I Am Legend is the worst movie I’ve ever seen. Truly. I have to respectfully disagree with Chicky here, and argue that she already donated the cost of her movie ticket to Huckabee–or at least the party. There are spoilers ahead, if anyone cares.
Let’s ignore the higher than usual number of mistakes, improbabilities, and technical glitches in the film.
Let’s ignore the fact that it rips off at least half a dozen other movies.
Let’s ignore the emotional manipulation of the dog (terrible!) and the cheap scare tactics.
Hell, for a moment let’s even ignore the over-the-top religiosity which, as a smart person and an atheist, I found silly, obnoxious, and offensive.
But what we can’t ignore–not even for a second–is the film’s atrocious politics, and religion still plays here.
I Am Legend is the perfect conservative film, and is all but a campaign commerical for the Republican Party. It’s purely conservative, and the most dangerous kind of propoganda film, because no one is talking about it as such.
Let’s begin at the end. The film’s vision of utopia–the survivor’s colony–appears as a walled-in community, with the gate guarded by two armed American soldiers. The first things we see when the gate opens? Aside from the soldiers? The American flag and a church. In a film about Jesus Christ, the church isn’t a shocker, but the flag? This represents the film’s version of a perfect community–the chance to start humanity over again–and this is what it looks like. And nevermind that these monsters can scale buildings, an eight-foot stone wall ought to keep them out. Certainly the troops could’ve pilfered some damn razor wire from Falluja–I mean New York.
Just for fun, let’s take a look at Neville’s hobbies. He plays golf (well, he drives golf balls off the wing of a fighter jet) and he hunts with automatic weapons–out the window of his shiny, sparkling Ford Cobra (one of the baddest street-legal muscle cars America still makes). When he’s not racing around the un-decayed city in his Cobra, he’s doing battle in his Ford Explorer, which can run over about 30 people/monsters, have a city street-lamp dumped on it, nearly fall off a pier, and be bashed with countless monsters’ heads without stopping. Honey, let’s buy a fucking Ford! Look closely at all the abandoned cars; you won’t find a Ford. So, an SUV and muscle car driving hunter and golfer who lives in a million dollar plus townhouse (as others are pointing out, on a government employee’s salary)? If it smells like a Republican…
The mutants/zombies/vampires are actually human beings capable of thought. Neville is wrong when he declares they’ve lost all human attributes; the ‘leader’ is hunting Neville–he sets loose his pet dogs (kept on a leash) on him, moves the mannequin to mess with him (by far the most frightening moment in the movie), and sets a trap that is a copy of the traps Neville’s been setting. Does Neville recognize the humanity of the ‘race’ of mutants? I don’t think so, yet we can’t help but sympathize with these creatures (they also live in ‘caves’ and inexplicably hoard money–hello, Osama). He’s busy experimenting on them, killing scores of them, and keeping records as photographs on his lab wall. Collateral damage I guess–all in the name of science. He’s seeking to recreate the perfect human–the perfect Christian, the perfect American.
It gets messy here. If these inhuman zealots–which we created, by the way (hello, Taliban) represent a threat to the human race, our Soldier, Scientist, and Savior (so declared the magazine cover displayed on the fridge) represents our only hope against them. Yet he–the figure of Christ himself in the movie–becomes a suicide bomber at the end. The film’s antagonist, who likely is after Neville for capturing his lady, dies (along with her–when she was nearly cured) in the end, without second thought. (And let’s forget that a grenade would’ve destroyed that magic “chute” that what’s-her-name excaped through.)
The message of the film? It looks to me like “match zealotry with zealotry.”