Knee-jerk review: "I Am Legend"

1. There are two movies here. One - about what it means to be the last man alive as Will Smith ekes out a lonely existence and seems to be losing his grip on sanity - is pretty fresh and interesting. The other - about fighting (and surviving) a zombie plague and seeking a cure - is one we've seen before.
2. In fact, the makers of 28 Days Later could have a plagiarism case here. There are that many similarities. Had that film not been made, I Am Legend would probably be a lot more memorable.
3. Will Smith is the man. If you were making an A-list action thriller, who would you cast in the lead to insure a slam-dunk? Nowadays, there's Will Smith and there's Matt Damon. That's about it. Maybe Tom Cruise. And the fact that we're saying "maybe" to Tom Cruise says a lot about how his fortune has changed.
4. The movie toys with the suggestion that some of the zombies, er, "infected mutants" have developed an intelligence, but it never really follows through.
5. The panicked, cruel evacuation of Manhattan is vividly portrayed here, but - again - there's a sense that we've seen it all before.
6. Film's best sequence probably is the one that involves a little strip of sunlight slowly shrinking.
7. How does Smith's character - who's all alone - manage to install a high-tech containment lab in his basement and install all of those steel barricades on his windows?
8. It's hard to believe a mutated virus could create some of these symptoms, like being so susceptible to UV light that your skin burns, or growing big long fangs, or having a stretchy mouth that looks an awful lot like CGI effects.
9. Is it worth a look? Yes. Will you want to ever see it again? Probably not.

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