I AM LEGEND
God Loves Us, So ‘Light Up the Darkness’ and ‘Fulfill the Book’
Release Date: December 14, 2007
Starring: Will Smith, Alice Braga, Dash
Mihok, Charlie Tahan, and
Genre: Science Fiction Thriller
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 100 minutes
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Francis Lawrence
Executive Producer: Michael Tadross, Erwin Stoff,
Dana Goldberg, and Bruce
Producer: James Lassiter, David Heyman
and Neal Moritz
Writer: Mark Protosevich and Akiva
Address Comments To:Jeffrey Bewkes, CEO
Barry M. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
(A Time Warner company)
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000
Will Smith stars, in one of the year’s best performances, as Col. Robert Neville, a brilliant military scientist. The movie opens in 2009 with a TV news interview in which a female scientist matter-of-factly, and perhaps a little too triumphantly and smugly, announces she has discovered a cure for cancer by genetically altering the cancer virus or cancer cells.
Cut suddenly to 2012 in New York City. The streets are completely deserted with patches of weeds growing in the concrete and piles of abandoned cars in places. Neville, with his daughter’s grown German Shepard puppy Samantha in the passenger seat, races a bright red Mustang car through the streets while chasing after romping herds of deer.
From this slam-bang opening, the movie reveals that Neville believes he is the last healthy man alive. All the other humans are either dead or transformed into raging angry cannibals infected by the mutating virus cells. Neville, however, is immune to the airborne version and the blood-infected version of the virus. By day he hunts for food and sometimes hunts for an infected human, so that he can test various potential cures on them, cures that are developed from his own pure blood.
Once hailed by Time magazine as the possible savior of the human race, Col. Neville and his blood still may save the world. But, can he maintain his faith and hope in God to survive long enough to find the cure? Especially when the infected humans seem to have found themselves a clever leader who intends to make Neville their latest victim?
Based on the acclaimed, influential 1954 science fiction novel by Richard Matheson, I AM LEGEND is one of the best edited, best directed action movies in quite some time. It compares very favorably with SPIDER-MAN 2 and THE INCREDIBLES, though it is a more scary and violent movie. Will Smith gives a powerful, at times incredibly heartbreaking, and ultimately redemptive performance. He deserves to be one of the five Oscar nominees for Best Actor.
I AM LEGEND is too scary, however, for children, and even for many adults. It also contains some strong foul language. This content deserves extreme caution, especially for sensitive moviegoers.
That said, the movie has a very strong redemptive worldview. That worldview includes many positive allusions to Christianity and belief in God. These allusions include a positive reference to Jesus, overt and symbolic references to Christ’s sacrificial, vicarious death on the Cross and to His shed blood, overt references to God that counteract questions in the movie about whether God exists and whether He still loves us despite our serious human frailties and spiritual blindness, symbolic references to the light of salvation and the darkness of sin, a positive scene with a prayer to the Lord, and a bucolic image of a peaceful church that symbolically points the way to salvation and ultimate fellowship.
Overall, therefore, I AM LEGEND is one of the most scary, intense action thrillers of recent years, but it is also one of the best, most striking, most riveting, most touching, most thrilling, most satisfying, most profound, most eloquent, and most spiritually uplifting movies in recent memory.
Based on the acclaimed science fiction novel by Richard Matheson, I AM LEGEND is exhilarating, riveting, touching, profound, and brilliantly directed. Will Smith delivers a powerful, extremely emotional performance. Though not very gory, the movie is too scary and violent for children and sensitive moviegoers. It also has some foul language. That said, the movie has a very strong redemptive worldview, with profoundly moving metaphorical Christian references showing the world that God loves us.