Well, the movie sucked.
I read the book three years ago, and I have to admit that I didn’t remember the entire plot exactly–the movie had to jog my memory in places.
It was odd at first, as I’d always thought of Robert Neville looking just like Charlton Heston, but I soon got used t that.
I loved the beginning–yes, the race car was gratuitous, and I still don’t remember any scenes from the book with lions in, but that’s okay. It didn’t undermine the original story.
I could get over the dog being his from the start. It made the plot much easier for the cinematic version, I suppose, and else they would have had to stick in a load of exposition–that would have made the pace drag a bit, even if it would have made the movie much better. One of the most touching moments in the book is when Neville tries to reach out to another living being after so long.
I wasn’t as big a fan of the way Mrs Neville died. In the book, Neville is put through hell when he has to dispose of his own wife. It’s a horrible scene, but it really helps the reader understand how it is that a man, much like any other, can be turned into a monster. Being the only living human left on the planet would also do the trick, but it’s hard for a reader to go, “Yeah I’ve totally been there,” with that.
The butterfly shit pissed me off no end, as did airy-fairy butterfly woman. SHE WASTED THE MAN’S GODDAMNED BACON. Okay, he wouldn’t have gotten to eat it anyway, but still. Presumptuous. And she’d never heard of Bob Marley? What? Seriously, the way she was set up, I thought she’d escaped from a funny farm. “Omg, God totally has a plan for us, and there’s a colony in the mountains, I don’t know how I know I just do.” Way to completely subvert the original novel, which was all about hopelessness.
And the ending. Bloody hell, the ending. In the novel, the title refers to the very end, which is when Neville becomes a kind of legendary monster amongst the infected, he’s used as a boogeyman. In this horrendous piece of crap movie, he dies at the end, and he becomes a legend amongst the survivors because he discovers the cure.
That really is just unforgiveable. I realise that keeping the original ending wouldn’t have made a very marketable movie, but I don’t care. Seriously, just give it a different title and change Neville’s name, and it’d just be a movie with a vaguely similar premise.
Because, you know what’s the biggest problem? The infected. In the book, they’re basically vampires. They crowd around Neville’s house every night, taunting and tormenting him. They goad him in an attempt to make him come out.
In the movie, they’re nothing more than fast zombies who can’t stand the light.
I was sort of hopeful up till half way through–when Neville captures a female vampire, a male vampire willingly exposes himself to sunlight. He makes a note of it, because he thought it was strange. Yes! They’re actually human! No, they’re still sort of intelligent monsters who just go RAAAH at people, and nothing more is made of that interesting avenue.
The only parts of the movie I could really get into were the bits with Sam. When Sam died, I lost what little interest I’d originally had.
When you’ve got a movie about a vampiric virus taking over the world, and one man’s struggle against them and insanity as the main plot, and yet I still only really care about the dog, you’ve pretty much screwed up.