I saw the new Will Smith movie I Am Legend last night. While it’s an average movie, it is far inferior to the book. The book is only about 150 pages. You should read it instead of seeing this movie.
What do i not like about the movie? Specifically, i HATED all the last-minute saves. The main character (Robert Neville) goes to fight the zombies in the middle of the night (dumb idea) and gets trapped under his car. He’s been battling the zombies for 4 years at this point and is about to die. At the exact moment when he’s about to be devoured, a girl comes out of nowhere to save him. Nobody for 4 years and then at the last possible second, in the middle of NYC, a woman appears. Puh-lease.
Another time that pissed me off. So, Neville’s been working on developing a cure for this virus for years and about 30 seconds before he’s about to die, he finally discovers the solution. And of course, the solution takes only 5 seconds to create. Done! Yeah right.
The movie is about a doctor trying to right his wrong (releasing a virus) and being very active and regimented about it – he works out, takes detailed medical notes and is on top of his game all the time. Whereas the book is about an ordinary guy coping with the loss of his family, friends and society. He’s torn apart. The people trying to kill him are the same people he loved for decades. He’s shattered. He drinks himself to sleep every night otherwise there’d be no way to go on.
The book’s character is extremely skeptical when he meets another person, he doesn’t trust her as everything he’s learned from the vampires leads him to believe they’re out to destroy him. There’s a touching moment in the book when his desire for companionship overwhelms his mistrust and he let’s his guard down. This same moment in the movie took 45 seconds and completely sucked.
[**Spoiler Alert**] The ending is the biggest difference. There is a great twist in the book that fits with the entire theme of the story. The twist in the book is that the woman found by Neville turns out to be a new type of vampire that has mutated enough to wistand the sunlight, and she’s been sent to find out more about Neville so he can be captured and disposed of. Just when he begins to trust her, she turns on him and sells him out – even though they had a strong connection. It’s a great turn of events. The hunted (the vampires) become the hunters and the normal (Neville) become the monster in need of extermination. There is no twist in the movie. It instead turns into a typical horror/vampire movie where creatures jump out of the dark and try to kill everyone and their girlfriend.
Oh well, i guess Holiday season movie-goers don’t want clever endings or interesting stories. If they do, they should pick up the book instead.