Tuesday, 8 September 2009

I Am Legend

After reading the Richard Matheson novel in the last few days, it has become one of my favorites of any genre. After seeing the film adaptation, I Am Legend, the book comparatively takes on a harder edge. The chapters describing the encounters with the dog are horribly moving and tense, it paints the bleakest and most extraordinary picture of the world within which only one man remains. The horrible desperation of routine becomes a greater pain that the destruction of the world and vile vampire plague.

Where the film falls down in comparison is possibly due to the quality of its opening hour. The wonderful camera work and excellent one man role, played by Will Smith, in the beautifully ruined future the film comes to life. From thereon the film struggles to reach the same heights and the climax that never really comes is surprising. The weak ending doesn't do real justice to the ceremonial reverence for which the last man alive is held by the new generation of vampires.

After checking Wikipedia, I found out about The Omega Man. Of course the name is near perfect and the lead man again is very strong, Charlton Heston takes up the roll (and name) of Robert Neville. Again an excellent opening hour with superb set and camera work paints a wonderful world, full of the horrors of post nuclear anti-civilization. Again the ending is weak. There is also another film adaptation of the novel by the name of The Last Man On Earth. Which may be worth a look but maybe again it will highlight the pitfalls of adapting such a strong novel to the screen.

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