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Movies: I Am Legend

I Am Legend--the new film with Will Smith and the first I've seen in a theater for maybe a year--starts out as pure Hollywood blockbuster schlock, with Smith barreling around the empty streets of New York in a sports car. He flushes herds of deer out from the jumble of abandoned automobiles, drives alongside the fleeing beasts at, like, 80 miles per hour (these being, apparently, post-apocalyptic turbo-charged deer), and takes potshots at them out the window with a high powered rifle, presumably in an effort to rustle up some grub. Like much of the movie, it is exciting, and cool, and scary ... so long as you don't accidentally think about the situation. Then you are, like, "why doesn't he just park the car, walk a block, and shoot one of the many deer that are just standing around Time's Square?" The inescapable conclusion is that Smith doesn't do so because it wouldn't take $85 million dollars to film such a scene, and the producers of Legend seem intent of squeezing as much cash into this film as they can (though another thirty bucks toward making the CGI look smoother woulda been nice).

So I set my phasers to "dumb" and settle in for some mindless entertainment--just as the film becomes surprisingly ponderous. Alternating between footage of Smith and his faithful dog battling monsters and loneliness in the present, and flashbacks showing how the world came to be depopulated, the second act of Legend is a philosophical, big-budget amalgamation of 28 Days Later, Resident Evil, and Children of Men. Which is to say that there is little new here, plot-wise (even though the source material, Richard Matheson's novel I Am Legend, predates all the aforementioned movies about half a century), it is at least well done. And, of course, Smith is a fine actor, able to hold his own even when his only co-stars are German Shepherds, mannequins, and mutants.

But then, about two-thirds of the way through the film, there is what appears to be a three minute commercial for Shrek, a scene involving the animated DVD that just goes on and on. I assumed this was just another product placement (such as the Apple products that Smith routinely depends on), albeit a particularly long, blatantly, and egregious one. A little Googling after I got home from the movie found no evidence of this, though: the two films were made by different studios, and there were no reports of money changing hands so that Shrek would get plugged in Smith's new film. But, really, that makes the scene even more unforgivable. And least product placement, evil though it might be, justified such a bizarre and jarring detour.

And the film never really recovers after that. Having lost its stride, it just sort of stumbles on for the remaining 30 minutes before collapsing over the finish line. Here again, as in the opening, the movie's worst enemy is thought on the part of the audience, a moment of which reveals that Legend's finale doesn't make a whit of sense. Too bad. Taken with the many other films that have told this same story recently, and you're left with a film that would have been more aptly titled I Am Forgettable.

Warning: I discuss the end of the film in the comments.

Posted on December 14, 2007 to Movies


My biggest problem from the end (aside from the cameo by God) was that I just couldn't think of any reason why the colony would use the "cure" Smith developed. What would be the point? Unless the vampires can reproduce, the survivors can just wait until the diseased drop dead of old age or starvation and then reemerge. And how are they going to extract the cure from a vial of (unrefrigerated) blood anyhow? The logistics just don't add up.

Worse, driving home from the film, I thought up a much, much better ending for the movie. And it seemed so obvious in retrospect--why did none of the filmmakers think of it? Then, after getting home, I decided to see how the original I Am Legend book ended---I've never read it, and was certain that its conclusion deviated considerably from the movie's. Turns out, the novel ends exactly the way I thought the film ought to. So it wasn't a case of them not thinking of the "good ending," it was a case of them consciously deciding not to use it. Bah!

(Book ending ruined here, for the curious.)

Posted by: Matthew on December 15, 2007 11:22 AM

I'll even point to a scene just a bit earlier than the "Shrek" scene--where he awoke from consciousness and stumbled into the kitchen (no more details given due to spoilers). The movie was mildly engrossing up until that point; afterwards, it was nigh unwatchable, and just kept getting worse all the way up until the end credits.

Posted by: Greg on December 15, 2007 1:05 PM

I watched Dogma again last night - after this post, I'm thinking it was better to spend my $$ with Netflix than at the cineplex.

Thanks for the heads up.

Posted by: OpraGal on December 15, 2007 2:34 PM

I saw this film on Friday, and my friends and I were also left with a lot of questions. These were mostly about picky details rather than the overall plot since we could see that this film wasn't a whole lot different than any other zombie/vampire apocalypse survivor. For example...when Smith's character gets caught in that snare because of the mannequin...was that a snare that HE said and then forgot about for some reason (it was designed exactly like his first one), or was it a trap set by the monsters? If the monsters set it, this clearly implies that they are capable of complicated problem solving and creative thought. If this is true...then why haven't they thought up a lot of other tactics for catching Smith, such as a tarp to shield themselves from the sun with so that they can stalk him during the day.

