Okay, so its 2009 or so (in the movie, it was still 2007 when it came out) and least 94% of the world's population is dead due to a mutated virus. The other 5% turned into monsters known as, "Darkseekers," who burn in UV light (so the sun is a no-go) and maybe 1% of our planet was immune but possibly everyone who survived was killed by Darkseekers or other animals the virus mutated. Everyone except for Dr. Robert Neville played by Will Smith. When New York City was quarantined he stayed behind to try and find a cure for the virus using his immune blood. Since some years ago when NYC was isolated (which we witness in flashbacks) Robert has been working to try and find a cure by capturing Darkseekers and running tests on them. Long story short, he abducts one Darkseeker female and finds a potential cure, but then his dog--one of his sole companions for much of the movie--dies in a heartbreaking scene.
|Will Smith's character gets caught in a trap set by the Darkseekers
So, Robert gives the lady and her son a vial of the cure and blows up his lab, killing the Darkseekers before the lady and her son apparently go to Vermont and find a base that was rumored to exist and is full of immune people whom they give the cure so as to help cure all the other infected creatures and humans who are still alive. Simple and dumb. But wait! The ultimate cruel twist and interesting fact I told you I would share is that an alternate ending exists that is so, so much better and was in fact the original ending before test audiences complained it made them feel bad. In the other ending the Darkseekers arrive at Robert's lab, but he realizes they are actually after the female Darkseeker he kidnapped. He gives her back to them and they leave his lab peacefully, a shocking twist for sure.
|Upon being given back his female partner the Alpha-Male Darkseeker Leaves Will Smith's character alone.
Which ending sounds better? The one where Robert is pointlessly treated as a martyr and the Darkseekers remain portrayed as idiotic monsters, or the conclusion where we get to question if maybe, just maybe, Dr. Robert Neville is the monster? I know which ending I prefer, but the cynical side of me realizes that Hollywood probably thought people wanted the watered-down finale test audiences clamored for. I'm not the only person who thinks the alternate/original ending is better, with others commenting how test audiences really should have been ignored in this case.
|"I know, I know; we shouldn't have listened to the test audiences."