The new Will Smith flick isn't just computer-generated horror; it's about keeping faith during times of extreme loneliness

By Jack Rico / ShowBizCafe
Updated December 14, 2007 10:00 AM

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Cast: Will Smith, Alicia Braga, Willow Smith

Director: Francis Lawrence

Script: Akiva Goldsman, Mark Protosevich

Rated: PG 13, por escenas de intensa violencia y de acción de ciencia-ficción

Genre: Horror, drama, suspense, adventure, action

Grade: B+

Will Smith is back to the big screen with the film I Am Legend, and this time he brought Brazilian actress Alicia Braga with him. The film directed by Francis Lawrence is based on a novel with the same name by Richard Matheson. Smith plays Robert Neville, a military scientist unable to stop a genetically altered virus from wiping out almost all human life. Neville survives the infection, which makes him the last human being on Earth…or so he thinks. The other remaining men, women and children have become vampire-like creatures who crave blood. His salvation arrives with Anna (Alicia Braga), a hopeful young woman in search of other survivors. The movie passes through some slow moments at the beginning, but the rhythm improves when we the infected arrive onscreen for the first time.

Smith's acting is admirable. The audience can appreciate his portrayal of a scientist who carries the guilt of not saving mankind on his shoulders, especially when his character experiences the mental instability resulting from a loss of human contact. As for Braga, she subtly and peacefully brings her character to life, so much that she almost slips by unnoticed by viewers. But if you look closely, you'll see that she uses her time on camera wisely.

The vampire humans, created with special effects, are absolutely horrifying and will certainly frighten many moviegoers, especially if they see the movie on IMAX. The film really isn't for children under the age of 13.

The star of the film is undoubtedly New York City. Scene after scene, the Big Apple's presence is established throughout the film.

I Am Legend isn't just a movie about computer-generated images and digitalized special effects, it's also about family, social and overall spiritual loss. Smith's character must try to maintain his faith during the darkest moments of life and overcome the challenges he's faced with. If nothing else, the movie will serve as a great two-hour escape for viewers.