I am becoming spoiled by the IMAX experience. The audio is so incredible and the enormous picture doesn’t hurt. Unfortunately, the fabric sections in my local theater have one flaw on the side of the screen that is noticeable during dark scenes. It’s as distracting as cigarette burns in non-digital films (thanks, LBFH, for making me notice those in every single movie).
I could compare this to a futuristic Cast Away, but it is much broader. Will Smith proves again that he can carry a movie as well as, if not better than, Tom Hanks. Who would have thought the hilarious, skinny kid from Parents Just Don’t Understand would be such a fun actor? Smith’s character, Robert Neville, is a doctor and a military man. He uses his scientific skill and military firepower to navigate a dead New York City. He’s already skilled at living in this world when we meet him, so thankfully we don’t have to be bored while we watch him try to light a fire.
The pharmaceutical industry provides a frighteningly villified virus (I promise we aren’t all bad!!). It kills billions of people and gives a rabies-like reaction in the tiny percent of surviving population; Neville is alone in his immunity. The action provides heart-pounding entertainment with enough thoughtful pauses that I could actually catch my breath. Aside: as a new parent, a few scenes involving the virus’ effect on children were especially heartbreaking.
Despite a few implausible scenes and CGI obviousness, I was mesmerized. This is a thoughtfully done action-adventure film that I’d gladly see again.