How did Anna and Ethan get to NY City proper not only in time to save Will Smith's character but when every bridge to Manhattan was wiped out? Also, how did one woman and a small boy manage to fend off an enormous hoard of zombie/monster/vampires?
They probably got there by boat (didn't they say that?) and just grabbed the nearest car. And they didn't fend off the creatures so much as they escaped until the dawn was at hand.
Okay, that's how they got there. Given, however, that they are in the midst of a vampire monster attack, how likely is it that they would manage to escape, especially considering the liability of a small boy? I mean, there were- how many, fifty superhuman monsters?
The last thing Neville sees in that scene before passing out is a really bright light. And we already know you can use very bright artificial light sources to make the monsters back off. Presumably Anna chased the monsters off with one.
As for the timing part, God apparently told Anna to turn on the radio at the last possible moment. Apparently, God is a procrastinator.
She mentions that they have been there since noon like the broadcast requested. Given they had been waiting all day they were probably hiding somewhere nearby and not paying full attention which is why it took a moment for her to get there.
Or you can say to yourself that Anna was just lucky since only Anna believes it was God, as any religious person would *shrug*
Still doesn't explain how they were able to pilot a boat from Maryland to NYC and how a car sitting for at least five years would even start. Or run very long if it did start.
If you take the 'controversial' alternate ending which is similar to the book (the 'monsters' end up being intelligent and storm Will Smith's lab to rescue the infected he kidnapped), then quite simply, they had no need since the infected never meant them any harm to begin with.
the "dark seekers" as Anna calls them still try to kill humans I'm pretty sure.
I think it's evident that they've only been trying to kill Neville because he's been kidnapping and (inadvertantly) killing their own. It's also possible that, like in the novel and Vincent Price film, there are two types of monsters, ones who are mindless creatures killing anything they come across, and the civilised ones who have maintained their humanity. Neville has been wantonly killing any he finds.
Anna might just be an angel in disguise. Just my crazy idea.
Besides using a boat to get into Manhattan, the alternative ending shows that the George Washington Bridge (at least the upper level) was still accessible by car. She could've used that to get onto the island. She would've just had to drive around the military barricade and stalled cars to get there.
Instead of waiting for the vamps to break through the glass and kill him, why didn't Robert Neville simply hide in the coal chute with Anna and Ethan (Anna even tells him there is enough room for that), throwing the grenade out before he closes the door? The monsters would have no way of knowing he didn't die- after all, their sense of smell can't be that great, as they haven't found him in the three years he has been conducting his experiments, and all of the baddies in the immediate vicinity would have been dead.
Actually, the monsters are depicted with an incredible sense of smell. The reason they didn't find Neville's house in three years is because he was very careful to mask his scent trail with bleach every time he entered or left his house, as he's shown doing in the early scenes of the movie. Look at what happens when Anna and Ethan failed to take this precaution once when dragging Neville back home — shazam, the monster horde follows them.
I was also under the impression that even if they couldn't detect him, they would stay in his dark lab.
Already said, Neville had been masking his scent on his way home, which is how he managed to stay hidden. On top of that, I think the monster attack was more of a vendetta between the leader and Neville, so they really didn't care about the girl, they just came to kill Neville.
In the 'contraversial' alternate ending (because it is now contraversial to come to peace with your enemies instead of blowing them right the fuck up), they leave after he gives them the girl, and he has a shattering realisation of My God, What Have I Done?.
How did Neville manage to put up all those defenses by himself, particularly the stadium lighting? And why didn't ANY of it work- at all?!
Why wouldn't the infected just have been able to track him to the one building in Manhattan that SMELLS OF BLEACH???
Lots of time, patience and referential literature. Also, some of the work might have been done at the earlier stage of the infection by the government troops to ensure that the man who is left behind has everything he needs in his research. I think that explains the hidden lab, at the very least. It all worked quite well, but the enemies outnumbered the defenses in too large ratio and showed no fear, which apparently wasn't expected, since they had feared light, before.
My real question is why his defenses were so sucky. Seriously, he should have his house rigged up with UV *everywhere*. The exploding barrels were barely effective and caused a lot of collateral damage. And just pouring bleach on the last five feet of the trail? How is that at all effective, given how good the monsters' sense of smell is portrayed. (If nothing else, a car that's been driven recently smells different).
