Why is Everyone Hating on the CGI in ‘I Am Legend’?


I have read in several places how fake the CGI looked in I Am Legend. I have to wonder if critics ever thought CGI was real?

“Those deer looked fake!” That’s because they are.

“Those infected people looked fake!” That’s because it is a fictitious ailment.

“Everything was fake!” Yup, CGI is not real.

Why is the argument always how fake CGI looked, but how great Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion animation was? If you are going to tell me Harryhausen’s effects looked more realistic than the deer in I Am Legend I must disagree. The issue is that CGI has allowed for people to stop using their imagination. Either that, or the people that thought the Transformers were real robots need to be committed, because as real as they may have looked they were indeed (spoiler coming) fake.

I can only assume, that like the days when Harryhausen was creating his fantastic stop-motion work, the I Am Legend team did the best they could with the money and technology they had. Of course I am sure they could have made the deer look even more realistic and they could have made The Infected look even better, but then the budget would have ballooned and all the articles would have then started bashing how much it cost.

Films with numerous visual effects can’t really win these days. Hell, I thought the polar bears in The Golden Compass looked fantastic, yet I still read reviews about how the talking bears didn’t look right. Sheesh! They’re talking bears! For all anyone knows that is exactly what a talking bear would look like.

Think back to 1933’s King Kong. Sorry to break it to you folks, but the great ape was fake. However, people allowed themselves to enjoy the film despite the glaringly obvious.

Instead of pointing out your displeasure for the CGI work of the deer and infected, which you should just be able to accept if you are even going to sit down and watch a movie in which the entire world is wiped out by a cancer-curing pharmaceutical gone drastically wrong, why not marvel at how they turned the busy streets of Manhattan into a barren wasteland?

The problem with I Am Legend is not the effects, it is the entire second half of the film and the ending. Nevertheless, I still managed to enjoy it. Now, if they had used sock puppets for The Infected and Lincoln Logs for the deer that would have really been a problem, but since they didn’t I am cool with it.

I think it’s time we start using our imagination again people.