16 January 2008

I am Legend

I said the other day I would post about this movie, which is the last one I've seen -- I am so relishing the chance to go to the movies more often. Soon, I'll be back at work and time will be shorter and something will have to give. In the meantime, I'm making the most of it.

I am Legend was an interesting film experience for me because I felt that I'd seen it before. Didn't I read somewhere that it was a remake of The Omega Man with Charlton Heston? I have seen that but so long ago that I don't really remember it. I do vaguely remember him flitting out of his apartment in daylight hours and barricading himself in at night, but am more familar with his performance in Planet of the Apes, a film that was vastly superior to the original. And whatever did they do to The Time Machine in the remake? Took the guts out of it is what! But I'm getting off the track.

More recently, however, I've seen 28 Days Later, and this felt like the same movie, even though there were striking differences. Setting for a start. I suppose, the longer I dwell on the Charlton Heston movie and the more it comes into focus -- even if still blurred -- the more I can see that it does bear a stronger resemblance, but even so there's the sense both in Legend and 28 days at their beginnings of a man alone in a devastated world filled with violent creatures who used to be human. In both films that whole I-am-alone experience proves not to be exactly true. Both have moments of high tension, guaranteed to make at least half the moviegoers jump. We did.

Without getting too deep into spoiler territory (I hope), the ex-haematologist railed at the ending. Just didn't work for me on a scientific level. Let me say a few words that might mean something to those who have seen it: transport of biological specimens, and the scientific logistics of doing what was suggested . . . Yes, already, that's more than a few words. I'll shut up now, except to say that again the whole spectre of suspension of disbelief rears up and spoils the storyline for me. Writers, research please!


Snail said...

I think before the Charlton Heston version was Vincent Price's "The Last Man on Earth". I must have seen every VP film ever made but I can't recall that one.

Have you read the novel? I have it somewhere on my bookshelves. It's about time I dug it out and re-read it. I'll vet it for you!

Tracey said...

Don't think I've seen it either. No, I haven't read the novel. I know Ellen has -- and blogged about it (both the book in an earlier post and the film in a recent post) on her Forge and Brew blogspot. If you do read it, let me know what you think, because after reading what Ellen said I was curious to read the book.

ellen said...

Yes, the book is way different to the movie. Very introspective. And more poignant.

The scientist in you is likely to struggle with some of the concepts in the book, however. I know I did. Basically in the book the creatures start off as vampires and are then explained away by science. Hmmm. If you're going to have vampires, then make them vampires! I can more easily suspend disbelief for that than phrases like "the bacteria made them grow fangs".

But aside from the very dubious science (which I detested) the book is better.

And I thought the same about the movie ending.