Probably UV bulbs are harder to hunt down and/or make on your own than barrels full of explosives. You could probably look a long time in New York before you found a warehouse that happened to be stocked with blacklights or tanning beds.
Who needs a warehouse? You can hardly walk a block in Manhattan without tripping over three tanning salons, and we know Neville isn't shy about looting when he needs to.
How did they NEVER track him before this? Here's what we know as facts if you watch the movie. He locks up every night like a fort and sleeps in a tub doing his best to stay as quiet as possible. We can hear their howls from RIGHT OUTSIDE. Since they clearly enter homes in search of food (whether this is meant to be humans or just edibles can be debated on if you watched the "Controversial" ending.) They clearly aren't stupid since they can set traps, know to tear down the UV lights instead of fleeing the "sun" and are even communicating (of sorts) with Neville at the end. They found Fort Knox, with cars parked and stadium lighting and just though. "Hmmm. Guess we'll leave this one alone?" I suppose if you stick with the Controversial ending you could almost chalk it up to they actively avoid the place because it's the lair of the beast but that scene of him sleeping doesn't make it sound like they give the place any particular reverence.
I don't think there is an answer to this, but it seems to me that if there's a virus which makes you bald, hunger for the flesh of the living, superhuman strength, allergic to the sun, and functionally brainless (mostly), how would a vaccine featuring blood from an immune man reverse the effects?!
The creatures aren't brainless, the hunger and rage just overwhelm their conscious minds. If suitable antibodies were developed, they probably wouldn't return completely as they were, but they would become reasonable and intelligent, again. You can see them do a bunch of smart things during the movie; most notably, they set a similar trap to Neville as he had set for them, earlier.
I remember an allusion to the onset of the disease being similar to rabies. As far as I know, rabies causes permanent brain damage. There's pretty much nothing you can do about that, and even if you can renew brain tissue through some unlikely cure, wouldn't you be left with masses of people with no memories or knowledge, etc.? Admittedly, said allusion was just one sound bite from a news report in the early stages of infection.
I came out with the impression that it might also have use as an actual vaccine rather than a cure. I mean, okay, humanity's still kind of screwed, but at least then a single injury wouldn't mean effective death.
And besides, there has been a single case where rabies has been cured (rather than the person just getting immunized before symptoms set in). It boils down to putting the patient into a coma. So, Truth in Television , I guess.
This cure worked specifically because the girl's doctor adhered to a then-radical theory that the rabies virus does not actually damage the brain, it merely causes a form of inflammation that keeps the brain from working properly — remove the virus and the brain will return to normal functioning. The fact that the girl did recover full normal brain functioning once they beat back the virus proves him right.
Its not really much of a cure though. It needs you to strap a vicious bloodthirsty zombie to a chair, lower its body temperature and keep it there for two or three days before it starts healing. Sound difficult? There's only 599,999,999 more zombies left to cure!
The language they use about his vaccine is that it's only a starting point, a source of hope, not the absolute final solution. Now that they know there's something that works, other scientists can work on making it work well.
Vaccines only work if you don't have the disease yet, or possibly if you just got it. If you're already developing symptoms, it's too late. I suppose he could have been referring to the cure as a vaccine, which would fit the description better (you can't make a vaccine from someone who doesn't have the disease). I have a similar problem. How come the zombies don't get better on their own? If they're just suffering from brain damage, they wouldn't be able to spread the disease. If the disease damages their immune system, how come they haven't all died of the common cold? If it's just impossible to develop an immunity, how did "less then one percent" manage it before they got the symptoms?
The "vaccines only work if you're not sick yet" thing is not an absolute truth. There are different kinds of things we lump under the term "vaccine" — a direct injection of antibodies into someone who doesn't have them can cure or at least speed the cure of a disease. (This is what was in the old days referred to as a "serum" in contrast to the usual kind of vaccine you're thinking of, one that merely provokes the body's own immune response.)
The "less than one percent" already had an immunity when the disease broke out, probably from a preexisting genetic trait (they lacked receptor sites, had a certain protein or something that inhibits the activity of the virus, etc.). There are several examples of this in real life. A few people have a genetic immunity to AI Ds. Sickle cell anemia providing immunity to malaria is an extreme example. The 10% that got turned into dark seekers may have a similar but less potent trait, one that fights off the virus enough to stay alive, but not enough to destroy it completely and prevent various symptoms. Once the virus is cured, their body can start to repair the damage.
