Partial spoiler ahead. If you intend to see the movie, go back now! - You will enjoy the movie more the less you know.
My wife, Carole, originally read the book, I am Legend, about 20 years ago. It was primarily a study in human response to loneliness, as the "last" human on earth struggled with the realization of his position. When Hollywood typically gets a hold of a book, it tends to remove or alter its religious content when produced as a movie. The book I am Legend has no significant spiritual content. However, the movie has been...
Will Smith is a very talented actor, and has done a number of Sci-Fi movies that have been outstanding, so our family originally went to the movie to watch him and see how well the adaptation was done. Of course Smith did his usual excellent job and the special effects were first rate. However, the story had been changed in a not quite so subtle manner. The first indication was in a flashback near the beginning of the movie when Smith and his family were praying together. That doesn't happen very often in Hollywood-produced movies. Then, when a surviving mother and her son found Smith, the woman indicated that she had been called by God for that purpose. Smith was skeptical, having spent years trying to find a way to reverse the effects of a "cancer cure" that had mutated and killed most of the human population and turned the remaining members into frightful creatures. During this encounter, it was discussed why God would allow such a terrible thing to happen to the human race. As with most real forms of evil in the world, the cause was the result of our own error. Smith was still skeptical that the woman had been sent by God, as one could see him struggling with his previous faith. However, at the end, he recognizes that, indeed, God has called him and the woman for a special purpose.
Being a scientist, I am often greatly dismayed about the way Hollywood portrays science. I am Legend is no exception. Why can't they hire a real scientist who will weed out the really stupid parts? So, if you are a scientist, just close your eyes on the lame parts and enjoy the rest.
The movies is rated PG-13 because the action is very intense. It is not particularly gory, but it is very suspenseful and much too intense for younger viewers. Our 12-year old became scared about halfway through the movie and came to sit by his parents. So, don't take your younger children. Or if you don't enjoy scary movies, this one is not for you. However, Will Smith is excellent and the movie is very convincing (other than the bad science).
Last updated November 27, 2007