Posted by: Dr P | March 24, 2008

I Am Legend

At about 7pm this evening I had a rather amusing conversation with a friend about one of Will Smith’s biggest movies, Independence Day. I remarked that the only thing wrong with it was that the dog survives, a typical American bit of sentimentality! Well, guess what? There’s a dog in this film too!

I was once again accompanied to the flicks by my erstwhile companion and neighbour Gareth. Regular readers will recall that last time he set the tone by mentioning golden showers about 2 minutes into our journey. This time it was St Trinians. Nice. I like to think of Gareth and me as a real-life Frodo and Sam. Long time neighbours and friends, we regularly embark on perilous journeys, but with the proviso that neither of us has had any recent close encounters with a fiery ring.

We saw some posters for the just-released “Balls of Fury”, which is apparently about competitive table tennis. Personally I think it sounds either like a cheap porn flick or something you might pick up on Chorlton Street in Manchester …

The cinema was absolutely packed to the gunnels, which is a first for Bury – normally there’s enough room to swing a ropeload of cats, but tonight you could barely have fitted in a wafer thin mint. Made for a good atmosphere anyway – except from 2 rows in front, which was less than fragrant.

Anyway to the film. I try not to put too many spoilers in these reviews, partly because I think it’s unfair on those of you who might wish to partake of this cinematic feast and partly because my short term memory is so atrocious that I can’t actually remember what happened. So anyway, the film opens in Middle Earth where we meet Frodo and …

Beautifully represented in a series of flashbacks, we learn that Dr Alice Crippen … Dr Crippen! Yes! (Played by Emma Thompson amusingly) … has invented a cure for cancer with a 100% success rate. We then learn that things started to go wrong and all the people treated became infected, the virus mutated and became airborne and pretty much everyone in the world has been killed (or so Will thinks). Manhatten Island was separated from the rest of New York as a quarantine zone, but as a scientist immune to the virus, Will stayed behind to work on the treatement/cure.

If this sounds anything like Dawn/Day/Shaun/Night/Land of the (Living/Dead/Possibly Comatose) Dead/28 Days Later, it really is – hordes of fatally infected people running round after dark, biting anything that moves and preying on the innocent while lone survivors try and stay alive and defend humanity. It actually sounds more like Sol Viva on a Saturday if you ask me.

Accompanied by his faithful companion Lassie, Will spends his days alternately hunting, playing golf on aircraft carriers and researching the virus. He also spends about 5 minutes doing impossibly impossible pull ups in a semi-naked state which served the purpose of inventing a sound never before heard in a Bury cinema. 400 female jaws collectively hitting the floor. Knickers too probably. And maybe the odd pair of boxer shorts. Talk about Balls of Fury!

In an attempt to show the loneliness that’s built up in almost 3 years of solitude, Will interacts with a dumb array of mannequins in order to feel like he has company – it’s a bit like facebook, but without the poking.

I can’t really discuss any more about the film without giving away more of the plot, but suffice to say Will is NOT alone, the ending is both sad and happy, no-one surprisingly turns out to be anyone’s father, and I rather enjoyed it. Oh and like The Golden Compass it’s all based on a true story.

Will Smith – 8
Will Smith’s abs – 10
The woman behind me going “Hellllooooo” at Will Smith’s abs – 10
Gareth going “Hellllooooo” at Will Smith’s abs – 2
Plot – 6
Suspense – 8
Overall – 7

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