All in all, it was a run-of-the-mill survivor flick with too many vague ideas.

And yeah...the deer chase scene was ridiculous. He obviously has some peanut butter in that food stash of his, so why not just smear that on a post or something, and then snipe the deer off as they approach?

Posted by: Jamie on December 15, 2007 7:57 PM

I saw this film on Friday, and my friends and I were also left with a lot of questions. These were mostly about picky details rather than the overall plot since we could see that this film wasn't a whole lot different than any other zombie/vampire apocalypse survivor. For example...when Smith's character gets caught in that snare because of the mannequin...was that a snare that HE said and then forgot about for some reason (it was designed exactly like his first one), or was it a trap set by the monsters? If the monsters set it, this clearly implies that they are capable of complicated problem solving and creative thought. If this is true...then why haven't they thought up a lot of other tactics for catching Smith, such as a tarp to shield themselves from the sun with so that they can stalk him during the day.

All in all, it was a run-of-the-mill survivor flick with too many vague ideas.

And yeah...the deer chase scene was ridiculous. He obviously has some peanut butter in that food stash of his, so why not just smear that on a post or something, and then snipe the deer off as they approach? Deer LOVE peanut butter.

Posted by: Jamie on December 15, 2007 7:59 PM

Am I the only one who liked it? I'll admit it has some plot holes and the butterfly bit was stupid. But it was really well done. It was fun to watch. It treated the scientific method with the love and respect that Hollywood so rarely affords.

It seems like most people seemed to stop liking the movie once other people showed up in Will Smith's post-apocalyptic world. So, what? Does that mean the movie shouldn't have had any other living people? What would the ending to that movie be? Will Smith dies and that's the end of Homo Sapiens? Boring, dude.

Posted by: Max on December 15, 2007 11:02 PM

No, you're not the only one, Max. I thought it was pretty fun. It had a lot of flaws though.

I'm surprised you didn't mention the bad CGI. The zombie/vampire roar looked exactly like the roaring sand scene in The Mummy -- and not in a good way. Also, did the army set Will Smith up in this super-prepared house? Or are we to assume he built it. That's good planning.

When you say Son of Men, you mean Children of Men, right? The movie felt a bit like that to me as well, only that plot didn't have as many holes as this one.

Posted by: Chuck on December 15, 2007 11:28 PM

RE: The snare, my friends all pretty much thought it was another symptom of him slowly losing his mind do to lack of contact. So he set the trap, forgot about it, and returned surprised.

If the zombie/vampires set it, that opens a whole can of worms. I mean, they did sort of seem like they were being controlled by one guy in particular. Or the CGI effects just made that one zombie look the same in every scene. That zombie did see him set the trap too, so maybe he mimicked. That just adds more holes to a holeful plot.

Posted by: Chuck on December 15, 2007 11:33 PM

fun fact: at the end of the movie the survivors wind up in Bethel Vermont which is where I live!

Posted by: jessamyn on December 16, 2007 7:22 AM

>>>Having lost it's stride...

It's is short for "it is". Let's substitute:

"Having lost it is stride..."

Doesn't make sense. That's why the apostrophe shouldn't be there. Send this to all your friends! :-)

Posted by: Friendly Nitpicker on December 16, 2007 12:32 PM

I believe that apostrophe was to show possession;o)

I saw the movie last night. There were many holes we found as well. A number of them were mentioned already but I had another question: If the island was cut off from everything else, how in the world did Ruth get there to save him? The bridge was blown up, and the remains were still visible during the "present" time period of the movie, so it wasn't like it was rebuilt. It's not like she could have driven through the water.

Posted by: Exacto on December 16, 2007 2:54 PM

Once Hollywood changed the ending (I haven't seen I Am Legend yet, but I've sure heard about it from others) they rendered the title meaningless. I like to think that bothers someone sitting in their ergonomically designed leather chair behind their executive desk at Warner Brothers on some deep, perhaps dormant creative level but I seriously doubt it.

Posted by: Rebecca on December 16, 2007 3:02 PM

Haven't seen the movie yet, but I have an earlier draft of the script so I see he survives. I kind of figured they wouldn't do the ending of the book, but it really does render the title null and void.

