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December 21, 2007 | Permalink
I think you missed the point at the end. He does find faith, hence the butterfly motif, but he has nothing left to live for. He's found the cure, like he set out to, but he also lost everyone/thing he loved.
Also I'm pretty sure the woman was speaking metaphorically when she said that God told her there were people in Vermont. She also said that God told her that Will was in New York, by that she ment that God told her to turn on the radio. So I thought that when she said that she means that it was God's will that she found out about the survivor's colony and Will.
December 21, 2007 at 07:00 PM
The funniest review I’ve read to date likened the colony in Vermont to M. Night Shyamalan's The Village.
Maybe I'm just a schadenfreudistic pessimist, but if the movie were to run for another hour showing everyone in the village squandering their second chance for some human vice like greed or denial, I wouldn't have walked out of the theater feeling like someone spent the last 90 minutes just bullshitting me.
December 21, 2007 at 08:17 PM
I thought his search for the cure was just part of his insanity: he needed something to give his life meaning and occupy his time.
He might not have heard from the Vermont colony because we never saw him listen to the radio, only repeatedly broadcast the same message.
Also, I thought the woman and boy were him hallucinating after his dog died. I swear they morphed from his wife and daughter when he came into the room.
December 21, 2007 at 08:37 PM
Bad form, syndicating spoilers in an RSS feed.
dan tdaxp |
December 21, 2007 at 09:43 PM
HALF SIGMA'S COMMENTS (moved from main post because spoilers were in the RSS feed):
If there were survivors living in Vermont, why wasn’t Will Smith able to communicate with them? If he was able to broadcast a message out, why couldn’t others broadcast messages also?
Just as Will Smith is about to be killed by zombies, by amazing coincidence, a woman, who says that God sent her, saved his life. And she says that God told her there are survivors living in Vermont. He says that God doesn’t exist.
A few hours later, zombies attack. Will Smith dies in the attack, because he didn’t have faith in God. The women escapes with the cure for the disease and drives to Vermont where, just as God told her, there are survivors.
So on the one hand, the ending is dark because the hero dies. But on the other hand, it's conventional Hollywood because it's anti-atheist. The whole apocalypse could be viewed as merely a test of Will Smith's faith in God, and he failed the test and was punished, but the female character passed the test and was rewarded.
Half Sigma |
December 21, 2007 at 09:51 PM
BTW, the ending is different from in the book. In the book, the infected are vampires (not zombies) and the survivors turn out to be vampires who have found a serum to control the disease. They then kill the hero because he's killed some of them, and he becomes a new legend as a monster that can be awake during the day (thus the title).
December 22, 2007 at 01:32 AM
It was entertainment, and I just got confused at why he had to kill himself at the end instead of just throwing the grenade through the break in the wall.
And why didn't he try any of the cures on his dog?
John Smith |
December 22, 2007 at 02:02 PM
It was entertainment, and I just got confused at why he had to kill himself at the end instead of just throwing the grenade through the break in the wall.
Logically: no reason.
Dramatically: looks more heroic if he sacrifices himself in a blaze of glory.
And why didn't he try any of the cures on his dog?
He did, he injected him with the last compound (I thought that's why the vial was purple.) Dogs and humans have different physiology and are affected differently by the virus; remember how he said the airborne virus affects humans but not dogs?
December 22, 2007 at 03:41 PM
Here is what confuses me: Will Smith first confidently explains to the lady that God did not bring this scourge of disease and death upon the world; rather, the damage was entirely self-inflicted by humans. However, near the end of the movie, Will defiantly exclaims that there is no God because all humans had been killed by either the virus or the virally infected creatures.
Why did he waffle? Was his atheistic proclamation a mere temporary emotional outburst attributable to his anguish and periodic insanity and the seeming hopelessness of his situation? Remember that he joined in prayer with his wife and daughter before the latter two departed in the helicopter, signifying that he was indeed a believer. This could also explain why he so easily accepts his fate after observing the butterfly tattoo and gaining both inspiration and motivation from it.