Ok, so we see Neville bait a trap for one of the creatures with a tiny bit of blood that has one of them rushing headfirst into it due to the aforementioned keen sense of smell as well as hunger. However, earlier when he's exploring the same damned building looking for Sam, he happens across the corpse of a deer which has bled all over the friggin' stairs. Shouldn't it have attracted a veritable swarm of the vampires?
They had already gnoshed on it, possibly marking it with some scent or imprinting its own scent. Either way, the deer is old blood, they want something fresh and new.
Better question: Since it's clear that the dark seekers don't eschew animals in favour of humans, why are there any deer or lions left alive in the city? Why aren't most of the dark seekers dead or dying of starvation?
Populations of animals are perfectly capable of surviving despite the presence of predators that eat some of them every now and then. Especially if the predators only come out at night. By the same token, if there is enough prey, a population of predators can survive. It's how food chains work. They could also have eaten the food that was left in houses and grocery stores, and during the first days, the bodies of the people that were killed by the virus.
Why did he not try another vaccine on Sam after the first one didn't work? It definitely seemed like a reckless moment to me.
Looks to me like he didn't have a whole lot of other vaccine samples handy. He'd try one out, it wouldn't work, and he'd move onto another vaccine.
He was injured and couldn't walk well. He tried the only thing he had on hand, and his dog was rapidly turning into a serious threat. He didn't have the time or strength to lock her up in one of his experimental cages, and if he didn't kill her, she'd kill him.
Plus, this was his DOG! He loved her, raised her since she was a puppy. She was the last reminder his old life, and more importantly, his family. You think he'd suddenly lock her up in an experimental cage and begin poking her with needles in the hopes to bring her back to normal? No. He was going to have to kill her. (Although I wish he had just decided to do it via euthenasia rather than strangulation. He had time to prepare a dose.)
I know this may seem odd, but some people would regard killing with bare hands to be more personal and worthy than death by poisoning. Warrior cultures are often this way.
The injection he gave Sam was the only formula that had begun to show even the slightest chance of working in a rat. The others did nothing but kill whatever it was injected into. Basically, he was throwing a Hail Mary, praying that it would be enough to save his dog.
Where does he find the time to wash his cars and keep them in perfect shape?
Come on, the last thing that he'll face a shortage of is spare time.
Yeah really, I mean he has time to climb to the top of aicraft carriers to play golf, and he has enough free time to steal movies every day; I'm sure he would be fine with missing a day of golf to wash the blood off his car.
Considering the fact that he has to forage for virtually everything he needs, vehicle maintenance is probably one of the top 5 most important things he does every day.
Also, simple, familiar tasks are essential to maintaining sanity in isolation. Most likely, cleaning the car gave him that mental stimulus and helped him stay...well, as sane as he was.
Was it just me, or did the vampire/zombie things seem a lot like the Reavers from the Serenity movie and Firefly TV show?
The movie was based on a book written in 1954. Serenity was made in 2005. Firefly started in 2002. It may be more accurate to say that Reavers seemed a lot like the vampire/zombie things from the novel I Am Legend.
On the other hand, the book ones weren't extra fast, and spoke coherent english. They weren't much like reavers at all.
Both the Reavers from Firefly and the "Darkseekers" in this movie are at the end of a long path of evolution that probably starts with I Am Legend and wends through the various zombie films started by Night of the Living Dead. This variant of "fast zombie" or "crazy zombie" has a long pedigree, including the Resident Evil games, 28 Days Later, etc.
If the blood of the woman who they cured of dark seekerism is a vaccine, why didn't they hide her as well instead of blowing her up?
Because she's strapped down to the table and connected to a bunch of tubes and probably isn't fully cured yet?
I know this is probably Fridge Logic, but where did he get gasoline from? In Real Life, petrochemicals of that octane expire after about a year. Considering it was 2012, and that none of the cars were from dates later than that of the movie's production, that means that he either produced his own gasoline, or the writers goofed.
The lifespan of gasoline can be extended by adding stabilizing agents and keeping it in airtight cold storage (of a kind too expensive for ordinary gas stations to bother with). It's not that much of a stretch to think that a top military survivalist might have such facilities.