Stop reading, if you want to get the book.

The idea in the novel is that the title character is the last man on Earth because everyone else has been turned into a vampire by some disease. Vampires are evil, so it's good that he slaughters them right? Except from their point-of-view, he's the bad guy. They finally capture them and he realizes he is the legend of the boogey man. In essence, he is Dracula and they're all scared of him. There's a sense that a new world is born and will continue without him.

Posted by: The Pop View on December 16, 2007 5:41 PM

I personally loved the movie. Yeah, goofy and tons of plot holes - like, why couldn't the zombie/vampires just climb over the wall in their little survivor colony? It looked pretty climbable. And "the virus couldn't survive because of the cold"? It didn't look like it was January when the virus went airborne. So how, exactly, did the survivor colony manage to survive?

Now, things like the snare where the mannequin was - it seems like Neville only set up traps immediately after finding creatures he wanted to trap. I figured that the reasoning behind all that nonsense was because Neville snagged the head zombie/vampire/whatever's mate, and it was trying to get its mate back. Because it was always the same one going after him - sending the dogs after him, sending the army of zombies after him on the pier, sending the army of zombies after him at his house, etc.

Posted by: Ryan Waddell on December 16, 2007 6:35 PM

While I always enjoy watching Will Smith - I both liked and disliked this movie. Eh - CGI - they're monsters, I guess I like that they don't look more real (that would have been scary!).

I first thought that the mutant that burned his face on was also 'smart' enough to adapt and set the trap for Neville based on the trap Neville set to trap the female. I also thought the female may have been his 'mate'. If this was the case - then it was confusing at the end why Neville didn't show the female to the 'head' mutant guy like "here's your chick and she's getting better" - but whatever - that wasn't my biggest question.

Totally letting the movie push my buttons - I was SO bummed at the needless death of the dog. DUDE. he gave it the serum #6 that had worked on the rat AND later worked on the human mutant. After he gave the dog the serum, why didn't he put him behind the plexiglass on ice like he did the female mutant? I saw it as a major flaw in the movie that they led us to believe that the only option he had was to strangle his own dog.

And yeah - how did the chick and her son get to the island?? Makes me wonder if screenwriters are really that bad - or did things get cut out of the movie later on??

Oh - and about the deer hunting. At the beginning of the movie - I think we all assume he's hunting for food - but towards the end of the movie - I think he is clearly doing it for 'sport'. To keep his sanity. He obviously has enough food. But I was also wondering how he had such a highly trained dog that could listen to his hunting commands but then lost its head in the chase and ran into a dark building.

Hey - the dog got to me, okay.

And as in many movies with Will Smith - gotta love the totally unnecessary scenes where we get to see his fit body. :)

Posted by: Poopsies on December 16, 2007 9:26 PM

I just got home and decided to see what others thought of will smith's performance.

Personally, I really enjoyed watching IAL. Albeit the ending in the book is way cooler, I was satisfied upon completion. The CGI was a little crappy, but hey it did the job.

Concerning the confusion about the snag line; YES the infected tricked him by moving the mannequin. Remember when the monster burns himself when he sees Neville taking his mate? The infected still have human logic, but Neville wants to think that it was because they are getting dumber. This is further explained when they trap him.

The main bad infected bad guy who seems like the leader is just the old Hollywood antagonist element to please the audience. Same applies to the happy ending. Remember kids, not everyone looks too deep into the action thriller starring Will Smith.

The film had a couple of wtf moments concerning empty plot holes. How'd he get his house pimped out like that, and how did she rescue him so easily? But smith's portrayal of a disillusioned survivor psychologically trying to cope with the absence of social contact (other than the dog) was truly impressive. But still, the book is great. It leaves you a little more weirded out than by a woman and child making it back to a normal society. Anybody notice the church in the compound? That place looked like farmland america.

Posted by: Ben on December 16, 2007 10:22 PM

Omega Man was the better of the two movies. I'm not sure why the producers needed to make the Family into a bunch of 28-days-later zombies.

Posted by: Anon on December 17, 2007 8:39 AM

I enjoyed the movie mainly because most of the confusing moments washed over me - I would see something confusing, immediately file it away and keep paying attention. When I realized all the stuff I'd overlooked after the movie, I realized I'd enjoyed the movie and the action was paced well enough that I didn't want to take time to mentally wander off on a tangent. That may sound like low expectations, but its a lot better than most films are capable of these days.