December 23, 2007 at 06:09 PM
By the way, do you remember when the Lady-Who-Appears-From-Nowhere states that there are human survivors in an unscathed colony in Vermont because the virus/viral creatures cannot survive the cold? If this is true, how did the virus/viral creatures survive Manhattan winters? Is there much difference between Vermont and New York winter temperatures? Also, were coldness a protective factor, would not there remain huge populations of Scandinavians, Siberian Russians, Alaskans, various Alpine peoples, etc?
December 23, 2007 at 07:42 PM
I think it's what you said, DAJ, it's a religious man's crisis of faith rather than a statement of atheism. Um, and, yeah, the winter thing doesn't make that much sense, Vermont isn't that cold.
Even the bit at the end of 28 Days Later never made that much sense.
December 23, 2007 at 09:15 PM
There were two butterflies at the end which "inspired" Will. When the lead zombie/vampire was smashing into the glass, he hit it just right to create the shape of a butterfly made of glass cracks. That's when the camera pans back to show the big butterfly and Will recognizes it. He looks down in shock at the woman, and sees that she also has a butterfly on her neck. The sounds mutes with the glass-break butterfly, too, if I remember correctly. The woman had said "the world is quieter now; you can hear God's plan", so I think when Will recognizes the butterflies in the lab he also "hears god's plan" or something. I don't think it was very well done, but I assume we're supposed to think Will did a 180 at that moment from hopelessness to hope due to signs from God. There was still no reason for him not to just throw the grenade through the hole in the glass and jump into the coal chute, however. Dumb ending. Really dumb when you look at the box office receipts and realize they screwed themselves out of a sequel! ;-)
December 23, 2007 at 11:55 PM
"There was still no reason for him not to just throw the grenade through the hole in the glass and jump into the coal chute, however."
There certainly was.
My understanding of grenades is that once you pull the pin and release the handle, you have only moments before the explosion. So, for starters, there was a timing problem with regard to any plan involving stuffing oneself safely into that coal chute. Recall there was only a small hole to throw it through.
Another problem with just chucking it through the hole is that, as indicated by the subsequent explosion shown in the movie, the plexiglass (or whatever material) wall was already compromised and could not be expected to safely shield or block the blast wave and fireball. As Will himself was able to partially dive through the plexiglass just before the explosion, I'd say its integrity was fundamentaly compromised and the blast wave would have, at the least, sent pieces of the plexiglass wall through Will's body; a fatal outcome. So, minimal time to throw and duck and cover + negligible chance of survival without cover = big problem for the thrower, which leads to a simple conclusion: get the woman and the boy and the humanity saving serum behind cover and then go out in a blaze of glory. To paraphrase a line from Aliens: it's the only way to be sure.
Now, you might be thinking: no, you missed something; that I can't have it both ways with regard to the compromised wall leading to an alternative theory of escape: just leave the damn grenade on the table or get in the chute, then chuck the grenade outside the chute door and slam it shut.
There were few problems with that: 1. The chute was small, 2. Could it be sealed from the inside? 3. Boring and complicates and lengthens the ending, cause then you'd want to see Will get them out of town, etc. etc.
Meanwhile, other issues: where the heck did he park his cars so that the vampire zombies couldn't track them, and hence him, down? Why not live on Liberty Island or some other ultra secure location? Could the bad guys swim? Why no midtown firebreak no mans land kill zone? Why so hesitant to eradicate the zombie/vampires by burning them out into the light? Why stay in NYC with all its dark places? Why not Brookhaven Labs out on LI with all its flat, open, kill zones and zero tunnels? Or how about at an upstate nuclear reactor site (lit up 24/7)? How come this Colonel, or whatever rank officer he was, didn't or couldn't get a pair of night vision goggles?
December 24, 2007 at 02:30 PM
I just saw the movie today so some of it is still fresh in my mind...
Q: where the heck did he park his cars so that the vampire zombies couldn't track them, and hence him, down?
