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I Am Legend (15)

PUBLISHED: 11:17 29 February 2008 | UPDATED: 13:13 24 August 2010

I Am Legend (15) http://iamlegend.warenerbros.com Will Smith puts in a mesmerising performance as the last man on Earth in this atmospheric adaptation of Richard Matheson s 1954 nove

I Am Legend (15)

http://iamlegend.warenerbros.com

Will Smith puts in a mesmerising performance as the last man on Earth in this atmospheric adaptation of Richard Matheson's 1954 novel of the same name, but he's let down by a flat ending and questionable CGI.

Smith is military scientist Robert Neville, the lone survivor of a devastating epidemic that has turned the world's population into an army of nocturnal zombies.

Immune to the virus, Neville spends his days hunting in an overgrown New York City - the desolate urban set pieces are superb - with his faithful dog Sam (another star performer) and his nights trying to find a cure, safely barricaded in his townhouse.

His lonely existence ends when he meets Anna (Alice Braga), another immune stranger, but the pair soon find themselves racing against the clock to develop an antidote before the ever-threatening growing ranks of the infected make their move.

With a minimal soundtrack, director Francis Lawrence (Constantine) skillfully sets the isolated, eerily silent scene early on (jarringly countered by some decent scares) and guides a commanding Smith through what is essentially an engaging one man (and his dog) show for most of the film.

But what starts out so promisingly becomes lost in a frenzy of zombie- bashing gore when the tragic tale of overwhelming loss becomes more of a shoot 'em up hero epic.

The scriptwriters Akiva Goldsman and Mark Protosevich attempt some sort of redemption at the film's climax but, ultimately, it's as unconvincing as the B-grade looking CGI critters that go bump in the night.

Entertaining, yes, but far from legendary.

Damian Tully-Pointon

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