responses to “Week Seven: #45 – I Am Legend”

  1. Jen Says:

    Oh, Will. The fact that you didn’t like this movie is a little disappointing. Seriously — this one is fantastic. Eerie and creepy and exhilarating. And Will Smith is awesome. How many actors can carry almost an entire movie with no one else to help except a dog and a couple of zombies?!

    I’m with you on the 46:04 comment, though. Did you happen to watch the alternate version? (Probably not since you didn’t like the original.) I think this is from the abandoned story line (and the one major flaw in the movie). The alternate story line goes into the human side of the zombies, with Smith’s character eventually realizing that there is a strange sort of humanity in the zombies. The main zombie guy is after him because he took his girl. I prefer the ending of the version they released in theaters, but I wish Smith’s character had seen that he was being pursued out of revenge.

  2. movienitpicker Says:

    The parts I enjoyed I really enjoyed, if that makes any difference…I also did watch the alternate ending, where the Infected’s love for his Infected girlfriend made Smith un-cure her so they could be together. So…better to be uncurably diseased together than cured separately? That guy sure loved her to want her back in the pit with him…

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