My questions:

1. I felt like the zombie vampire thingys were being led by the guy who burned his face after his mate was captured, too. why not make more of this? it was demonstrated he could understand the trap (mannequin scene) and can bark commands at the other mutants (on the pier), and can even get them to hold back (scene in the lab when only he's banging on the glass). It was strange to create a personality and then give it no real purpose.

2. As Ben mentioned, how did the woman and her son kill the massive swarm of creatures on the pier (and I'd like to add: how did they get past the leader)? Did she have some sort of magic UV light array on the front of her (hilariously smaller than will's but otherwise identical) ford SUV?

3. Why was there a wall with pictures of dead creatures in the lab? He was able to bring the woman/mutant thing back to life after he killed her with his vaccine. This was a huge can of worms to me - did he inject her with the virus to bring her back to life? If that's all it takes, how could any of them ever die?

OK, the only other thing I have to add is that there were a couple of scenes where Will Smith reminded me of Delroy Lindo. I don't even know what to do with that; I'm just putting it out there.

Posted by: rob on December 17, 2007 8:40 AM

Okay, the movie was passable for what it was, but how the hell did Anna drive onto the island, then use the same car to drive away? WTF? Tunnels were flooded, bridges were blown up, yet she and the semi-catatonic kid were able to what? Row a boat over, then back, and outfit another car? Doubtful...

And how did Neville happen to have a grenade-proof side hatch in his lab? I am thinking that grenade would have blown off the door, if not crumbled the foundation of the house, bringing it all down on top of them?

Hollywood insists on making movies for dumb people and we all keep giving them money. It is a bad cycle, led by Bay, Bruckheimer and Mr. Smith...

Posted by: jesse on December 17, 2007 9:58 AM

I thought the movie was aweful. To me, I just watched Will Smith run around for two hours just to see him die. I can admit that seeing some of the ways he adapted to his new life were interesting but they weren't enough to hold my attention. And not to sound like an idiot but I didn't even notice that there was a main zombie reappearing throughout, they all looked the same.

Posted by: Monica on December 17, 2007 12:49 PM

If he had an escape hatch in his basement, why didn't they just crawl through it, and toss the grenade back inside?

And why are the people in the survivor village such huge asshole that they don't take a harmless one-day trip to rescue a great doctor? Or did none of the survivors bring a radio?

And the COLD? don't the producers realise that there are colder places in the world then New York?

Posted by: Alcari on December 17, 2007 1:02 PM

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the book several months ago, I was immediately suspicious when I saw the trailers had the movie set in Manhattan. But my curiosity got the better of me, so I went to see the movie on Saturday with the mindset that I may be able to enjoy it as long as I didn't expect it to be anything like the book. And, because of that, I mostly enjoyed it. But I still wish it would have been more true to the book. I spent the entire last half hour of the movie waiting for him to discover that Anna was a vampire who had adapted to the environment.

I would definitely recommend reading the book if you haven't already. Other than the title and the very basic premise, it's pretty much nothing like the movie, and it's a really good read.

Posted by: Audrey on December 17, 2007 3:08 PM

The movie was surprisingly wooden and i blame cgi. I think the technology puts so many constraints on the actors that they have their natural emotions restricted. the pre-shrek scene mentioned above would have found lonely, last-man-on-earth will smith so unbelievably happy that he would have been sobbing with gratefulness. yet he barely showed any reaction. the movie is only 100 minutes long but it's a long 100 minutes. other than the final pet-dog-in-the-lab scene, there was nothing for the audience to care about. every time cgi tries to capture human or animal motion it looks fake. the mutants all looked like lance armstrong. how many times do we have to see vistas of empty new york streets? we get it. will smith's alone. the movie's losing stars the more i think about it.

Posted by: Chas on December 17, 2007 4:57 PM

The movie was fine you cant end it with him dieing thats it movie and books are 2 different playing fields everyone knows that deals with it if it ending like the book people would be pissed that it ending him dieing and no hope for humans

Posted by: Chuck Norris on December 17, 2007 7:35 PM

Matthew: boughs. BOUGHS. Not bows. Boughs.

That is all.

Posted by: Coyp Editur on December 17, 2007 10:00 PM

And Chuck Norris? For heaven's sake, buy yourself a shift key and learn what periods and commas do.

That is all.

