I Am Legend
The third big-screen version of Richard Matheson’s novel is the best yet, with Will Smith starring as the last man on Earth, survivor of a worldwide plague. When a cancer cure goes horribly awry, much of the world population is turned into rabid, white zombies who prey upon the uninfected until only one man is apparently left. Smith’s Robert Neville is a scientist looking for a cure in his Manhattan bunker, trolling the streets with his dog and hunting deer. The first part of the film is quite spectacular, with a deserted, haunting Manhattan. Neville’s flashbacks depict the panic during the viral outbreak, including the destruction of NYC’s major bridges. The film loses its way a bit in the end, and the zombies are cartoon-like, reminiscent of Smith’s I Robot foes. The movie works best when it’s just Neville and his dog prowling the streets, trying to make it home before sundown when the monsters come out. Flawed, but still pretty good.