Francis Lawrence has an incredible eye for details and visuals in all the movies I’ve seen from him. Even his worst movies have some of the best surreal stark visuals I’ve ever seen, and the man knows how to implement CGI to enhance his films instead of rely on them to provide entertainment. I just wish the man made better movies. What’s it going to take for this man to bring us something spectacular? As for “I Am Legend” it’s wholly unspectacular, but without a doubt one of my favorite guilty pleasures of 2007.
Let me just put this on you right now. I have never read “I Am Legend,” I love the previous incarnations, I’m not a fan of Richard Matheson because I’ve never read his work, I had no bias’ going into this movie, and I looked forward to this loose adaptation of Matheson’s beloved novel. Is that all a plus or a negative? I’m not sure, really. The first hour of “I Am Legend” is fantastic, and I say this as someone who was comfortably middle ground when it came to the film and expectations.
So, why was this such an easy film to review, and like? Because hell, I’ve been through situations very similar to this. Trying to get by, almost being thrown into the streets, being forced to watch parents suffer to ease their children’s. I’ve seen it all. And in the end of the film, it’s still a situation that’s happening to thousands all over the world. “The Pursuit of Happyness” is an admirable every man tale about the working man’s attempts not to make it big in the world, but in his attempts to just get by. Smith plays Chris Gardner with a lot of gusto offering up a truly solid performance.
It’s a shame, Will Smith, with all his appeal, money, and clout in the business doesn’t take all he has and use it to do some good for film. Instead of working on cookie cutter romances, and boring action flicks, he could be out there changing how films are made. Yet, here he sits, on another cookie cutter romance that bears nothing resembling originality or innovation. Smith has taken his advantages and used it to have a career of mediocrity. “Hitch” another short title starring a playboy who helps people get in love, and even talks in to the camera with a smug smile in the tradition of films like “Alfie”. It’s hard to feel any sympathy or connection towards someone who’s so cocky and arrogant.
I’m as to Will Smith’s real appeal these days. Every role he’s in, he basically plays himself, and in “Shark Tale”, Will Smith plays Will Smith… as a fish; How incredibly original. Oscar, his character is very superficial. He has no real redeeming qualities, is more based on his personality than actually making him a three-dimensional character with traits, and never really convinces me that I should like him, and I ended up liking Lenny (Jack Black) much more. Every other character is just there to pop jokes in now and again.
“I, Robot” is very, very loosely based on Asimov’s concept and stories, and, as much as I wanted to, I didn’t hate it. As a matter of fact, I had a real blast. The first point this had up for it was the fact it was directed Alex Proyas, Proyas is the director of two of my favorite films of the past fifteen years, the first one being the imaginative and beautifully morbid film “Dark City”, and one of my favorite films of all time “The Crow” a marvelous ode to the legacy of Brandon Lee, one of my film icons. Proyas is one great underrated director and he puts his skills to work in this wild and fun but still thought-provoking film. Will Smith plays Dell Spooner, an officer for the now futuristic Chicago who despises robots. The problem with his hatred for them is that they’re everywhere now under servitude as tools for humans like a utensil.
This is such a fiercely and aggressively bad movie that I could have torn my eyebrows off my forehead to pass the time. It doesn’t help that this film is an hour and a half because watching this makes it feel like it’s two and a half hours long. It’s amazing how such a skilled actor like Will Smith has managed to build a career upon mediocre and sometimes awful summer blockbusters, yet he continues to rake in the dough movie-wise. “Men in Black 2” is a prime example of a terrible summer blockbuster that should have never been made.