Well I’ve just come home form the cinema having watched I Am Legend. There were a number of reasons that I wanted to see this film but the main one was because I witnessed some of the filming last year in New York. I happened to be walking down Madison Ave on the way to Central Park when I noticed lots of leaves and bushes laying on the street. When I paid more attention I also noticed whole trees laying around. I thought this very strange! As I approached St Patricks Cathedral there were lots of security guards ensuring no one took photos or stopped walked. As this happened I spotted Will Smith on the steps of the Cathedral. Now, there are no shots of the cathedral in the film so I can only assume that when I yelled “Hey Will”, in my best London accent, that they had to cut the scene 🙂
So, back to the film … it is the scariest film I have seen for a while (I don’t do scarey). It’s basically about a bloke, Will Smith, who lives in solitude for about three years because of a virus that has wiped out most of humanity. He is an Army scientist and is driven by his desire to fix the biological disaster. He also happens to be the only one who is immune to the disease … of course. The theme that runs through the film is Light versus Darkness – literally. This is where some spiritual application can be brought:Will Smith quotes Bob Marley when he says in response to racism “Light up the darkness.” Jesus calls Himself the “Light of the world”. Darkness of course is representative of evil, and light representative of good. Fairly straight forward so far! As Christians we can spend a lot of time trying to reform society but the fact of the matter is, that when Jesus said “I am the Light of the Word” He was saying: “all you have to do to dispel the darkness is give the world me”. We don’t light up the darkness by forming committees, or going on marches, or signing petitions. We light up the darkness by giving the darkness the True Light that is Jesus. He is the source of all light and he is the only way that light can pierce the darkness and overcome it. We must give the world Jesus.However, the Bible also declares that men love the darkness because it hides their sinful ways. So too in the movie, you have two kinds of people: “Light-dwellers” and “dark-dwellers”. The “dark-dwellers” like to hide in darkness to cover up their sinful lives. But sin itself is the problem, just like the infection in the film, sin has devastated humanity. Listen to what the apostle Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus: “you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (Eph 2:1-3). Sin is not only an infectious disease but it also inspires people to hide in shame, and apart from God, as Paul declares, people are slaves by sin and children of wrath.

(Beware: Plot spoiler coming up!)

What is the answer to the problem? Well, as it happens the answer is found in the film! The answer, the cure, is in the blood. All the “dark-dwellers” have to do is accept it. The film ends as Smith (acting as a Messiah figure) gives the blood away and then sacrifices himself in order to make the blood available to other people.


Check out my notes to use for a Home Bible study based on I Am Legend


One thought on “Film & Theology: I Am Legend

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s