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Archive for the ‘Book of Eli’ Category

Book of Eli – review

Book of Eli – viewed 1/15/2010

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We are fifteen days into a new year, and a new decade, and I quite possibly could have just walked out of the best movie of 2010. The Hughes brothers are back with a post-apocalyptic western starring Denzel Washington as Eli, a man traveling west in search of something, or someone. He meets the various vagabonds along the way that you would expect, after the majority of the world has burned to the ground. Cannibals, thieves, rapists, you name it, and in swift ninja fashion he takes care of every one of them. He soon crosses a town ran by a man, Carnegie (played fantastically by Gary Oldman, finally back as a bad guy!) who realizes that Eli is not just your ordinary passer by, and he is carrying something that he has been searching for.

It’s been 30 years since the great burn we are told, and the new world has forgotten many of the customs of the old world, including things such as praying. There are some nice humorous moments as Eli tries to explain to Solara (played by Mila Kunis), who tags along, about the old worlds customs. The world has shifted to a time that existed in the old west, in which small groups have set up in small towns, setting up shops and saloons. When resources such as oil are scarce this is the only way to survive in the new world, but these towns don’t look kindly upon strangers.

The Hughes brothers give us these great muted sepia tones, something I thought was well used in another post-apocalyptic film “The Road” (which made me want to slit my wrists, avoid at all costs). The difference is that “The Road” had all these confined, burned out tight shots, where as “Book of Eli” has these vast, wide-open shots of the land, and the gray skies that have now overtaken everything. The set-designs are immaculate, the acting is first rate, and the direction is something that The Hughes brothers really deserve to be heralded for.

I’m sure many religious outfits are going to have a field day with the themes of the film, some I’m sure ostracizing it for it’s themes, some perhaps praising it for these reasons too. It is a film that I saw as praising a great man on a mission, and he will stop at nothing to fulfill what he believes is his destiny, and what he believes will make the human race great again.

“Book of Eli” plays like a road movie, a western, a samurai flick, and divine intervention all in one, There are fantastic action scenes, and it is also a great thought provoking thriller as well, and if you buy into the story, you are up for one hell of a ride.

Grade: A