Movie Review – I Am Legend

First of all, I am going to tell you right now that they kill the dog.

That being said, the dog (whose real name is Abbey) is a great actor. It is almost worth seeing this movie just to watch the dog work. I may be biased, since the German shepherd is my breed of choice.

I’ve long had this fantasy of being a movie dog trainer. To this point, the best movie actor dog I’ve ever seen is probably the Brussels Griffon from “As Good As It Gets”. Other favs are the corgi from “The Accidental Tourist”, Toto from, “The Wizard of Oz” and of course “Ol Yeller” — both of the latter were trained by Rudd Weatherwax, the guy of Lassie fame.

The Cuteness Award goes to the “Bruce Almighty” dog, but he wasn’t quite as plausible as the others.

Am I digressing? Sorry, I always get a little distracted when there’s a dog in the movie. On to the review, proper:

This film is a heart-thumper almost straight from the beginning. Plenty of zombies, yucky scary-looking veiny hairless guys, and a little of Will Smith’s schtick. New York is overgrown with weeds, and to make things even more desolate, the remnants of a Christmas season. It should be noted that the disaster’s setting is I think the year 2009, and gasoline is over $6.00 a gallon!

There is a helicoptor explosion, but the filmmakers’ credit, they don’t actually show it. They do, however, show the bridges getting blown up. (As if zombies weren’t enough to attract the male viewers?!) Also, although the city of New York is AGAIN the target for disaster, the Statue of Liberty is for once left alone.

The zombies can’t come out in the daylight, but after dark, watch out. It’s an invasion of the Undead ala “The Omega Man”. I use the term Zombie loosely, as these never were actually dead, but getting there. The virus which has mutated them seems to have added amazing athletic ability. They can jump like monkeys and run like deer. They feed on (what else?) blood.

I may be waxing glib because this film made me uncomfortable. The scraps of information that are fed to me throughout the beginning, the piecing together of what has happened, and why, all come with a sense of, “There, but for the grace of God…” There are newspaper articles tacked up here and there. There are snatches torn away about the virus, initally a cure for cancer, gone haywire. I watch Will Smith’s character make mistakes, and I really care about him. He’s funny, compassionate and heartbreakingly isolated. And I especially don’t want anything to happen to the dog. This was all good stuff early during the movie.

I like the premise, but felt “I Am Legend” never really filled its potential. It caved to sensationalism, but that was probably the intent. After all, it DID sell a lot of tickets. I didn’t understand why religion suddenly showed up in the last ten minutes, like a slap on the side of the head with a hymnal. And this without any Charleton Heston!

Overall though, I had a heart-slammin’ good time. And that, after all, is what it’s all about.

About Nancy J. Bailey

Artist, author, bad karaoke singer. Woodsy ragamuffin. Mom of a horse named Clifford who plays fetch and paints with watercolors. He visits libraries and schools with me, to promote literacy and making the world a better place. Yes, he is house trained, no, he doesn't live in my house! I have written three books about Clifford. But my newest book, THE NORTH SIDE OF DOWN, is co-written by my awesome sister Amanda, who has Down syndrome. Her unexpected one-liner wisecracks can always make me laugh. If you make me laugh, you've made my day!
This entry was posted in dog, films, german shepherd, horror, i am legend, movie review, will smith. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s