Posted by: Coyp Editur on December 17, 2007 10:06 PM

To add to 'Coyp Editur''s correction of the next comment-less blog post:
"look weird too me" -> "look weird to me"

Posted by: J on December 17, 2007 11:58 PM

Every time I see someone perpetuating that "It was a popcorn movie" kind of idea I weep for movie-watching mankind. I personally get no joy out of "adrenaline-pumping" action movies. They're just mindless excuses to make things blow up; I'm unsure why anyone would find that entertaining. They're not beautiful, despite being done with a superficial artistry, because they're put in service of ugly ideas.

And worst of all, their continued success ensures that more horrible blockbusters get made, crowding out hundreds of worthier films.

Posted by: John H. on December 18, 2007 7:06 AM

For me, that movie was 100% about the dog. I was upset that he didn't try to keep her alive anyway, Shaun of the Dead style.

The god thing bothered me just a little. And the many many plot holes. But if you just ignore those, and the ending, the man and his dog part really got me!

Posted by: Leah on December 18, 2007 7:11 AM

I found the ending to be confusing. After thinking about it, I think they spent so much time outlining how he was loosing his marbles, and his overwhelming lonliness, that I really thought Anna was a figment of his imagination. She and the son turn up on the same day he loses his only companion? I just thought it would have been more interesting to have him end up in his kitchen sitting around the table with a few manaquins.

Posted by: MelissaInAZ on December 18, 2007 7:28 AM

MelissaInAZ , that would be awesome, because it could turn into that mannequin movie. And we might get a sequel featuring just mannequins.

Well, to me, it's awesome

Posted by: someguy on December 18, 2007 10:41 AM

HAHAHA Someguy. There would even be the mannequin Shrek sequence.

Thanks for reminding me how to spell mannequin too.

Posted by: MelissaInAz on December 18, 2007 11:18 AM

Thanks for the Wiki reference. I skipped on over and the plot seems interesting... in the book. To know that it has deviated makes me want to see the movie less (originally the film seemed interesting, but now that I know it's a vampire-esque film - meh).

Thanks, too, for the suggestion to avoid. I will take note.

Posted by: Kelly on December 19, 2007 6:11 AM

I would like to comment on Exacto's statement that the apostrophe in the word "it's" is there to show possession.

That is simply incorrect.
The word "its" is used to show possession.
The word "it's" is a contraction of either "it is" or "it has."
The contraction is NEVER used to indicate possession. This is BASIC English grammar.
Ditch the smug response and study the language.

Posted by: freemont on December 22, 2007 9:32 AM

I found things to like and things to dislike in IAL. I particularly enjoyed watching Will Smith plumb the depths of what it's like to be an unbearably lonely, incredibly talented person who blames himself for the fall of humanity.

I was irked by the Shrek scene until I realized why it's relevant. It's relevant because Smith's character is seriously, seriously damaged at that point. He's having a really hard time relating to these new people in his house. He can't figure out the words he needs to talk to the woman and child. He's just lashed out at them and he needs to apologize, but he can't figure out how to. The TV and the Shrek DVD *are* things he can relate to, so he borrows the words from Shrek and uses them to talk to the woman and child. Recall that the Shrek scene is one that talks about being lonely and outcast, needing a friend, and being a friend. That's what he's repeating as he talks along with Shrek.

I'm not going to bother listing all the inconstiencies that irked me. Previous posters have already hit those points, so there's nothing for me to add there.

Posted by: Jonathan L on December 30, 2007 7:49 AM

Not seen the movie, but it sounds like one worth passing on. Thanks for the review and comments.

Posted by: Ben on December 30, 2007 10:03 AM

Why the debate about the use of "it's or its"? The usage in the original review is correct....or has it been changed since?

Posted by: Mike D on January 11, 2008 5:45 AM

did no-one else wonder why and how there were hundreds of deer running through new york ? :S

Posted by: hishndiopnadpoibna on January 11, 2008 4:00 PM

how did anna get off the island and go to vermont?

Posted by: CAMILE on January 13, 2008 6:42 PM


Posted by: Anonymous on January 14, 2008 11:13 AM

I saw this movie and I thought it was good. I thought the dog scene was unnecessary and it really upset me. I found one spoof that no one mentioned. If Will Smith is the only man alive how can he watch TV? There would be no one to make electricity so he would have no lab either. Also, how the hell did Will Smith get on top of the fighter jet to play golf aswell? Those things are massive!! When I saw that scene I nearly wet myself laughing at how silly it was. One more thing I never got my head around was how did Anna hear about the survivors collony?

