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The Forgotten Post-Apocalyptic Will Smith Movie Heating Up On Netflix

Post-apocalyptic zombie movies are a dime a dozen, but there's one that manages to stand out from the rest. Whether it's because of the film's controversial ending or Will Smith's excellent performance, 2007's I Am Legend proves it's more than just a zombie apocalypse cash grab. Centering mainly on Smith's character, Robert Neville, the film follows this U.S. Army virologist's day-to-day life in an abandoned Manhattan. Being the only human on the entire island, Robert is forced to fill his empty world with mannequins to represent people, but at least his dog Sam is there to keep him company.

As the film progresses, it's revealed that Robert has a painful past that has caused him to prolong his stay in Manhattan. Until he finds a cure for the deadly disease that has wiped out humanity and turned most of the survivors into zombies, Robert has no choice but to ride out this harrowing situation so the losses he experienced won't be in vain. I Am Legend is really an excellent character study in regards to how it primarily focuses on how fragile the human mind can be when it's constantly in flight-or-fight mode, and there's no one around to help.

I Am Legend is a hit or miss, but everyone agrees that Will Smith did an excellent job.

Upon release, I Am Legend received mixed reviews from critics and audiences. The film currently holds a 68% rating on Rotten Tomatoes from both parties, making this zombie thriller a haphazard experience depending on the viewer. Critics who didn't enjoy I Am Legend said that the film lacked direction and were overall dissatisfied with the religious undertones during the ending. "The film's final act turns towards quick out of nowhere resolutions, hokey attempts at evocations of faith, and a rapid increase of sentimental slop does much to undercut I Am Legend's excellent, forlorn first half," said Daniel Kasman, a critic from MUBI. Viewers also felt the same, with one user stating that "the plot is too much coincidence."

However, what the film lacked in substance, it made up for in Smith's excellent portrayal of Robert. Critics were absolutely floored by the actor's range and capabilities throughout the film. "Smith turns in a terrific performance, nailing Neville's angst while allowing room for humor," said Calvin Wilson, a critic at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Along a similar vein, another user summed up the film quite nicely by stating, "You can either love it or hate it, but Will Smith's powerful acting is something you can never deny." At the end of the day, I Am Legend does have a mixed bag of tricks and treats, and it's up to the viewer to decide whether or not Smith's performance is worth the watch. If so, I Am Legend is easily available to stream on Netflix.