I Am Legend

For my birthday Arin took me to see I Am Legend. In my old age whenever I see a blockbuster that has the Hollywood hype machine behind I fear that the movie will suck, as they frequently do. Because ever since Harper was born I have come to cherish the evenings I get to go see a movie; and I hate, hate, hate the feeling that I have squandered a night out on a lackluster film.

That was my fear with I Am Legend. Compounding my fear was also the fact that it was date night and if the movie sucked then not only did I waste my night out, but I also wasted Arin’s night out, and our night out. A triple whammie.

I Am Legend

When the movie ended I looked nervously at Arin to see what she thought, and our first impressions of the film were exactly the same: this movie was the perfect length.

Hollywood seems far too willing to sacrifice a tight, well edited movie, for ultra-long (Peter Jackson), special effects laden (Lucas) for which the added time does nothing or exceedingly little for the story as a whole. Not so with I Am Legend. Which when you think about it is a surprise. The setting alone is ripe with opportunity for meaningless fly-throughs of an abandoned Manhattan. On top of that, the temptation to show Will Smith pilfering The Met or MoMA for art to hang on his apartment wall, or even to elaborate upon the madness of his character would be completely overpowering for most directors.

But Francis Lawrence restrained himself admirably. What you are left with a solid hour and forty minutes of the tensest and terrifying movie I have seen in years.

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