But the movie shows him pumping gas out of a regular gas station's tank.
He seemed to go to a decent amount of length to try to make some things still feel 'normal', i'd be willing to bet he'd regularly fill the gas stations just so it would feel authentic.
Wouldn't the Darkseekers have starved to death? They clearly have a very fast metabolism, and there doesn't seem to be an abundance of food left on Manhattan. They don't grow or harvest crops, and leave the canned goods in the homes alone. There's nothing to suggest that they've resorted to cannibalism yet. What do they eat and drink?
Animals, most likely. Assuming the horde of Darkseekers we see really is all of them, and assuming that deer and cattle and other big animals have begun to recolonize the city (not as unlikely as you might think), they could've hit a kind of ecological equilibrium by now. (Note that the original I Am Legend novel and various of the adaptations made a bigger deal of this, stipulating that they actually did need to drink human blood to survive and going into some detail about how the shriveling up of their food supply has affected their society.)
IMHO the animals are from Central Park Zoo, so it's more a case of escaped animals rather than ones migrating in. Other observations on this page have established that Manhattan Isalnd had been cut-off and subways would have flooded.
There's more than animals to feed on, as well. Remember that 90% of the victims of KV simply died outright, which means well over a million corpses lying around in Manhatten alone. The dark seekers (of whom, if the average held, would number about 9000 or so at first) probably fed on them plus any live humans and animals too slow or stupid to hide at night-time. Moreover, for all we know, they have had a population crash - as mentioned above, there were probably around 9,000 of them initially, but the group that attacks Neville looks like it probably doesn't number more than a couple of dozen.
Remember Neville's zombie lab rats? Manhattan's bound to be crawling with those things. With their whiskers fallen out, they wouldn't be as aware of their surroundings as healthy ones, so they'd be easy pickings too.
How the hell did Neville not get in contact with other groups of survivors? He surely has access to some of the higher level communications equipment, as well as at least some motivation to find out what is happening to the rest of the world. Why not try to get help, even for his own peace of mind?
"My name is Robert Neville. I am a survivor living in New York. If there is anybody out there...anybody. Please. You are not alone." Broadcasting on all AM frequencies sounds suspiciously like an attempt to contact other groups of survivors. Watch the movie please.
It sounds to this troper like the point that was being made was, if there is a small town full of survivors up in the mountinas, wouldn't thye have fliped on the AM radio once in a while? this guy isn't saying that neville never tried to contact people, but that no one tried to contact him back
The impression I get from this is, "Why is he limited to just using AM radio? Wouldn't he have access to other forms of communication?"
On that note, why AM radio? FM radio signals travel farther with less chance of breaking up or degrading, which seems like a plus if you're trying to find other survivors.
AM travels further, and goes around solid obstacles better than FM. It's also easier to set up.
Well Neville says multiple times that New York was ground zero. Generally speaking, when a massive disaster hits, say a plague, people try to get as far away from ground zero as possible. So it would stand to reason that nobody would intentionally be heading into New York.
Bit of a dark theory here, but maybe the base did pick up his transmissions, and simply deemed an excursion into New York (ground zero, as mentioned above) too dangerous for the rescue of a lone survivor. Hell, maybe other survivors heard him, too, but just opted not to answer, either because they couldn't or wouldn't get to him.
Given that Neville is never seen to have a reciever, it's also likely that the base was trying to call him, perhaps even to arrange a rendezvous so he could be evacuated, but he wasn't recieving their signal.
How did the snare traps that Robert and the monsters built actually work? I can understand the basic "Weight on the end of a snare" element, but how were they triggered?
Presumably along the lines of a snare. Large force held in check by simple trigger mechanism.
I'm not buying that the second trap could work. It's setup all wrong, are we supposed to believe that the infected rigged a whole convoluted series of pulleys as well? How is it we can't see any cables yet Will Smith is lifted straight up?
What makes the car teeter off the bridge? Where is the cable from the car?
Completely faked by Hollywood that second trap.
Presumably Neville's been trapping the infected for some time, periodically capturing new lab specimens as his failed cures prove fatal to them. It's possible that the darkseekers (who are a lot smarter than he thinks) borrowed one of his own traps that he'd abandoned once they moved to another nest in an attempt to avoid him.
