I borrowed I Am Legend on DVD the other day, as it was one of those films I wanted to see but never quite got to the cinema while it was out. Having read the book previously, I kind of knew they would have changed the ending, and the reviews I’d read had confirmed that suspicion.
So it was refreshing to find the ending is a bit downbeat. The biggest change isn’t vampires into ‘dark-seekers’, or locating an actual source of the plague in a manufactured viral cancer cure. The biggest change is turning the ‘legendary status’ of the main protagonist into that of a hero. In the book he becomes a legend in that by the end of the book, he is now the monster.
One thing which was weird is that I watched it with Irony Boy who had no clue that there were monsters in it, until the first ones showed up. Obviously he’d missed that aspect of the plot amid all the hype.
Anyway, and on to a second film seen with Irony Boy which begins with I - and that is Iron Man. Clare had previously stuck her neck out to claim this was better than Transformers, and it’s a worthy claim. Certainly, it’s the first film since Transformers which I’d pay money to watch again in the cinema.
Although there isn’t too much new in the plot - friend and mentor betrays hero, life-changing event, superhero has to fight former friend at the end - the scripting is good, with enough humour to keep the movie going. I always find Robert Downey Jr incredibly watchable, and he can easily carry a film like this, so there are no worries on the acting part. Gwyneth Paltrow does a good job as his assistant and Jeff Bridges manages to play the part of chief antagonist without hamming it up too much.
There’s a teasing clip after the credits introducing the rest of the Marvel SHIELD franchise too. And as long as they can keep Downey Jr in the suit, there’s no reason why the Iron Man franchise can’t run and run. It’s certainly the best superhero film since Batman Begins, and raises the bar for The Dark Knight due out later this year.
Meanwhile we got a trailer for another film beginning with I - Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which looks like it’s going to be plenty of fun, and also Prince Caspian, which kicks on the Narnia franchise this summer as well (and looks very good from the trailer).
But one movie I’m really looking forward to is Kung Fu Panda. We had a teaser spot last night in amongst the trailers and it looks hilarious! And it’s not a sequel or a comic book adaptation! Originality in Hollywood - what’s going on?
I Am Legend - worth a watch, 7/10
Iron Man - a definite must-see, 9/10