I Am Legend

Posted: June 19, 2012 by jperritt in Uncategorized

This past week I have been in Brazil serving the Igreja Presbiteriana Semear (Presbyterian Church of the Sowers) It was an excellent week and the Lord was truly at work. We enjoyed some of the sweetest fellowship, this side of Heaven, any Christian could hope to enjoy.

Last week I mentioned that we did various work alongside the Church Semear, and we also held a Reel Thinking Night – it was a blast! This night definitely served our three-fold purpose as we had those who were inside and outside of the church. We watched the movie, I Am Legend, and highlighted some of the parallels from that film. Here they are for you to enjoy.

The Story of I Am Legend

I have mentioned before just how much I enjoy this film. This may surprise some of you since it is your big-budget-Will-Smith film, and it surprises me too. I have watched it many times and each time I am truly surprised at what a great film it is. A good story is vital to the enjoyment of any film, and most assuredly that is the case with IAL.

The story follows Dr. Richard Neville attempting to survive in post-apocalyptic New York, while trying to find a cure for the zombie-like creatures that are trying to eat him. One could sum up the story this way. The entire human race has been infected by a disease. The disease causes them to hate the light and love the darkness. It renders them selfish, violent, and hate-filled. And, the only cure is one man’s blood.

If one were to sum up the story of the Bible, you could sum it up this way: The entire human race has been infected by a disease. The disease causes them to hate the light and love the darkness. It renders them selfish, violent, and hate-filled. And, the only cure is one man’s blood. Maybe this is why I like the story so much.

The Depth of Our Sin

Mankind is clearly represented as the horrifying creatures of the film. It’s funny that we may call them creatures, zombies, or, as they say in the film, ‘dark seekers’ but they are actually just human beings. Humans that have been infected. You too are infected, and this film helps us to see the depth of that.

No one would watch this film and say these creatures aren’t that bad. These creatures are pure evil, self-serving, violent, love darkness, and are just plain ugly. This is a helpful and accurate representation of your heart and mine. We often downplay our sin and say we aren’t that bad, or it’s someone else that causes us to act the way that we do. But, this film can truly help us see the ugliness of our sin. Listen to J.C. Ryle discuss our sin:

Let us, then, have it fixed in our minds that the sinfulness of man does not begin from without, but from within. It is not the result of bad training in the early years. It is not picked up from bad companions and bad examples, as some weak Christians are too fond of saying. No! It is a family disease, which we all inherit from our first parents, Adam and Eve, and with which we are born.

This film is not more sufficient than scripture in teaching us about our sin, however, it does affirm what scripture says about our sinful heart.

The One True Light

Even though Neville isn’t a perfect parallel to Christ, he is obviously the Savior of the film. If you remember, there is even a newspaper cutout on his refrigerator with his picture on it with the word savior written above his head. He is immune to the disease and he has the cure in his blood.

At the very end of the film, he is screaming at the creatures, ‘I can save you. I can help you.’ But they wouldn’t listen and ended up killing the very one who was trying to save them. We did the very same. The only True Light, Jesus Christ, was killed by the very ones he came o save.

Light Up the Darkness

Songs by the reggae master, Bob Marley, are played throughout the film (another reason I like it). While Neville is telling a story about Marley’s love, he makes the statement, light up the darkness. This phrase us repeated at the end of the film, just prior to Marley’s Redemption Song. This call to light up the darkness, affirms the call of Christ on the sermon on the mount:

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. [Matt. 5:14-16]

  1. Yeah! Someone else who likes this film! I (not too unexpectedly) loved this movie. I like the vampire genre of movies in general, and the doctor as savior theme really worked here. Will Smith did an excellent job. Thank you for the review!
    ps I think this is one of the few instances that I can think of where a movie was better than the book. Hey, you should do a post about that; Movies that are better than the book they are based on! I was talking about this with some friends the other day and this movie was the only example that I could think of atm.

    • jperritt says:

      I agree. Excellent film and Smith really did an excellent job of acting. That’s a challenge when a dog is the only other actor.

      Very good about the movie/book idea! We might have to do that!

  2. […] into that film for my initial viewing.  I’ve written other posts on this film here and here, so check those out if you want a little more depth.  Today I’m simply musing about the […]

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