What was Robert Neville's role with the virus pre-apocalypse? There's a quick shot of him on the cover of TIME magazine (on his fridge) with the caption "Savior?" The nurse says "So you're *The* Robert Neville" in a manner suggesting it's more significant than just "The guy who does the radio broadcasts." And he has a very This Is Personal vibe about wanting to stay in Manhattan and fix the virus rather than move to a safe area. Is he he somehow responsible for its mutation from a cancer cure?
It's either in one of his flashbacks or on one of those recorded television broadcasts he watches, but at some point you hear some news reporter or announcer say that he's basically the lead figure assigned to deal with the once-promising Krippen virus. The Time cover supplements that. What that means is that before the Crash, he was probably a reknowned and genius virologist (which actually makes sense, since the US military plays an important role in dealing with anti-biological warfare efforts) who was given the task of trying to deal with the mutated Krippen virus (up until the destruction of the bridge, the virus seems to have only been spread by blood-to-blood contact, hence his wife's remark "is it airborne?".
Odds are he was the best virologist the US could throw at the problem. All his research was probably located in the area, and since his family died at the docks nearby, specifically THE ONE HE FREAKING BROADCASTS FROM, it is very personal.
Perhaps he helped make the cancer cure? That's what I got. It would explain the fame and the whole it's personal vibe.
Yeah, that's what I thought as well.
Is it just a coincidence that the movie takes place in 2012, the next rumored date for the end of the world?
They're vampires. Zombies could never be found in such large numbers (or at least not under the control of another person) in the original myths the modern day zombie was based on the vampires of I Am Legend. Furthermore the first "zombie" flick "Night of the Living Dead" the Z word was rarely if at all used, and rumor has it Romero never thought of them as Zombies older zombies were corpses resurrected as servants by Voodoo Shamans an the Afro-Caribbean areas. and from the fact that corpses were needed and particular rituals used i doubt they were ever in very large "outbreak" numbers Take That Hollywood. In fact these vampires save for the sunlight thing are closer to mythical vampires then anything.
Which completely ignores the fact that there's no one definition of a vampire or zombie to begin with as there are multiple mythos that feature such things. And many 'classic' vampire traits are, in fact, modern additions - as modern as Bela Lugosi for some things or books like Bran Stokers Dracula and Anne Rice. The voodoo zombie is just one of many sorts of zombie (or zombie-like) creatures from just one culture just like the whole sunlight thing is only prevalent in one specific myth of vampires; even within the same mythos there can be disagreement. Vampires and zombies, after all, are Older Than They Think.
This Troper's Horror Lit. class has taken to calling them "zompires".
The fact that they're, like, still alive disqualifies them from both categories, in this troper's opinion.
there have been several "still alive" zombie movies before, it makes for both a more "realistic" approach in that there is no virus bring the dead to life but is instead a virus that makes people flesh hungry and insane. but also give cause to have "running" zombies that are fast and dangerous, but can be killed with any means a normal human would die. It helps with the whole action thing. just look at "zombie land" and "28 days later"
Maybe I just missed something, but shouldn't they have spent, y'know, a very long time testing the cancer cure, with maybe some patients being in a controlled environment for extended periods of time for testing and extensive research of the side effects (such as hair loss, increased metabolism, decreased brain function, cannibalism, and evil vampirism/zombie...ish...ness)? Seems like that could've prevented the whole damn thing (unless of course there was some unexpected turn of events).
Once the word was out that there was a "cancer cure," even an experimental one, the public demand to release (even unfinished) would have been deafening. There's definitely been some bad science done when people cannot or will not be patient enough to get it right. Also, clearly the cure mutated at some point, because the crap hits the fan when it becomes airborne and there would be no reason to engineer it that way.
Besides, stuff like this happens all the time in real life - I mean, obviously people aren't turning into zombies and vampires, but drugs are very often rushed through production and clinical trials, especially in the U.S. This is why there are always huge news stories about recalls when longer-term problems develop - clinical trials may last 6-8 weeks when serious side effects may take months or years to emerge. Pharmaceutical companies make lots of money and a cancer cure? Not only would the public be crying for them to hurry up and finish it, but the pharma companies would've been biting at the bit to get it released so they could make the big bucks. The clinical trials were probably really sloppy and the trials might not have lasted long enough to see the real consequences. Or maybe the pharma companies simply hid it, not realizing what a huge problem it would be.
