22 April 2012

The Omega man review

Second adaptation of the novel "I am legend", this time around with Charlton Heston in the lead role. This is one of those movies (and I'm probably not alone here) which I saw spoofed in a Simpsons episode when I was younger before actually seeing the real movie.

Anyway, movie opens up with desolate streets and Charlton Heston driving around in town when he stops and opens fire at some robed figure up on one of the windows of a building. He then drives home - and 5 minutes into the movie it is ruined by a happy funky Beegees sounding soundtrack and goofy villains. What the hell is this?!

The Omega man follows the same premise as Last man on earth, however instead of an epidemic turning people into zombies the cause of the population drop is biological warfare. Most died instantly, but some remain - afflicted with the "plague" as they call it. The symptoms of the plague is daytime blindness, pale skin and white hair as well as some kind of sores covering their bodies. These plague victims are still very human, and a lot more animated than the vampire zombies of Last man on earth. They can reason and talk and besides looking like freaks they could pass as humans.

Though they have a beef with Heston’s character "Neville" since he represents the old society of scientists and bankers which brought the plague upon mankind with weapons and technology. So they are constantly trying to kill him - however - these goofballs refuse to use technology or modern weapons. Instead they resort to medieval methods, when not burning books and trashing museums they are trying to construct siege engines and bombard Neville's besieged apartment with flaming projectiles. This may sound really exciting but when you see it it's just lame as hell. Even Neville thinks they are silly and casually walks up to the balcony and kills a few of them with his rifle.

There are similarities with the previous adaptation, we have a lonely scientist who worked on a cure for the disease which afflicted mankind and now lives alone in a boarded up house. The difference here is that Neville has chosen a much better defensive position, uses guns instead of a stake and his opponents ("the family" as they are called) are living humans with childish imagination when it comes to trying to get to him.

This movie would have worked somewhat OK if it wasn't for that horrible soundtrack. Basically moronic happy tunes every time something happens, turning what could have been a pretty suspenseful scene into something that looks like a parody completely devoid of any sense of danger. It really sucks, because "the family" as the freaks call themselves aren't such a bad idea. They are just written to behave like airheads accompanied by that awful music.

Compared to the 1964 movie this one lacks true post apocalyptic mood, the character isn't really affected by his situation and acts more as if the whole situation was one big inconvenience to him rather than a life threatening situation. The absurd ending really leaves no forgiving last impression either. The Simpsons parody made more sense and was a lot better than this.

4/10

4 comments:

  1. Yes, it was a great advertisement for the NRA really... Sort of "When the time comes and all your neighbours have is sticks and stones, you'll be grateful for your Second Amendment rights".

    At the time it was made, it was impressive, but then so was 'Battle for the Planet of the Apes'. It's aged badly imo and as I said before, I prefer the Vincent Price film... especially as the original story's twist was so much better done in that.

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  2. Quite right Jim, it has aged very badly. And the ending of the Vincent Price movie was a lot better as well despite the rushed feeling.

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  3. I enjoyed it as a kid, but was pretty disappointed when I watched it again a few years ago

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  4. It is pretty dated but I still love it!

    Brian

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