I Am Legend
  • I Am Legend
  • I Am Legend

I Am Legend

4.1 70
Director: Francis Lawrence

Cast: Francis Lawrence, Will Smith, Alice Braga, Charlie Tahan


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Adapted from acclaimed author Richard Matheson's influential novelette of the same name, Constantine director Francis Lawrence's I Am Legend follows the last man on Earth as he struggles to survive while fending off the infected survivors of a devastating vampiric plague. A brilliant…  See more details below


Adapted from acclaimed author Richard Matheson's influential novelette of the same name, Constantine director Francis Lawrence's I Am Legend follows the last man on Earth as he struggles to survive while fending off the infected survivors of a devastating vampiric plague. A brilliant scientist who raced to discover a cure for the man-made virus as humanity came crumbling down all around him, Robert Neville (Will Smith) was inexplicably immune to the highly contagious superbug. Now the entire population of New York City -- and perhaps the world -- has been transformed into carnivorous bloodsuckers that fear the light and live solely to spread their contagion to any remaining living creature that crosses their path. It's been three years since civilization came to an end, and the loneliness has taken a devastating toll on Neville. By day he scours the city for food and supplies while sending out desperate radio messages in hopes that someone might respond, and by night he attempts to find a way to reverse the effects of the virus by experimenting with his own blood. But time is running out for Neville as the legions of infected watch his every move from the safety of the shadows, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. They, too, long to learn the secret that lurks in Neville's blood, though they will have to take caution while attempting to procure it because Neville will sooner die attempting to slay every last one of them than willingly giving up a single drop. Previously adapted for the screen in the 1964 Vincent Price frightener The Last Man on Earth and the 1971 Charlton Heston action film The Omega Man, Matheson's novelette also served as the inspiration for George A. Romero's groundbreaking zombie classic Night of the Living Dead.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
There have been so many attempts to get it right, but now 50 years after the fact, it's beginning to seem as if Richard Matheson's landmark 1954 novella may simply be unfilmable. Sure, the long-in-development I Am Legend is a serviceable action-horror flick when all is said and done, but the reality is that fans hoping for a faithful adaptation -- as the title would suggest -- will have to put their expectations on hold if they hope to enjoy this dodgy but passable take on the oft-told tale. Truth is that a large part of the story is deeply psychological as it hones in on the gradual mental breakdown of a man left completely alone in the world, a concept that few would deny is better suited to the written page than the silver screen. No doubt Will Smith does a commendable job of conveying the scientist-turned-vampire slayer's inner torment as he chats up mannequins like they're old friends and goads his dog on to eat vegetables, but it's when the film starts to stray from its origins that it becomes a bit generic and uninvolved. On the one hand, there isn't as much action here as there is in The Omega Man, but on the other, it doesn't come anywhere near to rivaling the brooding quality of The Last Man on Earth -- rendering it more of a tantalizing, middle-of-the-road misfire than an outright failure. The year is 2012, and apparently the Mayan calendar was spot on. Three years ago, scientists smugly proclaimed to the world that they had defeated cancer by harnessing the power of the measles virus, but the celebrations quickly ceased when New Yorkers became infected with a mysterious plague that transformed them into rampaging, primal versions of their former selves. Somehow, famed military scientist Robert Neville was immune to the infection, and now he works around the clock to find a cure. While the light-sensitive former humans that stalk the moonlit streets aren't exactly vampires in the traditional sense (they don't have fangs and a well-aimed bullet will suffice should one find themselves fresh out of wooden stakes), they still possess superhuman strength and they'll stop at nothing to savor a fleshy treat. Aside from the absolute core details of Matheson's story, screenwriters Mark Protosevich and Akiva Goldsman have jettisoned nearly all of the engaging particulars that made Neville the tormented man that he became after he watched the world die, instead opting to focus almost entirely on the inevitable showdown between big daddy bloodsucker and the benevolent scientist who only wants to cure him. Gone is Neville's best-friend-turned-vampire who sadistically taunts him from the darkness after the sun goes down, and the slow, torturous death of his family is replaced with a urgent scene of New York City being evacuated that, despite effectively capitalizing on post-9/11 fears of urban paranoia and biological terrorism, denies the character the vivid suffering and agony that so richly molded him on the written page. These changes make for a more cinematic approach to be sure, but unfortunately they're changes that come at the sacrifice of two essential components to Neville's character. When it was first announced that Will Smith would be assuming the role of Neville, fans of the story were understandably skeptical -- visions of the I, Robot star cracking wise as he dispenses with the undead leaving many to fear the worst. Truth is, Smith is just about dead on in his portrayal of the aging but virile protagonist: the specks of grey in his hair and the tired look in his eyes hinting at the weariness that comes with thinking he is the last man on Earth, and the aforementioned conversations with inanimate human stand-ins serving well to highlight the dementia that would likely follow. Unfortunately, the shortcomings of the script are to blame for the lack of rich dimensions that would make the character work. Visually speaking, viewers previously bowled over by the striking imagery on display in director Francis Lawrence's ambitious feature debut Constantine will likely find I Am Legend a bit of a let down as well -- quite a surprise considering that Oscar-winning cinematographer Andrew Lesnie (The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the two Babe films) was guiding the lens. Objectively reviewing a film based on a book is a tricky endeavor, especially when the book is one as influential as I Am Legend. Some argue that to compare the filmed version to the written word is unfair, given that both mediums have their obvious benefits and drawbacks. But when one can walk into their nearest bookstore and see copies of Matheson's original story on the shelves adorned with the poster for the film, a curious gray area is created that's difficult to overlook. This is not "Now a Bantam Book!" territory; I Am Legend is an undisputed classic of the sci-fi genre, and to ignore the role that the book played in influencing a film that boldly proclaims that recognizable title (as no adaptation before has) is extremely difficult if not impossible for anyone who has read and loved the story. When the screenwriters go so far as to actually change the meaning of the title, to retain it for the screen version seems insincere almost to the point of insult. So, is Lawrence's I Am Legend the supposedly faithful adaptation that fans have been teased and taunted with for over a decade? Sadly, no. In the end, I Am Legend is a neutered but decently entertaining version of that familiar tale, a mildly invigorating action-horror entry that's just tense enough to keep audiences from checking their watches, but not memorable enough to warrant any sort of severe damnation or serious discussion -- that is, unless you've read the book.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Will Smith Robert Neville
Alice Braga Anna
Charlie Tahan Ethan
Salli Richardson-Whitfield Zoe
Willow Smith Marley
Darrell Foster Mike (Military Escort)
April Grace TV Personality
Dash Mihok Alpha Male
Joanna Numata Alpha Female
Abbey Sam
Kona Sam
Samuel Glen Jay (Military Driver)
James McCauley Male Evacuee
Marin Ireland Woman Evacuee
Pedro Mojica Sergeant
Anthony Mazza Evacuation Cop
Steve Cirbus Military Police
Calista Hill Little Girl Evacuee
Gabriella Hill Little Girl Evacuee
Madeline Hill Little Girl Evacuee
Adhi Sharma Military Scanning Tech
Tyree Simpson Evacuation Cop #2
Blake Lange Coast Guard Ground Crew Member
Alexander DiPersia Male Evacueee #2
Abraham Sparrow Male Evacuee #3
Patrick Fraley President
Caitlin McHugh Special Blond Model
Deborah Collins Civilian
Exo Infected
Lynná Davis Infected
Moses Harris Infected
Eric Jenkins Infected
Heather Lang Infected
Katherine Brook Infected
Anika Ellis Infected
Kennis Hawkins Infected
Reed Kelly Infected
Drew Leary Infected
Vince Cupone Infected
John Grady Infected
Marc Inniss Infected
Grasan Kingsberry Infected
Asa Liebmann Infected
Deborah Lohse Infected
Luke Miller Infected
Okwui Okpokwasili Infected
Paradox Pollack Infected
Hollie K. Seidel Infected
Mark Steger Infected
Anthony Vincent Infected
Jon-Paul Mateo Infected
Courtney Munch Infected
Erin Owen Infected
Will Rawls Infected
Hannah Sim Infected
Charlie Sutton Infected
Greg Wattkis Infected
Ian McLaughlin Infected
Kim Murphy Infected
Victor Paguia Infected
William Schultz Infected
Eric Spear Infected
David Hamilton Thomson Infected
Mike Patton Creature Voices

