I Am Legend

Cinemaster Score: 7/10

Overall Review

There are no shortage of post-apocalypse stories in film, and yet they all follow the same basic concepts. I Am Legend is no different – except, it’s anchored by a strong performance from Will Smith and an intriguing 1st and 2nd act. From the way the film makes excellent use of flashbacks to serve the story forward (instead of mindlessly dumping exposition), to the emotional connection between Dr. Robert Neville and his dog, Sam, this film manages to introduce several compelling scenarios and handles them with relative success. There is an investing relationship present between Robert and Sam and whenever they are on screen I Am Legend is at its best. The tense and suspenseful moments of the film are also handed very well (at least until the 3rd act), and the creatures themselves are scary enough. However, by the end of the film, any sense of dread that was previously built up is completely thrown out the window in favor of obnoxious action and unnecessary fluff. I Am Legend’s fatal flaw is its inability to maintain strong momentum until the closing moments. As a result, we are given a movie with a truly compelling beginning and middle; but a finale that fails to provide a satisfactory conclusion. It’s a shame, as what precedes it is a taut, emotionally engaging adventure. Yet – while the ending leaves much to be desired – the majority of I Am Legend should be appreciated for its strong performances and fine-tuned sequences of suspense.

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