You know...I have been looking forward to this movie all year. ALmost as much as "Sweeny Todd" (but not really). I love Richard Matheson's works (most influential author you didn't realize you liked), and while they strayed from the source material, I enjoyed "The Last Man on Earth" (with Vincent Price. Not too commonly watched, but darn good....go hunt it down) and "Omega Man". But this one was the first to be actually named after the book.
"I Am Legend".
I was psyched.
Of course, it had Will Smith in it. Somehow this wasn't boding well to me. I think he can be a competant actor, but I think he also tends towards easier roles now, which if they have any depth, it is of a feel-good variety.
But still they named the movie "I am Legend". The title is actually very important to the book. If they are using the title, they must be doing the book right, right?
So I kept hoping.
I watched part of an interview with Will Smith about the movie. he didnt' seem to know anything about the past movies. And there was mention of them re-working the ending a couple times...
but I stayed hopeful. The tile of the Book=Title of the movie. They won't mess that up. I mean, the meaning of the title is a huge thing. they are the last three words of the book, by criminy! The other movies changed things, but also changed the name, so we that was alright. But now we get the real deal! Woo Hoo
Sitting down, watching the previews, I figured out how they could truly mess up the ending and still be able to use the "I Am Legend" thing...But it was too horrible to imiagine. They wouldn't turn the movie into almost the exact opposite of the book, would they? I mean, what kind of sick bastard would do that?
The sick bastards that made this movie, is who.
I couldn't believe that they did EXACTLY what I was afraid they would do. I can't really go into it without massive spoilers, but trust me, wow, it is effed-up. I have heard what went awry in "The GOlden COmpass" and I fully sympathize, but trust me, anyone else who has read the book can tell you that I am not lying when I say this is possiboly the worst butchering of a book I have ever seen. Remember how much the Catwoman movie wasn't Catwoman? This is worse.
So, what can I say that isn't spoilery? hmmmm...
Will Smith has moments of good acting, but for the most part he gives his typical lazy mediocre performance. (I officially give up on ever seeing another Six Degrees from him).
The dog wasn't a bad addition to the story, and is at least somethign that could have occured in the book. Does lead to pretty much the only emotional moment of the whole damn movie.
They get the whole Wife/Daughter thing wrong, which would be forgivable if tehy hadn't messed up everything else.
Oh, and they aren't vampires. Fine, we lost the vampires with "Omega Man" also. They are the infected, and they are just grey hunting machines. About as human looking as the creatures in "Descent". There is a subplot about them developing intelligence...oh, wait, no there isn't. There are two scenes that seem to clearly be going in that direction, and one off-hand comment that gives you hope, but no, they are just simple infected killing machines. It is like someone thought about introducing that to the movie, but then decided that it would be too close to not effing it up, and so abondoned it, but kept all the scenes that were already written which didn't matter anymore.
Do yourselves a favor.
Go rent "Last Man on Earth". Great Vincent Price movie, very low-key, pretty loyal to the book until the end.
Go rent "Omega Man". They kinda get parts of the story and Roselind Cash was hot.
read the book. They reissued it recently and included some other Richard Matheson stories in it as well. It shows Will Smith on the cover, but don't worry, I checked: It is the correct story.
and then, only then, if you want to see how wrong something can go, go see "I Am Legend". It will make you appreciate Vincent Price and even Charlton Heston more.