Last night we put on our city pants and went to town for a little diversion. We decided to see the big budget blockbuster I am Legend, starring Alfonso Ribeiro’s incomparable foil, the always fresh Will Smith. In Mexico, the Spanish title is typically didactic, Soy Leyenda: El Ultimo Hombre En La Tierra No Esta Solo (The Last Man On Earth Isn’t Alone) which pretty much tells you all that you need to know. Robert Nevelle has a dog named Sam, Bob Marley in his heart and stereo, a famous Van Gogh hanging in the TV room, a cupboard full of pilfered Spam and a crush on a hot brunette mannequin in the video store. He’s a colonel and a virologist and the only fully human resident of post-plague New York. You probably know all this already, as this film has been out in the States since before Christmas, so let me explain – since we haven’t already – how cool it is to see a movie in the Sala VIP.
For about $8.00 you are given entrance into a world of cool comfort, with reclining leather seats and chair-side waiter service. You can order beer, wine, scotch, and candy with your feet up while watching previews. The drinks are brought quickly, though they are expensive. It cost us 170 pesos for two Johnny Walker Black Labels. The experience could only be better if they distributed disposable pajama pants and quilts at the door. Almost every movie is made better by this environment, except for the oddly insufferable 310 to Yuma. (Christian Bale has never failed me like that before; from Little Women to American Psycho, from The Machinist to Batman Begins, I consistently want to kiss his mental muscles.) Sorry, I’ll digress back.
I really thought it was a fine bit of science fiction action cinema. That is to say, I liked the hell out of this movie. I am Legend presents the rapt audience with a pulsing organism of hairless, sinewy vampire/zombies, CG lions hunting deer in Manhattan, a plush Washington Square brownstone with all the trappings, a tattoo prophesy, a restrained and graying Will Smith (easy, Cougars) and Smith’s real life daughter, Willow, as his kid. I laughed, I cried, I really cried, and then laughed at myself crying so much (the end is really moving if you adore self-sacrifice, re-population and Vermont as I do). I think I might even read the novella written by Richard Matheson in 1954, and see the 1971 Chuck H interpretation, The Omega Man. Thanks again, America. Please send Tab, more 30 Rock and designer jeans.