I Am Legend
Director: Francis Lawrence
Cast: Will Smith, Alice Braga, Charlie Tahan, Dash Mihok, Emma Thompson, Salli Richardson, Willow Smith
A mutated version of the measles virus kills 90% of the world population and turns the remaining 10% into hairless, bloodthirsty monsters who hide in the dark. By happy coincidence, the last uninfected human in New York City is an all-around genius and a genuine hero. Robert Neville is a military virologist, which makes him both a man of action and a man of science. Not only can he wield his assault rifle and work on a cure to the disease, he’s a skilled hunter who can trap zombies using wire and rejected automobiles. He’s also a master of civil and military engineering who has fortified his home, installed power and running water, and booby-trapped it with explosives. The third adaptation of Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel turns a harrowing post-apocalyptic scenario into a silly and implausible spectacle, with a happy ending, no less. Since the hero’s lonely existence is pretty dull viewing, the script by Akiva Goldsman and Mark Protosevich adds idiotic and formulaic complications to keep things moving. Just because there’s only one character, doesn’t mean you can’t have a car chase or a shootout. The special effects are a mixed bag. The abandoned, run-down Manhattan with its over-grown streets and blown-up bridges is an eerie sight. The computer-generated Darkseekers with their superhuman strength and agility, on the other hand, look terrible.