I Am Legend Blu-ray review

The huge sci-fi blockbuster smash hits high definition: and while the film still has problems, it looks awesome in 1080p...

Will Smith in I Am Legend

Let’s face it: in spite of the backlash of sorts that has greeted the DVD release of I Am Legend, it is what it is: a decent night out at the flicks. Granted, on the smaller screen the spectacle of an empty New York, seemingly inhabited by no more than Big Willie and his dog, is a little less impressive, but this reviewer’s take on the film itself is quite close to Martin Anderson’s original review: it’s good, but it just gives up way before the end credits roll. In fact, it follows the laws laid down by every Will Smith sci-fi film that begins with the letter I: the setup is far more interesting than the eventual pay-off. A three star film, no more, no less.

The high definition transfer, though, is a flat-out five star piece of work. This is a brand new, glistening modern day blockbuster, so to be fair we’d expect no less. But the quality of the 1080p transfer here is just brilliant, and that’s whether you opt for the original version of the film, or the one with the alternative ending. In fact, so good is the video work here that it only goes to show up the crap CGI that infects the back end of the film. And it really is bad.

Back to the good stuff again, though, and the audio mix is excellent, too. It’s a soundtrack that calls for subtlety as much as it does action from the soundstage, and the Blu-ray delivers. It’s the kind of disc you could easily reach for if you wanted to show off an audio rig, and is exactly the kind of high standard we’d expected. The action has real pump and mighty to it, and there’s a real range to the audio work on offer.

The extras are the holdovers from the special edition DVD, which is no surprise given that the Blu-ray came out on the same day. There’s some interesting stuff in there, namely a lengthy documentary on the making of the film which is far above the usual electronic press kit guff. You also get the animated comics, which hold some interest, and a look at the science of I Am Legend, which is a strictly one-spin affair. You can check out our review of the DVD here.

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I Am Legend, however, offers a substantive high definition workout, and it’s worth picking up the Blu-ray just to see how good a blockbuster in the home could look. The presentation is simply greater than the film it’s presenting. And one note of advice for Will: read the second half of the script before you commit to any more films like this, eh?

The Film

3 out of 5

The Disc

4 out of 5
 

Rating:

3 out of 5