I AM LEGEND
Now you haven’t read the book, have you ?
I must have watched it over 3 times and have liked it even more each time. Up until the point where Alice Braga’s character appeared, I was enjoying it so much that I was considering making a spot for it on my best of 2007 list. However, by the end, I wasn’t as sure. The scene at the end where the vampire creatures break into Robert Neville’s lab is intense and amazing, and I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t how it should have played out.
Last December when I Am Legend hit theaters, one of the biggest complains people had was that the ending was completely changed from the book and in turn the entire “legend” concept that Richard Matheson originally wrote was never actually seen.
And if you have read the book then this is the ending you wanted to see:
For those who have no clue; let me explain the concept of Richard Matheson’s book to help clarify why this original ending was so amazing to finally see. The entire purpose of the title I Am Legend is that in the book, Robert Neville actually is the last man on the planet. For a moment, the reader is awarded a fresh perspective from a unlikely vantage — Neville, hunter of vampirekind, is seen as freakish monster, the garish villain. And he has switched places from our reality of what we perceive as legend, to actually being the legend. As in, vampires are “legendary” to us because they’re a myth from fantasy. In the book, Robert Neville is “legendary” because he is that myth and goes out day after day hunting them. With the original theatrical ending, they never actually touched on that idea at all – but when you think about, that’s a pretty damn cool concept.
This original ending plays out actually caters much more to that concept than the one we saw in theaters. I love the dynamic between Neville and the lead vampire, especially when he finally brushes up against next to him and comes in contact with him. He never got that close to any of them in movie and seeing that gave me a chill.
I want Warner Brothers to understand that the actual audiences in America and rest of the world would have accepted this ending and preferred it over the one that made it into the final theatrical cut.
Another character Anna in the movie completely ruins the darkly clever play of the book’s original plot. Not realizing the movie would completely whitewash and gloss over that aspect, I kept overanalyzing Anna’s behavior and tersely hissing what I believed were clues about her shady origins to my movie-viewing companion. (Clue: She insists there’s a survivor’s colony in Vermont, but can only name God as the source of her information. Clue No. 2: She claims she drove down from Maryland, but Neville’s flashbacks explicitly detail that the island of Manhattan was completely quarantined.)