A: In the beginning didn't he just park his car near the house? Because he always got home during the day, and hid his car from the zombies when he was chasing them down, so they didn't know what his car looked like since there were so many cars. As long as he got home before night, the zombies couldn't figure out where he lived.
Q: Why not live on Liberty Island or some other ultra secure location? Why stay in NYC with all its dark places? Why not Brookhaven Labs out on LI with all its flat, open, kill zones and zero tunnels? Or how about at an upstate nuclear reactor site (lit up 24/7)?
A: He had that duty-complex. Remember he kept saying, "This is Ground Zero! Something, something my territory." I think he felt that this was all the purpose he had left...
Q: Could the bad guys swim?
A: I have no idea...We assume not cause of fact that they didn't swim over to NYC?
Q: Why no midtown firebreak no mans land kill zone? Why so hesitant to eradicate the zombie/vampires by burning them out into the light?
A: I think he wanted to keep some of them for testing. He also didn't have any idea how many people there were, so it'd be hard to mow down everything himself, right?
Q: How come this Colonel, or whatever rank officer he was, didn't or couldn't get a pair of night vision goggles?
A: That's a good question, but I don't think it would have mattered.
What is interesting though, was that I thought the lab had a UV ray section before he went all the way in (hence the purple-bluish lights) but I guess not. I do wonder why he didn't just have a UV light machine to shine around, since the girl obviously used that method to get rid of the other undeads...
December 26, 2007 at 07:30 AM
The car park issue.
Yes, but, by the end the zombie-vampires were able to imitate his trapping device --quite cleverly I thought. Also, I got the impression from that trapping scene that there was reason to believe the dark-seekers could see Will in daytime, that they could see him from their lairs, that as long as they were in the dark concealed from the sun, they were ok and that ambient or indirect sunlight or light was not necessarilly fatal. Weren't they heckling and baiting him --albeit in grunts and growls and howls, from the buildings when he was on Park Avenue South just below Grand Central?
Also there was the tracking problem. All the other cars on the street would have been covered in dust or tree debris; his cars were immaculate --shiny even. Then there was all the paraphernalia on his car. How could they miss his cars? They would have been incredibly conspicuous. But forget that: what did he do when it snowed? Did he even leave the house?
Or, why wouldn't the zombie vampires just move some cars around, set up some road blocks, and see which ones Will altered. Granted to do it right would have required some organized thought, but maybe not as much as the trap, and the zombie-vampires were certainly numerous and strong enough to do the moving.
The night-vision goggle question.
Ok, he only went into the dark the one time to save his dog, so, despite the fact that the device might have come in useful and could have easily been stored in his car, yeah, it probably didn't matter.
UV in the lab.
Good point. But as you noticed, towards the end, the zombie vampires were clever enough to be self-sacrificial in attacking the lights he set-up outside (UV?), so it might not have mattered --they might have just jumped up and smashed the lights.
And yet another thing, and this is general to the genre, but many of these end of humanity sci-fi films and books suffer from a sort of immature, gee what fun I'd have if no one was around theme. Like, yeah, he's living in city wiped out by a plague level virus (btw, the sewer and water systems still worked? damn! what luck!), with who knows how many cannabilistic zombie vampires, and he regularly unwinds by hitting golf balls off the wing of a jet on the back of the USS whatever aircraft carrier museum?! Give me a break. Get a f-ing putter and a few yo-yo's and chill out in your living room on your micro down-time from trying to find food and water, maintain your hygiene, fend off several hundred thousand pissed-off maniacs, and run a one-man humanity saving anti-vampire-virus R&D operation.
December 26, 2007 at 01:18 PM
WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH HIM TALKING TO MANIKINS!?!?!?!?
December 26, 2007 at 07:44 PM
He's batshit crazy because he's survived most of humanity dying, and of the few survivors, most of them turned into zombie-vampires that ate almost everyone who didn't die from the plague-he's fucking gone around the bend.
Plus, they needed dialog.
December 26, 2007 at 08:14 PM
I meant monologue.
