Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Omega Man (1971)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

What would you do if you were the last man on Earth? Colonel Robert Neville is a man who is put in that situation. The movie doesn’t go into great detail about what happened, but the world suffered from some sort of disease. Neville just happened to have access to a vaccine that worked, making him the only human left, so far as he knows. The rest of humanity, or at least what he’s seen of it, has been turned into zombies that roam the night and don’t seem to like technology.

Those affected call themselves The Family and are led by Matthias. At night, they come out and attack Neville, who’s the only remaining threat to their continued happiness. Neville spends his days trying to find out where they hide during the day so that he might get rid of them once and for all, thus ensuring his continued safety. He goes through stores for food, clothing and cars, pretty much taking what he wants. He sometimes even pretends that he’s actually talking to someone.

His days are lonely. He uses a tape recorder to take notes, but I can only assume that’s for later reference. He’s been alone for two years, so he can’t honestly expect to find someone else, especially after a methodical search of the city. One day, while looking for some new clothes, he finds someone else that looks human, but he finds out that not everyone was affected by the plague immediately. There are still a few people that haven’t gone over yet, meaning that there is some hope for humanity.

This is actually the second movie based on “I Am Legend” by Richard Matheson. The first was Last Man on Earth, which I recently had a chance to watch. I don’t know why, but I like this version better. I think that in part, it’s because the transfer to DVD was better. A larger part is probably that those that went over (The Family, in this case) were better developed.

In Last Man On Earth, those that were affected were no more than zombies. Here, they have a well-organized society of sorts, as violent as that may be. Mostly, The Family wants to be left alone, especially by Neville, who they see as the devil. They hate science, so who better than a medical doctor (especially one who has a cure) to hate?

Because of this, humanity’s destructive nature comes into play more. Let’s face it: we’re getting to the point where something like this could happen. Granted, it’s extremely improbable that everyone would be affected. With six billion people, a few have to have immunity. Still…

Loneliness also plays big. As I said, Neville has had two years to himself. When he finally sees someone else, it’s a big moment. On that note, though, I found it odd that there was no real mention of other cities other than the fact that the disease was worldwide. It was never mentioned if Neville tried to go outside the city limits or call family members. You think that there’d be some mention of something like that. He also never thought to simply leave. Instead of getting out of Dodge, Neville decided to stay and fight Matthias.

I’d give this movie four stars. It’s probably not for children, partly because of some violence, but mostly due to the way that the disease affected people. I think that this movie could make for an interesting TV series. If you’re looking for an interesting movie to watch, I’d recommend this one.

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