Will Smith’s newest blockbuster works really well for about 75% of the time and the other 25% is just good. Robert Neville is the last human in NYC, is accompanied by his German Sheppard Sam as they hunt for food and go through their daily routine everyday during the daylight. At night they are forced to lock themselves in their home and hope that the vampire like creatures that roam in the darkness do not find and break in to their house.
The sole survivor narrative inters cuts with a flashback to the day the island was evacuated as Neville tries to get his wife and son out of the city. We also learn that Neville is a military scientist that worked on the virus that caused the pandemic and he tries to find the cure as he moves through his life of solitude.
The movie takes place over the course of only a couple of days and to say anymore would ruin the tension and point of seeing a mysterious thriller like this. The movie though is extremely tense at times and is almost always interesting. When you aren’t on the edge of your seat as director Francis Lawrence takes us through dark and eerily quiet stair wells, you are intrigued by the story to try and figure out how everything went so bad. The movie fails to fill a couple of holes that I would have liked answered but they are forgivable as they aren’t necessarily essential to the story we are watching unfold.
My main gripe with the film is the last 20-30 min or so just don’t work very well. The action set piece is pretty good and works ok, but after a significant game changer (you’ll know what it is), the movie just doesn’t work as solidly as the rest of the material beforehand. But with that said, it’s still entertaining, if not a bit rushed.
The movie as a whole will tug on every emotion you have and will keep you on the edge of your seat through out. Will Smith easily carries the film by himself with special mention to the dog Abby who played Sam as she does a great job at selling the relationship between the too and is character you truly care about in all of this mess.
It would have been nice to have seen a bit different approach to the ending and to divulge a bit more into the mind of a man all alone for so long, but the movie is more than worth seeing in the theater and is an entertaining popcorn flick for the holiday season.