I Am Legend Film Analysis

Jessica Wang English 106 10 April 2008 Robert Neville is the last normal living man in the world. The all of New York City is in ruins. How long can Robert Neville survive alone with his dog in a world of vampires and how long do you think you can live in this case? The film, I Am Legend is a post-apocalyptic science fiction film directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Will Smith. It was released on December 14th, 2007. This film is actually the third adaptation of Richard Matheson’s novel of the same name from 1954.

Smith plays virologist Robert Neville, who lives in New York City in 2012, which is inhabited by animalistic victims of the virus. He is immune to a vicious man-made virus originally created to cure cancer and works to create a cure in Manhattan. As we can see, throughout the whole movie, Dr. Neville is trying to figure out the cure for the virus and fighting against those animalistic victims himself, but what makes all this happen? It is human beings ourselves.

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Human beings are too careless and have not realized the danger of the new advanced technologies. In this movie, instead of controlling the technologies, the whole world is destroyed by the virus called KV which is created to cure cancer. At the beginning of the film, Dr. Krippin is interviewed on the TV news about their achievements on discovering the cure for cancers. “Yes, we have. ” at the end of the interview, Dr. Krippin confirmed that they have found the solutions for cancers and cured all the people that have taken the medicines.

However, people, even those scientists who create the medicines, are not aware of the danger of the new medicine until that moment. Through the interview, it gives us proof that it is human beings ourselves that bring the new virus to the world, destroying the whole world to ruins as later we see in the film. There is another scene in the film: when Dr. Neville is saved by Anna (Alice Braga) and is told that there is a safe zone in which all the normal people live. He doesn’t believe her and tells her nothing works the way it is supposed to be.

This scene further proves that scientists are not able to control the new technologies they have developed; all the things are being controlled by the virus but not human beings. It tells us that technology sometimes is dangerous and vital if we cannot gain power over it. Later in the movie, Dr. Neville takes Anna to the lab, Anna is amazed to see the zombies lying on the bed, and simply sighed” Oh my god”, Dr. Neville just said calmly “God didn’t do this; we did”. Again, Dr. Neville uncovered the truth that all the faults actually are made by ourselves though new technology does help us in some cases.

However, human begins should be responsible for what they have done to the whole world in the near future, meanwhile, it also teaches us a lesson that never rush to create new technology at the cost of the whole world and all the living things in the world. There is an alternate ending which is totally different from the original one we have seen in the movie, which amazed me a lot. In the original one, it is a pity that Dr. Neville died in the end with the self-explored; according to many reviews, the majority of the audiences do not like this ending.

The alternate ending is that Robert finally brushes up against a zombie next to him and comes in contact with him; he never gets that close to any of them in the movie and seeing that gives me a chill. In this ending, it leaves me the normal human feelings, which makes Dr. Neville more like a legend. However, the original one is more impressive and it tells us that we have to pay for what they have done, which may become the reason why the director doesn’t choose the other instead of the original ending. The film, I Am Legend, also reminds me of another story I have recently read: Timeline.

This is a story about time travel based on the history of the medieval world. In the book, it talks about a team of archaeologists travelling back to the medieval world to save their professor who is trapped there, which also shows the danger of misusing the technology of time travel. This book has almost the same theme as the film I Am Legend, since the teams of people in the book go back to the past by using the time machine but are almost unable to come back to the present world, which can also be a proof to the thesis I want to state.

As the information given by the website of the film, I Am Legend is based on Richard Matheson’s science fiction novel with the same name from 1954, it is a story about the solo survivor of some kind of bacteria in Los Angeles, who also died as a legend in the end. The book is classified and referred to as “the first modern vampire novel” by authorities, and it has been adapted to a feature length film three times. From this book, we can see that, back in 1954, the author had already foreseen the danger of the abuse of technology and wrote the book as a warning to human beings.

Though we haven’t suffered from the danger of technology like that in the film yet, but we and the scientists still need to keep an eye on it, or maybe there will come a day when life is the same as it is in the book. As listed above, we can see nowadays that more and more publications have the same theme and subject as the film I Am Legend, which undoubtedly suggests the abuse and development of high technology may or more or less has become a threat to people’s daily life. Years ago, Albert Einstein discovered nuclear energy, which later was used in war and lead endless pain to the people in the whole world.

This should have been a warning dating back to the Second World War, while the trend to developing new technology is unstoppable. If all this continues, then the world in the film will become true sooner or later. All these evidences help me to draw the conclusion that technology sometimes can be vital and out of control, if we are not able to handle it, we had better not to use it, or the consequence will be unpredictable. Works Cited: The film: I Am Legend, Dir. Francis Lawrence. Will Smith, 2007, DVD, 2007 Crichton.

Michael, Timeline, United States: Knopf, November 1999, I Am Legend, Richard Matheson, 1954, Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia “I Am Legend‘s Original Ending—-This is amazing”, March 5th, 2008, Firstshowing. net, April 2th, 2009 “Movie review I Am Legend”, December, 14th, 2007, movies. nytimes. com, April 2th, 2009 “I Am Legend, Starring Will Smith – Spiritual Themes”, ezinearticles. com, Patrick Roberts, April 2th, 2009 “I Am Legend-Interview w/Director Francis Lawrence”, youtube. com, April 2th, 2009 “I Am Legend, Richard Matheson”, April 2th, 2009, books. google. com http://books. google. com/books? id=NLeGJPHd0g4C



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