Posted by: I am the legend on January 19, 2008 1:36 AM

I saw this movie and I thought it was good. I thought the dog scene was unnecessary and it really upset me. I found one spoof that no one mentioned. If Will Smith is the only man alive how can he watch TV? There would be no one to make electricity so he would have no lab either. Also, how the hell did Will Smith get on top of the fighter jet to play golf aswell? Those things are massive!! When I saw that scene I nearly wet myself laughing at how silly it was. One more thing I never got my head around was how did Anna hear about the survivors collony?

Posted by: I am the legend on January 19, 2008 1:39 AM

He used a ladder to get on the wing of the jet, that is entirely possible.(I spent 4 years on an aircraft carrier)

He was watching recorded T.V like a DVR and the rest was movies.

He used a generator to get electricity.

But, how did he get running water in the bathtub to bathe the dog.

Posted by: Holly Taylor on January 19, 2008 7:11 AM

Thank you Holly Taylor for writing that, I was say the same thing (generator). But I am guessing the generator was also used in some way for the water. Maybe he set soemthing up some how to get the water going throught the pipes... Everyone keeps seeing the same things as me and I am happy read all of this, it makes me want to read the book.

Posted by: gotbuffy on January 19, 2008 11:52 AM

wow, nice mistakes in my last post lol Ok, so I read ideas from a lot of dif people online and everyone comes up with good points:
(these points are surrounding the question of the darkseekers setting the trap or not)

1-if the "darkseekers" did set the trap, making them smarter than Neville thought they were, then why were they, or the alpha male of the bunch, not smart enough to find where he lived? And at the end when they were in his lab and trying to get to Neville and the girl, (apparently the alpha-male's mate) why didn't he try to open the glass door or slide it or whatever instead of bashing it in with his head?? It seems to me that if the alpha male was smart enough to set the trap, that he would maybe think bashing his head into the window would be a little stupid...

2-If Neville made the trap... this senario is that he made a trap and then forgot about it. He was going a little crazy being so long by himself that he kinda lost it. (This does explain why, when they showed the mannequin (Fred), Fred was moving his head) ok, Neville's last trap had a black bag to trap the darkseeker in it so it doesn't die from the light. How come this trap of his did not??? It could be that he had taken it down as the trap wasn't working/attracting the darkseekers as he thought it would.

It could also be possible that while setting traps to catch/study them, he also set some traps to kill them. Possible.

Also, why would he use a mannequin? To make them think it was a person? The last trap, he used blood... you'd think the mannequin would then have some blood on him or something...

The other senario is that the darkseeker alpha male used one of Neville's old traps against him by bringing the mannequin (Fred) over to it, hoping Neville would be too distracted to remember the trap. But with this senario, how does the alpha male know about Fred?? Does he somehow know that Neville talks to the mannequin, so he used it as bait? Or did he just think somehow Neville would think it's another human?

Same with if the alpha male set the trap himself... what were his thoughts when using the mannequin?

NOW, there is also the part where Neville said they lost their human characteristics, that they are unable to think clearly and stuff, but then the alpha male shows complex reasoning and planning (the trap)... and Neville never mentions it again in the movie.. you'd think that since they showed so many parts on how he was researching and stuff, that it would be a good thing to have him talk about it to his camera... and possibly test that out further, that they could be smart or getting smarter should be a big deal...

Anyway, I really did like the movie. I loved it most when it was just Neville and his dog, alone in the world... it's neat to think about. BUT reading what everyone has written about the book compared to the movie, makes me want to read the book now. I like that it totally gets reversed as the "darkseekers" being the ones afraid of Neville, thinking he is the monster trying to kill them and they are just trying to survive. Anyway, that's all I have to say for now. :)

Posted by: gotbuffy on January 20, 2008 10:54 AM

Interesting comments from all... here are mine (I'm a resident of NYC):

Deer and vegetation: Deer would not have been on Manhattan because they would have no way of getting on the island (the rivers are too fast and wide for them to swim across for no reason). There would not be tall weeds and corn in the middle of concrete in just 3 years. The man does need to hunt though to get meat into his diet. Anything not canned would have spoiled quickly. Same for vegetables (did he grow the corn himself?)

Zombies: They're smart. In fact, they're very smart. They DO retain thinking abilities, in spite of what Neville thought. We're not supposed to know that because he doesn't. Their leader is seen in many instances and he takes up the hunt for Neville. Why? You'd think it's for food, but they could simply drink deer blood (that's why they haven't died of starvation I guess). I think it's because they are afraid of him like vampires are afraid of Neville in the book. HE is the monster to them. He comes in to trap and kill them when they're sleeping. The alpha male sets up the trap by replicating what he saw before. He also leads all major attacks, but how'd he know to use Fred as bait?

