Home > Movies, My Movie Reviews > "I Am Legend" Raises The Question: Can A Dog Win An Oscar?

"I Am Legend" Raises The Question: Can A Dog Win An Oscar?

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Forget Old Yeller, Samantha, Will Smith’s German Shepherd in “I Am Legend”, is now the most loyal dog in movie history. I am very susceptible to tears when a dog is involved in a movie and this definitely has that going for it. Oh and Will Smith is pretty good too.

Actually, Will Smith is so good that I would say this is the best acting he has ever done. Up until this point, he has simply been Will Smith in his movies. Sure, he was a great Muhammad Ali but that is more mimicking than acting. It’s a good thing too because Smith is pretty much the only person in this movie…other than his dog Sam.

Smith plays Robert Neville, a military scientist assigned to curing a virus that is infecting almost every human being on Earth in 2009. The first sequence of the movie is one of the better sequences I have seen all year. Neville is cruising around Manhattan in a sports car trying to hunt deer. That’s right…deer in Manhattan. The virus caused everyone to flee the city and the government quarantined the island so it is completely empty, overgrown with plants, and taken over by wildlife.

Neville lives in an apartment with his dog where he continues to attempt to find a cure for the deadly virus. During the day, he tries to act as normal as he can even though he has absolutely no human contact. He goes and rents videos and talks to mannequins that he has dressed up like real people. He is definitely trying to fight off the fact that he is becoming unhinged.

At night, Neville has to lock his doors and windows with metals shutters. Why? The deadly virus has infected humans and turned them into zombies. Once Neville gets into situations that bring him in contact with the zombies, the intensity accelerator is floored. There are enough jump scares in this movie to make you want to watch something less intense, say “Jaws”. The sounds these zombies make (voiced by Faith No More’s Mike Patton) are extremely creepy and adds to the scares.

The only issue I have with the movie is the ending feels rushed. There is a turning point in the movie (which I will not ruin) and the movie seemed to rush too quickly to an ending. That turning point is far too emotionally powerful (thanks to Smith) for such a quick and neatly wrapped ending.

The final 20 minutes or so leave a little bit to be desired but overall, this is a thrilling scare-fest with an excellent performance from Will Smith. I see the commercials saying his performance is “Oscar worthy”. I won’t go that far…but the Academy should get Will Smith’s Oscar ready now because it is an inevitability.

Lastly, let’s get an awards category for animals already…this German Shepherd has chops. Get it?


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