Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Disturbing "I Am Legend" Played Me Like A Violin

Will Smith stars in I Am LegendHate gory sadistic horror films and not exactly a fan of futuristic sci-fi either, but something about I am Legend and the critical reviews grabbed my attention.

Love the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, mega huge fan of Baltimore-bred-and-educated wife, Jade Pinkett Smith (not the hair; sorry, hon), adore the blatant nepotic casting of young family members in this and his last flick (hey, if you've got it, flaunt it). Like other armchair critics (spoiler alert), I had no idea what to expect. Figured I would roll the dice and rent the DVD.

Yah, so now that it's over and I'm shaking like a leaf, I'll sum up in one word the voyeuristic experience of living only four years into the future stalked by humanoid carriers of a genetically engineered virus wreaking havoc on the few remaining strands of humankind, transforming the city of New York into a desolate hell hole, and punctuating almost every scene with an eerie fatalism of cure or be eaten: Disturbed.

Can't fault people (spoiler alert) for thinking this one is a masterpiece. This film has blockbuster (more spoiler) written all over it. Shooting locations unheard of in average run-of-the-mill fare. Recurrent themes of racism, beacons of light in the face of darkness, faith and ultimate redemption (bonus: the music of Bob Marley plays a pivotal twisted role in plot development). Butterflies and pathos. It's all there.

Yet, the sum of the movie's parts was frightening enough to make me cry, not from sheer horror, but from deaths of characters with whom I had briefly become attached. No, not the freaky mannequins, although Smith's performance in his second trip to the video store should have been nominated for an Oscar. Let's just say when the whole shebang climaxed, I felt drained like a played violin. I should have recognized standard movie ploys and kept my distance instead of allowing myself to connect with these incarnations of the human condition.

But don't go by me. I'm a marshmallow in the face of most horror and science fiction. Mind games I can handle. Cataclysmic destruction, not so much.


yummy411 said...

can i tell you that i didn't want my 4 y/o to watch it, because i didn't want to deal with nightmares etc. we got the dvd and it's his favorite movie! he put it in the dvd player, rewinds, becomes mesmerized and then recants the whole thing to me! ugh! LOL!!!LOL!