Technical Credits
Francis Lawrence Director
Thomas Aaragan Consultant/advisor
Ray Abbott Stunts
Robert Alonzo Stunts
Frank Barranca Special Effects
Bill Bellini Consultant/advisor
Bob Benjamin Consultant/advisor
Bruce Berman Executive Producer
Keith Black Consultant/advisor
Christiana Blain Stunts
George Bonnano Consultant/advisor
Joey Box Stunts
Jeff Brink Special Effects
Mike Burke Stunts
Scott Armstrong Stunts
James Armstrong Stunts
Nina Almond Armstrong Stunts
Jill Brown Stunts
Jared Burke Stunts
Nicole Callender Stunts
Darin Carroll Consultant/advisor
John Cenatiempo Stunts
Wayne Cerullo Stunts
Darren Cerullo Stunts
Mark Chadwick Stunts
Victor Chan Stunts
Kathleen Chopin Casting
Bob Colletti Stunts
Blaise Corrigan Stunts
Joyce Hooper Corrington Original Story
William Cote Stunts
Alan Counter Consultant/advisor
Nancy Cox Consultant/advisor
Douglas Crosby Stunts
Angelina Cruz Stunts
Howard Cummings Art Director
Eddie Delena Sound Mixer
Joseph Derisi Consultant/advisor
Peter Epstein Stunts
Frank Ferera Stunts
Aja Frary Stunts
Hal Gaba Executive Producer
Donald Ganem Consultant/advisor
Donna Garland Consultant/advisor
Shane Geraghty Stunts
Julia Gerberding Consultant/advisor
Jeffrey Lee Gibson Stunts
William Gimson Consultant/advisor
Dana Goldberg Executive Producer
Akiva Goldsman Producer,Screenwriter
Gloria Grant Makeup
Stuart Grassian Consultant/advisor
Gabriel Ryan Hansen Stunts
Michael Hauge Consultant/advisor
David Heyman Producer
Peter Hock Stunts
James Newton Howard Score Composer
Sony Pictures Imageworks Animator
Joel Iwataki Sound Mixer
Terry Jackson Stunts
Craig Jensen Stunts
Michael Kaplan Costumes/Costume Designer
Joan Kavanaugh Consultant/advisor
Peter Klein Stunts
Richard Klomp Consultant/advisor
Tom Ksiazek Consultant/advisor
James Lassiter Producer

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Scene Index

Creating I Am Legend - Minidocumentary gallery: Over 50 minutes of awesome behind-the-scenes material; Cautionary Tale: The Science of I Am Legend: Exploring the history of pandemic viral infections and the reality of life-threatening microbes lying in wait to impact humankind [in high definition]; 4 awesome animated comics: Death as a Gift, Isolation, Sacrificing the Few for the Many and Shelter (4 animated comics not rated and may contain material unsuitable or minors)[in high definition]


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