Although there are plenty of Will Smith movies to currently stream, one of his best is set to leave Netflix very soon. I Am Legend has been a fan-favorite since its initial release back in 2007, and fans will have up until February 28th to continue to stream the film. Although the film leans heavily on the post-apocalyptic drama aspect, there are strong elements of horror as well. This genre-blending film follows the life of Dr. Robert Neville, as he is presumably the last human on Earth due to a viral breakout that causes the fall of society.
Will Smith has starred in a myriad of films throughout the years, but his mesmerizing performance in I Am Legend is what sets this apart from his other works. The majority of the film concerns itself with the relationship between Robert Neville, his dog, and the mannequins with which he converses on a regular basis. The sheer power of Smith’s performance while remaining alone for 80% of the movie, is why it has become such a fan favorite for years on end. The captivating nature in which Robert must traverse surviving in a world filled with massive dangers at night is what makes this film so special.
I Am Legend tells the story of a post-apocalyptic world in which Dr. Robert Neville lives. Neville is an army virologist, who tries to find a way to cure the world while remaining completely alone. Although he has a dog companion, there are no other humans around, as they have been turned into a sort of anger-fueled mutant-like creatures. They only come out at night and Robert (Will Smith) must keep himself and his dog safe at all costs. The pathogen for this virus is spread through the blood, and he attempts to find a cure while experimenting on rats in his own home lab. Robert is a scientist who is attempting to find a way to return humanity back to its original state. Without giving too much away, the film details the rise and fall of the world, as more exposition is uncovered through the nightmares and memories of Robert.
I Am Legend currently holds an identical critic and audience rating of 68%, though the film is certainly more entertaining than the subpar rating that it has been given. The film currently sits at #9 of the highest-rated films that Will Smith has been in via Rotten Tomatoes. Smith shows the mental psyche that one would endure with being left alone on Earth while attempting to survive against a potential onslaught of crazed beings hunting you every single night. The pure performance between him and his dog alone is enough to warrant a watch.
Although the critics may have been a bit unfair the people went to see this film in droves as it raked in over $585 million worldwide. I Am Legend remained in the top 10 in the highest-grossing films in 2007, especially against some stiff competition. Transformers, Spider-Man 3, Ratatouille, 300, and Harry Potter: The Order of the Pheonix all came out that year, and the Will Smith post-apocalyptic drama held strong. All of the above films did a bit better that year, although this list was for the amount of money made in domestic theaters.
The majority of the cast is seen in fleeting moments, but Alice Braga shows off her acting skills that perfectly complement Will Smith. The stakes are so high in this film, and they are expertly laid out by both Smith and Braga’s performances. I Am Legend is loosely based on the 1950s book of the same name. In 2008, a two-disc special edition was released of the film, which showed an alternate ending. This alternate ending is said to follow the end of the book a lot more closely. The majority of the awards the film was nominated for were in the special effects department.
I Am Legend is certainly a different type of role for Will Smith, as he is usually joined by several complementary actors, but this was the movie in which Smith got to remain nearly alone while delivering the same level of acting talent he is known for. Go stream this film, and decide for yourself if it’s truly one of his best. Also, maybe grab some tissues to help with the gut-wrenching emotional moments in this film.