December 26, 2007 at 08:15 PM
/What is interesting though, was that I thought the lab had a UV ray section before he went all the way in (hence the purple-bluish lights) but I guess not. I do wonder why he didn't just have a UV light machine to shine around, since the girl obviously used that method to get rid of the other undeads.../Q
Yeah I wondered why he didnt just set up uv fiberoptics inbeded in the walls of his house, orlights that the vampires couldnt break (I.e dug into the floor round his house etc) and not just flimsy things they broke in one swing.)
I guess it wouldnt have been as dramatic then though =P
December 27, 2007 at 05:32 PM
As for the questions to his seeming hesitation to just 'kill as many as possible': he still thought that if he would find a cure, he could reverse the effects of the virus, restoring normal life for those infected.
Q: How did the deers / lions manage to survive if the vampires (and their vampire dogs) were so blood thirsty?
Q: In the scene where is dog gets bitten, why would only the vampire dogs get out to attack and not their human counterparts? Was the light still too strong for them?
Q: Why did he go THAT crazy when seeing 'Fred' the manikin in an odd location, firing bullets at it and around?
Also i don't quite understand why he did not have some kind of 'last stand' bunker, just in case his house was discovered.
December 28, 2007 at 11:53 AM
i dnt get when he, speaks to his blog/diary
he tells it that a vampire/zombie had come out into the light today this ahows there basic instincs are all gone, so if this is true whyy can u see them hunting him down and there is obliviosly a leader,, and when the dog gets bitten it takes about 10-20 mins for her to stat changing, but in the flashback the mother who was infected 1) why was she not shot and 2) how come she was not changing
December 28, 2007 at 01:40 PM
some1 mentioned that he saw butterfly 3 times
first in car ,second when dog dies ????(i haven;t saw it ?where extactly that was??)),and third
at the end ,on Ann's neck ......
I think that butterfly is motive of death ,when he see it some1 dies and things dramaticlly change.......And yeah ,he said that there is 9% of zombies( 90%died ,1%are imune) ,and he couldan;t kill them all in the lab with granade (and before on streets)????And how did they cure them (if they did?) when they(zombies)are soo agressive ,and going out just by night I mean where is the purpose of cure ,normal people could just kill them all they couldn't convice them that cure works (will S. couldn't do that )its the only way to save the remaning healthy people ............
BTW i like the fim very much !!!!! I'll surely watch it again .....!>?
December 29, 2007 at 05:40 PM
Actually, the cure could be quite useful militarily in taking back the earth from the zombies. Dump it into the water supply and after a while the zombies are no longer enemies...
December 29, 2007 at 07:02 PM
I think the butterfly appears 4 times. although i am also uncertain about its appearance when the dog dies.
First time.. his daughter in the car
Second.. A Butterfly flutters past the dog in Time square or somewhere where there is grass.
Third.. The cracks in the plexiglass create a (scuse the pun) butterfly effect
Fourth.. the Christian womans neck.
I expect there are more times but i am not sure. I have no idea why this butterfly appears so many times. Its why i found this forum and it bugs me.
Is it because it reminds will of his daughter.. or like legion says a symbol of death.
On a personal note its freaked me out a little that my mum got a tatoo of a butterfly since defeating cancer two years ago.
Matt D |
December 29, 2007 at 07:36 PM
Matt D |
December 29, 2007 at 07:37 PM
sorry about the double post. also i replayed the film. and that first poster "God Still Loves Us" also has a butterfly.. The Uk version i just saw didnt have a butterfly and there were more words underneath the poster. whats the significance....!!??
Matt D |
December 29, 2007 at 08:34 PM
QUOTE SFG But zombies don't drink water :D they drin blood...Army surely made some airforme cure and release it in air or bombard with cure "zombie area" and cure the diease ...... I must watch it again for better comprehension and fin out something more about butterfly
December 30, 2007 at 08:15 AM
And yeah one more thing ,what's the trik with mouse numbre 6 ,he is calm ,why is that important ,did he used the same serum on female zobie and on mice ?!???
December 30, 2007 at 08:32 AM
Just to highlight something subtle and something not so.