Anna hears of him via AM radio transmission, but what... they don't have radio in VT? The military doesn't? Come on! Also, they are able to climb walls... the "heaven" in VT has walls they could easily climb (but we don't know they're not attacked daily either.)

Product placement for Ford and Apple are horrific. The only reason he drives a brand new Mustang is for that. There's no plot necessity. All other vehicles used are Ford as well. He drives an Explorer (even though he has keys to dozens of other cars) while she prefers an Edge? Dunno how it made it to and from the Island... must be one of those submarine versions or something.

The "carrier" in the scene is a static floating Sea/Air/Space museum. It is the USS Intrepid. A decommissioned ship. It is normally docked on the 45th Street pier(West Side Hwy). Currently it is undergoing renovations at Homeport, Staten Island, across from my windows. Yes, the Blackbird is on it, but it isn't an SR-71. It is a former CIA bird.

The reason why the monsters couldn't find his house is because he's always be home before the monsters were able to be outside. He'd shut the windows, stopping them from looking in and from light escaping, thus making it look like just another one of millions of houses on the island. He poured a solvent to cover up tracks on the steps as well.

A home generator was used during the day to power the house (see all those gas cans on top of the Explorer?). Dunno how he was able to keep the girl monster sedated all the time... he must have changed the meds often... at 6 times the normal dose. We can presume the Army set him up with a lab in the basement. He could have upgraded it with all the stuff he could have by raiding homes (notice no bodies on streets or in homes).

Also... if the cold helps the monsters die... it gets cold in NY and it's been at least 3 years... why are they still alive? And... he takes the fuel from a gas station... where'd it get the gas from?

Posted by: George on January 21, 2008 10:26 PM

Oh yeah... why'd they have fighter jets destroy the bridges when it would have been faster, cheaper and safer just to have Army engineers demolish them with explosives?

Also, what's the point of a certain time line for evacuations when they have a way of seeing who is infected and who isn't? Just evacuate until all people who are well are off the island (use boats), then just bomb the crap out of the island. Problem solved.

Posted by: George on January 21, 2008 10:31 PM

What can I say? I truly enjoyed the movie. I have to disagree with most people about the movie's story and supposed flaws (well, most of them). I'll stick to addressing only the more popular "holes" in the storyline.

The most talked about "hole" was the snare that Neville got caught in. I think the alpha zombie placed that trap after having observed Neville do the same thing. I have to disagree with people who think that this "opens a can of worms" in regards to the zombie's intellect (or lack, thereof) because it doesn't take much for a creature to simply mimic another animal's behavior. The fact that the snare was set up EXACTLY as the one that Neville set up to capture the female zombie (using a pulley and the heavy weight on one end) shows that it was more likely the zombie mimicking Neville's actions than Neville "forgetting" that he had placed that trap. Plus! When Neville is recording his findings, he talks about the degradation of social behavior, NOT intelligence. Two very separate things. The virus might have reduced normal human beings into crazy monsters, but they were SMART crazy monsters. Another example: towards the end of the movie, when 2 zombies get into the house, the second one ignores Neville completely and heads straight to the top floor and starts to tear a hole in the ceiling so that the other zombies can come in through it. This shows some level of organization and planning. So the premise that the zombies were complete idiots fails to hold up. As to why they used "Fred" to lead Neville into the trap... coincidence??

I have to applaud "Jonathan L" on his insightful comment about Will Smith's portrayal of Neville's journey into "what it's like to be an unbearably lonely, incredibly talented person who blames himself for the fall of humanity." Jonathan's explanation of why Neville starts repeating the lines of the Shrek movie is *perfect*. I especially loved the fact that the scene they chose from the Shrek movie was of Donkey accusing Shrek of putting up walls and not knowing how to relate to people. I think Jonathan TOTALLY gets what most of the movie is about because in the end *I* believe that part of the story was about human failure and the loneliness that comes with it AND the struggle for redemption. I think bringing in the character of Anna--who drew her strength from her faith--was the perfect contrast to Neville's pragmatism. From the beginning, when he's driving his family to the evacuation site, we can see through the argument he has with his wife that he ALREADY feels a certain degree of guilt for having failed in stopping the spread of the virus (that's why he chooses to stay on the island instead of going with his family). As the movie develops, we can see how the loss of his family--the loss of everyone around him--and his struggle to stay alive [and sane] has driven his guilt to levels of martyrdom. Hence, his sacrifice in the end. So, no, he couldn't have joined Anna and the boy in the burner...oops, I have to admit to that one "hole". An explosion that great would have toppled the entire structure on top of the burner, trapping Anna and the boy inside????