Since it's a drug created for a patient population working with a limited time frame for medical intervention, it's likely the drug was "fast-tracked." In that situation, the FDA can allow drugs to bypass the more exhaustive testing period if they show promise in early human trials with no serious side effects. It's not generally the rule for most medications, but for populations dealing with chronic or terminal conditions (AIDS, cancer, Parkinson's, etc.), it can and does happen. Once it hit the general patient population (and cancer is no obscure disease), it was probably a matter of time before it began mutating. It's possible that some of the early mutations were harmless and therefore overlooked, which gave it time to become the plague that wiped out humanity.
Why are the infected CG'ed? They simply look...are humans with greying skin and some anger issues. Don't tell me make-up and costuming could not have simply used actors in prosthetics.
Don't tell me make-up and costuming could not have simply used actors in prosthetics. Actually, we can tell you precisely that. The infected were originally actors in prosthetics, but they couldn't get the full range of needed movement from them.
Not to mention that the infected don't wear shoes, which would be very uncomfortable for real actors before you factor in some of the scenes having broken glass or what not around. CGI was just the better option for all involved.
Also, when we first see the infected standing still, you can see that they are constantly hyperventilating, which would be difficult for real actors to keep up for a long time.
You don't have to pay CG characters.
Yes you do. It's called "Motion Capture".
No, you don't. You don't have to use motion capture; you could simply animate them the old fashioned way.
But CGI which has the level of detail used for the Infected would have cost a lot, possibly more than just hiring extras to play them.
Not necessarily. Those extras have to be trained, made up, directed, and each individually paid; they're not just standing around in their street clothes, after all. CGI gets cheaper with each movie made; the same can't be said for paid extras and actors. And, as mentioned above, the extras simply would not have been able to match the physical abilities they wanted for the creatures in the film.
Another thing to add: even if using mocap, unless using it to get distinct actor faces (a-la Polar Express), you can generally get away with 1 or 2 extras for each gender, as opposed to the 50+ to get an entire horde.
Why did the filmmakers set the film in NYC,particularly Manhattan? Only the constant pumping of water keeps the lower areas and the underground tunnels from flooding,it's not a particularly large piece of real estate and it it's not a very defensible position (since Neville is presented as being a military man, this would have been a paramount concern) being an island extremely close to the mainland.
I believe they moved the setting to New York because it was more visually recognizable to a larger audience, and seeing an iconic city like New York abandoned and ravaged by nature and time would have more impact to said audience. LA is a well known city, sure, but not as visually distinct in the country's consciousness.
Also consider that most people probably don't even know about the pumping (I live in NYC and had never even considered it - for the tunnels yes, but the subway? No) and the lack of defensibility only serves to heighten the stakes. I kept thinking about what would happen if the infected could swim across the Hudson. Screwed!
The very first "present day" scene in the film establishes that the underground areas are flooded. I don't know New York, but the scene after the interview with Krippen opens on water and as it pivots up, you see that its the entrance to a tunnel and there are cars gridlocked going into its flooded mouth.
Most people who don't live in New York have no clue about the pumping as is mentioned above. As for it not being particularly defensible and Neville being a military man it's a common misconception that most military people have been trained extensively in combat. A lot of them have very basic training (that's largely forgotten because it's not relevant to their day to day lives) and wouldn't have a particularly great idea on how choose a location. It's entirely possible that Neville thought he had a very good position. It's also possible that as we see in the flash backs that he refused to leave because this was his site and it's really as simple as him being too stubborn to find a better location when his pride demands he stay long after it's stopped making sense.
From the book: Why does Neville have such a hard time (no pun intended) finding a way to deal with the women who strip and pose suggestively to entice him out of his house? It's emphasized that this is one of the most difficult things he has to deal with, and that he has no way to combat "the feeling". Uh, Neville....you do. Has this man honestly never heard of masturbation before? He can even peep out at the vampire girls while he does it!
Most men would probably say that actual women are far more satisfying than a solo adventure, as it were. Plus, given his situation... can you really blame him for at least feeling the temptation?
Those weren't living women outside his house flashing him, etc. Those were basically reanimated corpses. So he'd essentially be wanking off to dead, reanimated zombie!women. I think we can understand why he may consider doing that to be absolutely wrong and disgusting.