The world gets hit by a virus – a mutation from a manmade cure for cancer – that changes most of the Earth’s population into crazed, violent, flesh-eating monsters who can’t stand sunlight. Will Smith plays Robert Neville, the last survivor in New York City and maybe the world, a scientist who is dedicated to finding a cure in a little laboratory under his home. He has been at it for a couple of years and is going a bit odd, talking to mannequins he set up around town. Only his dog keeps him company on his trips around town for food, infected test subjects and the occasional dvd. He broadcasts to potential other survivors, calling them to a specific location, but without response. Lions and gazelles roam the streets during the day. At night Neville locks himself into his house as the mutated population comes out of hiding and hunts for their own version of food.
The beginning of the movie impresses the most, vividly painting the picture of Neville’s lonely, desperate existence in a desolate city. I am Legend is at its best when nothing much seems to be happening. Later on, Neville gets unexpected company and quite a bit of explosive action ensues. We see the monsters more often and more clearly and that was probably a mistake. They don’t look real and especially in some of the crowd scenes, you get thrown out of the movie and feel like you are watching a computer game. The ending serves its purpose in wrapping up the story, but there are also one or two unlikely coincidences that had me rolling my eyes. I would have preferred the movie to stay understated and a bit more ‘realistic’. But it can definitely be recommended as a good popcorn movie.