Movies: I Am Legend
Will Smith has become a huge box-office draw, and "I Am Legend" is unlikely to break that string of success. For the first hour or so, it's about as taut and well-made as you could ask a post-apocalyptic thriller to be. Think "Castaway," but instead of a slightly crazy guy on a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific, you have a slightly crazy guy on a deserted island that just happens to be Manhattan.
The story is loosely based on Richard Matheson's novel of the same name, though in truth, it resembles "The Omega Man" (a 1971 adaptation starring Charlton Heston) more than anything else. Robert Neville is seemingly the lone survivor of a plague that wipes out most of humanity. Some people, however, have been transformed into vicious zombies. By day, he works on a cure and gathers materials necessary for survival. By night, he hides in his apartment from the onslaught of the infected.
Smith's acting abilities have really matured through all his blockbuster films, and he gives a good solo performance without overly resorting to hackneyed screaming or crazy-talk (though of course both occur, as for most of the runtime, Smith is the only person on-screen). The problems here mostly lie with the uninteresting portrayal of the infected (some characteristics are hinted at that I would have liked to see explored, but they end the movie as basically mindless zombies) and the awful third act (with a nonsensical ending that will have you shrugging as you leave the theater).