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Something short of legendary

As the last man standing in New York and possibly on earth, Will Smith in I Am Legend takes so much punishment and commits so much self-sacrifice that you could almost mistake him for Mel Gibson.

This downbeat sci-fi spectacular starts out as this season's Cast Away, with a German shepherd named Samantha taking the place of Tom Hanks' volleyball Wilson. It ends more like this season's Apocalypto, with hordes of rabid mutants cornering our hero, the one man who could save them.

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I Am Legend (Warner Bros.) Starring Will Smith. Directed by Francis Lawrence. Rated PG-13. Time 101 minutes.



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