The former regards the scene where Will became trapped. The way I interpreted this scene was that Will was again role-playing with mannakins (as he had been shown to do throughout the movie) and felt somewhat disgruntled that day towards Frank. I thought the trap was of his own making and Frank had been placed there some time ago. It appeared to me that, in his paranoid, delirious stupour, he stumbled upon the trap by error and was subsequently caught. I believed this because it is easier for a dumb zombie to figure out how to fire a gun (point matte black heavy object at target, pull little stick of metal until object goes boom) than it is for them to rig a trap. Not only this, but the trap would presumably involve sourcing metal wire, a suitable location where the wire can be rigged over, and a heavy object at the end of the wire. To understand the mechanics of the pulley system employed would be hard enough for a dumb zombie. What is even harder for such a beast is to cleverly conceal this trap in such a way as to outwit their superior counterpart.
The counter-argument to this, of course, is equally as strong. Will appeared frightened and surprised on encountering Frank (note, however, he appeared as genuinely anxious and coy when encountering the female mannakin); perhaps moreso than with his other interactions. Also, later on in the movie it is shown that there had been several infected humans captured by Will - so the premise for them having seen him do it several times is there. However, this would likely also apply to observing him firing a gun (which they did not appear capable of doing). With regards to their subversiveness in concealing the trap - this is contradictory to their behaviour in the very overt assault on the house and the promenade before it. They don't seem the sneaky type. They also appeared to prefer smashing through objects than finding ways around them. That said, the infected boss was tearing up the roof to let his buddies in on the last assault (well, I presume he was doing this). Again, we saw no evidence of the infected creatures peering out of the hole in the wall whilst Will was strung up, to indicate an intentional trap and awaiting for sunlight to fade to reap the rewards.
Weighing up all the evidence for and against the infected people having rigged the trap leaves me equivocal. I would say this - the screen-writers either wanted to psych us out by leaving both posibilities open, or they made a large mistake in not making either Will's psychological crises or the infected peoples' intelligence well-defined and/or consistent.
As for the latter - the unsubtle point - why the heck, in his 3 years of wandering the streets, did Will not rig the area with UV lights, make a house capable of withstanding an attack from what appeared to be zombies-on-crack, and as has also been previously stated made a fall-back plan fortress.
Goodnight, and Happy New Year.
December 31, 2007 at 10:27 PM
Everyone makes some interesting points, but here's another one: the night-seekers were probably dying off due to heart failure. Only the otherwise youngest, healthiest, and most athletic are the infected ones chasing Will Smith in the movie. After 2-3 years of extreme hyperventilation all the time due to a permanent adrenaline rush (even when at "rest" inside the dark building), their hearts must be ready to give out just like a cocaine or meth addict.
All the other infecteds who had not eaten each other, died of exposure, been killed by lion or dog attacks, had not already died from the body just collapsing under the perpetually-pounding heart, etc., would have to be close to heart failure and death. The night-seeker "leader" appeared athletic and muscular, anyone who was not so was probably dead on their own. Even professional athletes in peak physical condition have died due to heart failure from ephedrine and other drugs. Remember, this is a disease, not the "walking dead."
And even if the remaining night-seekers were not to eventually collapse and die due to heart failure, they would exist only the current brief and brutish generation. If their infected bodies still enabled sexual reproduction, they clearly were socially incapable of nurturing living infected babies-- any such mutant babies would either be abandoned to die at birth or eaten. Basically, once the infecteds die off, the few surviving around the world would emerge and repopulate. The disease would then be gone since anyone capable of being infected would already be dead anyway.
January 03, 2008 at 05:12 PM
ok, so did anyone get the vibe that the lead zombie(vampire) was in fact in love the girl, will smiths character has capture therefore he kept on attacking and calling for the others to attack!
Because will smiths character belived the zombie ran out into the light because of him. I thought it was because will smith had his zombie girlfriend.
anyone else get this vibe and then we confused when it wasn't the case at the end
January 06, 2008 at 09:04 AM
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