My buddy George and I go to a lot of movies. I have been extremely lax about posting movie reviews on this site, and I want to get better about that this year. He had the idea that he is going to keep a “Movie Journal” about what he sees this year (in theaters that is), and I thought that was a great idea. So, I’ma gonna steal it. Thus, my journal will be here. (see, George, if you had a blog, you could have claimed this for your own…) Keep watching this spot for future reviews. Well, technically, these won’t always be strict reviews. They will probably be filled with things that made me crazy, didn’t work, or questions about why characters did what they did. Without further ado…
Now, this thing will be filled with spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want it ruined, quit reading now.
Brief synopses goes like this. (or, a complete synopsis here) A virus is created that turns out to be a cure for cancer. Thus, docs start using it all over. Only later does this virus mutate into a disease that turns people into grotesque super-strong, hyper-aggressive rubbery monsters who burn in sunlight (UV) and feed on the remaining humans. Oops. According to Neville (Smith’s character) the virus is world wide and there are millions of these monsters who have virtually wiped out the non-infected humans for food. Fast forward to 3 years after the outbreak, Neville is an army doctor who may be the last living person in Manhattan (which was quarantined in the early days of the virus outbreak to try to stop the spread), if not the world.
For the record, I’ve always been a sucker for futuristic depictions of utterly deserted urban areas. The resulting imagery has always captured my imagination. In fact, this very evening the History Channel is debuting a new show called Life After People. Looks very cool. I digress…
He spends his days hunting deer in the empty streets of NYC in his impossibly shiny red Mustang. Why he would apparently spend time washing his car was never discussed. Anyway, he also “rents” movies from a local video store, talking with mannequins he placed there like they’re actual people, presumably to ward off dementia… either that or he is already nuts. Jury is still out on that one. Oh yeah, he’s also working on a cure based on his obviously immune blood.
After his dog is killed… well, he actually has to kill his dog because it became infected after he got caught in a trap set by these supposedly mindless killing machines, he gives up hope and goes out one night to kill as many of those creatures as he could before they kill him.
Just before he about eats it, he is somehow saved by a small slim woman and a 9 year old child. No, the movie never explains how this happened. She is convinced there is a “survivor compound” in Vermont. Will doesn’t believe it exists. Blah blah blah.
End of the movie, the creatures are attacking and he finds out his latest “cure” actually works. He sacrifices himself in order to save the woman and child so they could take this cure to the survivors. In the last scene, we see this woman driving another impossibly clean and shiny Ford product-placement and coming across the compound which looks like it was created from a Norman Rockwell painting. Roll credits.
Here is the email that I sent George when I got home from the movie… we spent a half hour discussing once we got out but these were my additional thoughts:
As I was driving home thinking about the flick, I had a few more thoughts.
First, what good would a cure do anyway? I mean, everyone who was not immune naturally is obviously already dead and zombie food. Long since. Right? Those who are infected, well, they didn’t appear to be too keen on getting treatment. Just how would they administer the so called cure? Hypodermic needle gun? Seems like a waste of time.
I would think, that after 3 years, you’ve probably reached a stabilization point, right? All those who are going to be infected, already are. Why then, don’t the surviving immune people start fighting back rather than cowering and hiding? They have one weapon that is instantly effective in stopping the infected, and that would be UV light. Are you telling me, that the among those humans left, they couldn’t start constructing tanks covered in UV lights? Travel out into the night, and slaughter as many of those sons a bitches as they could? Even a super-strong human zombie-vampire isn’t bashing through plate armor with their bare hands and giant mouths. Lure those bastards in with ‘fresh blood’ scent, and slaughter them by the thousands. Think of an APC, fitted with blinding lights facing out and gun ports bristling with M249 SAWs. Obviously, you couldn’t kill them all quickly, but you could make one hell of a dent. Start taking back territory. If there is one thing the human race is good at, its killing a lot of things really quickly.
Few more thoughts about his home defenses too… we already discussed how inadequate they were. Instead of basing most of my defenses on hiding and them not knowing where you were (the internet has proven ‘security through obscurity‘ doesn’t work), I would do the exact opposite. If I had all that time to ensure my survival (well, first off, if there is a world wide plague where civilization collapses I figure I’m just going to cash in my chips and head to my great reward in the sky… Life is cool, but it ain’t that cool… but I digress) I would go the exact opposite route. I would find some bunker type building (like you said, a bank or something similar). Hell, I would do some sort of walk up building, and fill the only way up (stairwells) with light as well. Live in the penthouse. Then, in concentric circles for about 500 yards in all directions, I would have massive flood lights pumping out the UV. Rings of lights every 40 yards or more, with not a space not covered. I wouldn’t have the lights on only if attacked… those fuckers are on from dusk til dawn. You would be able to see my house from freakin SPACE.
Another thing that I’m curious about… when he is trying to kill himself… those infected were smashing the hell out of his truck… Swarming from all sides… He is a rocked out ex-army guy (I’m thinkin Will has got to be on the HGH or something… he ain’t the Fresh Prince of Bel Air anymore), and what not. Yet, a woman and a small child are able to keep the creatures at bay, save his ass, and get back to his house through the middle of the city teeming with those things. How’s that work exactly?
I’m wondering what else will come to mind about this flick. I will say, I’m kinda enjoying picking it a part a bit. I guess that is a good thing, right?