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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
  • My Favorite Book – Freshwater
    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

I Am Legend

As the sun rises in the morning, you begin your daily routine. Consisting of endlessly dramatic chin-ups and miles on the treadmill, your daily work-out seems as if you are gearing up for war. You hike outside with your best friend, your dog, and you hunt for food. Making your way through the weeds, you stop by a patch of cornstalks just past the old subway entrance to gather your dinner for the evening.

When you reach Times Square, it seems as empty and alone as it has been for years. Suddenly, silence is disturbed by the alarm of your watch, and you scurry back home before the dreaded sunset. Now, with your doors and windows barred with steel doors, you huddle in you bathtub and wait; wait in fear while wondering how one day it all went terribly wrong.

In the film I Am Legend, based on the book of the same name, this is the life of Dr. Robert Neville; a scientist who is immune to an apocalyptic virus that left him as the last man on earth. What was originally devised to be a cure for cancer, the man-made virus causes “the infected” to become flesh eating creatures devoid of any human qualities or emotions.

The catch is, that they can only survive in places without any sunlight. Alone, this simple premise sets up a story with considerable importance and unimaginable possibilities for suspense. Director Francis Lawrence wastes no time in designing a creepy atmosphere out of something we are all too familiar with.

Will Smith, in the role of our only lead character, delivers the best and most haunting performance of his career. In a world lacking human qualities, Smith truly is the film’s heart and soul. Carrying themes of loss and detrimental aloneness, Smith extends the powers of his performance to show a man troubled not only by his environment, but the long term effects of his own life renderings as well. Consider the scenes where Robert makes his daily rounds, making conversation with strategically placed mannequins throughout New York City. To make things even more drastic, the filmmakers give Neville’s only companion, his dog named Sam, a lively and important emotional role with skilled camera work and excessive dog training. If it is in fact acting, Sam gives the performance of the year.

The only downfall to I Am Legend is in its use of computer effects. For a movie that was built on extremely believable premise, it was disappointing to see such a contradicting approach taken on digitally creating the infected monsters. Mutated by computerized effects that far surpass the unbelievable elements of the film, I Am Legend falls a minor victim to the crutch of sloppy and rarely believable computer images.

This is one instance where a film of this caliber would have benefited from skilled make-up artists armed with gallons of red liquid and creepy latex faces. Thankfully, all of these small faults don’t fully emerge until the epic final act. Even though its popcorn efforts may be childish, I Am Legend’s story falls together to create a film that is genuinely suspenseful and, in terms of its genre, something truly legendary.

Three stars out of four

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