As for the dog... people, get over it. The movie needed the sentimental factor. So, yes, it was best Neville mercy-kill the only companion he had in 3 years instead of letting her go through the transformation and kill her anyway. Plus, he didn't discover his cure actually worked until the END of the movie!

As for why the alpha zombie didn't slide the plexiglass open instead of banging his way in... uh, hello! it was locked from the inside! haha.. but seriously... going back to the point that these zombies had devolved into basic, instinctual *animals* and while he might have had the intellect to figure a way to open it, his animal instinct took over.

Ok, ok, ok... yeah, how the heck DID Anna and the boy get back on the island????

As to the little things like: how did Neville set up his home like a bunker? uh, hello! Wasn't he, like, a lieutenant colonel?? I'm pretty sure that someone ranked as high as him could kill you a hundred different ways... without even touching you! ha!

Okay, lastly... I have yet to read the actual novel. But I think someone mentioned that the title became inappropriate because the main character was killed off in this movie (someone said the same thing happened in the book??). But I think you're missing the point. In the movie, humanity was practically decimated. The point of the story is that one lone man managed to find the cure for the disease which had wiped out almost all of the world's population. He brought the promise of a future. So, of course, years from that point in time, he *will* have become a legend. (I know, I know.. perhaps the movie doesn't do the novel justice, but when has a movie ever done that???)

By the way, I'm sure it's highly plausible that the people in Vermont couldn't pick up an AM signal coming all the way from New York.

Posted by: Fabian on January 22, 2008 9:46 PM

And if you have 1000 days to setup fort, it would be able to take the attack easily - lights high up behind strong glass, steel/concrete re-inforced bunker, etc etc etc.

Too many inconsistancies for me to enjoy this movie. I dont need a movie to be totally realistic, but at least internally consistant

Posted by: Preemo on January 27, 2008 1:20 AM

yeah im still voting for zombie intelligence, it seemed like the video store he goes to was in the general vicinity of where he snared the chick.

so - he nabs the female and they get pissed and they get curious. they go out at night and examine the snare - they stalk him from the shadows during the day. they observe him talking to the mannequin - then they nab the mannequin and post it in front of their own snare - then when he gets snared, they release the hounds..

that kindof makes sense, but its all inference and not really explained in the movie, also, screw the hounds, at that point why not just swarm the zombies? what hounds? whered they get hounds? it seems like the only thing the hounds really do is carry a dog version of the virus - and - how does neville get tossed around like a british nannie while sam can solo two zombie dogs?

another suggestion of zombie intel is when they all climb that light pole and like swing on it to make it fall - putting all the weight at the top to apply leverage suggests some basic comprehension of physics (snare good) - also when they pushed his car over it was like on command, another coordinated effort to direct force - the alpha male guy barks grr(now)grrrrrrr and then they 1,2 hit the truck in the side to 1. set it up and 2. knock it over - then they all go get a sandwich for no apparent reason, while the one smeagol lookin guy climbs in to gnaw on nevilles melon.

the chick pops a magnesium flare or something and smeagol gets a .02 second sunburn so he shits himself and runs like hell...

the other zombies, having recently finished their sandwiches now follow the truck on foot for the rest of the night until they at last come upon the superfriends hideout.

seems like when he was busy stripping all those garage door window shutters and four bolt steel doors, he might have strapped up a tanning bed or two in an effort to bolster his defenses.. armor plating is great and all, except it doesnt really slow em down ever and who needs armor if all the bad guys are dead-?

i mean the great mystery of how the chick got to the island is not that great - i mean.. it seems like ive heard the words staten island ferry before so presumably there was at least one boat capable of moving a car out to manhattan and back -



Posted by: hdg on January 29, 2008 10:37 PM

also as long as you're A-Teaming things up, why not just drop a brinks chasis on top of a caterpillar track and mount a few miniguns and howitzers ... shit go strip the guns off a c-130 spectre - i mean.. just thinking about it makes me want to take a dump

Posted by: hdg on January 29, 2008 10:55 PM