Tag Archives: Will Smith

I am Legend (2007) 4.79/5 (47)

 

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Rating: The Good – 70.8
Genre: Science Fiction
Duration: 101  mins
Director: Francis Lawrence
Stars: Will Smith, Alice Braga

Francis Lawrence’s take on Richard Matheson’s novella is a worthy addition to the sci-fi genre. Robert Neville (Will Smith) is the last man left in New York City after a genetically engineered virus either killed off the rest of the population or turned them into rabid cannibals. Like the earlier adaptation Omega Man, this film gives us a different type of mutant to the book (in the book they turned into vampires and were much more sinister in their methods) but unlike that film these mutants are far more scary. The production design involved in bringing the desolate New York to life is impressive and Lawrence creates some extremely tense scenes culminating in some genuinely terrifying moments. In this task, he is ably helped by his lead. As the only actor on show for long segments, Smith needed to bring presence to the role and he does it with ease giving us just the right balance between toughness and vulnerability. There are some minor issues such as the fact that the mutants managed to lose all pieces of clothing except their pants and the ending skirts the boundaries of cheesiness but for the most part, I am Legend is first class sci-fi/horror entertainment.

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Ali (2001) 4/5 (2)

 

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Rating: The Good – 68.3
Genre: Drama, Biography
Duration: 157 mins
Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jon Voight

It seemed like a big departure from most of his traditional work but Michael Mann delivers the goods with this partial biopic of the great fighter. Focusing more on the personal events in Ali’s life from the time he broke onto the scene to the end of his relationship with Malcolm X, Mann successfully brings his slick visual style to the film and crafts a compelling drama. The fight sequences are few but also very memorable thanks to Mann’s trademark use of short zooms and alternating focus throughout – this is seen particularly in that key first fight with Sonny Liston. The acting on all fronts is tremendous with Will Smith doing surprisingly well in both his imitation of the pugilist and his more dramatic acting. Overall, Ali is a triumph which Mann fans and Ali fans alike should respond positively to.

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