I am Legend

Just to add some relevance to Warsaw – movies here are generally shown in original language with subtitles in Polish language. Sometimes, like Shrek and other animations, you get a choice of dubbing or subtitles. The dubbing is sometimes better than the original as it is done by a cast of Polish actors not by Mr. Monotone who does the TV dubbing! This all works well until directors jump on the fashionable bandwagon of including original language in their films. “The Passion of Christ”, “Letters from Iwo Jima” to name just a couple. This means I’m listening to Japanese, Aramaic or whatever and reading Polish. Not ideal, but I can handle it.

So. Anyone fancy a film review? Plenty of spoilers in this one!

I am Legend (IMDb user rating 7.4 – 101 minutes)

“The last man on earth is not alone” – OOoooo, now I’m scared

One man show, obviously, with him being the last man on earth and all. If you like Will Smith it’ll be okay, otherwise…….

A doctor Krippen (ho ho, witty choice of name award goes to….) played, for all of 30 seconds, by Emma Thompson (give her credit for remaining uncredited) invents a virus that cures cancer. Later known as the KV virus. All is well until it is not. The virus gets jiggy and starts turning people into very nasty violent monster type things. The virus then goes “airborne” (one of those must-have words for all virusy type movies) – “It’s gone airborne”, “Oh my god, run for your lives!!” – and poodles off to kill all of mankind. Ground zero is New York city, of course, where else on God’s earth would major incidents take place?

Will is immune and, in a very plot-friendly way, he is also a virologist and can therefore save the world! He stays behind, family having been shipped out by helicopter – a one minute scene in which they try hard to capture the whole gamut of human emotions from the cute puppy his daughter gives him, to love, regret, guilt, duty, fear, anger – to continue his studies on how to kill the virus.

Follows long passages about living in a New York where he’s the only normal person, deer and antelope play among the piled-up cars and these monster people huddle in dark places (more scary that way) because they burn up when exposed to UV light. He’s in love with his dog (now grown up to show the passage of time – damned clever these Japanese), he’s thinking about having sex with a shop window mannequin and he’s generally going off the rails one minute and then doing complicated experiments in his basement lab the next. A few incidents with the monster chaps are thrown in to show you how scary and nasty they are.

Anyway, they piss him off big-time one day (kill his lover dog and stuff) and so he goes crazy and decides to try and wipe a bunch of them out in a sort of final suicide mission. This fails but just before what is now, apparently, the CEO of the monster guys can bite his head off he’s saved by a strange woman (who it turns out also has a child with her). The woman drives him home and despite his STRICT instructions not to go back to his place until dawn, she goes back before dawn (of course) so now the monsters know where he lives! We’re supposed to believe that a city of full of very hungry monsters had not, in the last three years, managed to work out that something fishy was going on at #16 Washington Boulevard. So, big time action by the monsters, led by the CEO himself (who is really starting to display a lot of pent-up anger towards Will) attack his house and all hell breaks loose. Ends up with another one minute scene including a cure for the virus, a saved women & child but a dead Will along with loads of monster-boys including the CEO who just wouldn’t give up banging his head against the wall.

Cuts to the “you just knew this was going to happen” scene where the woman and child arrive at the enclave in New Hampshire (in the autumn, natch!) to find all the survivors playing cricket round the village green. She hands over the cure and bingo, the planet is saved!

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