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He is no legend

December 30, 2007

No time for a long review, I obviously need sleep. Me and Psychick rolled up on the theater to waste some rare free time and watch I Am Legend.

All the accolades Smith is gathering for his “Oscar caliber performance” in this thing mystify me completely. The whole thing was a wasted opportunity. With all the films taking chances with subtext and commentary on OUR WORLD TODAY, the movie played it totally safe, lapsed into some vapid religious hokum and managed to misread Robert Nesta Marley wholly. The film wanted to be Children of Men but it was more like . . . just another star vehicle for a giant ego.

It just seems like after not winning an Oscar for Ali, Smith has been hellbent on proving (except for Hitch, I guess) that he is the real deal, and to that end is always just on the verge of overacting. I dunno, for something like the Happyness movie, he’s fine, but for things that require a sense of angst, a real dark side, he’s out of his element.

The film was frustrating, not only for subverting Matheson’s ending, but for dropping obvious thematic threads in favor of the schmaltz. When Smith kidnaps the zombie vampire lady, isn’t it obvious that he’s taken the mate of the chief monster, and they’re coming after Smith for revenge? When Smith’s character Neville mutters something about how the creatures have lost all sense of society, isn’t it Neville who has lost it, conducting experiments on humans and committing mass murder?

There was so much wrong with the script that it was hard to even see this as “crackerjack action” as did Edelstein. Though the film had one good tense moment, I was mostly unmoved.

Ultimately I got more out of playing the OG version of Resident Evil than I did watching this movie.

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