January 15, 2010 The Book Of Eli
Studio: Warner Bros. Rating: R for some brutal violence and language.
Once again we are taken beyond the end of the world in "The Book Of Eli."
Denzel Washington stars in this post-apocalyptic tale. Three decades after a cataclysmic event, he is a loner in possession of a book which could spark mankind's comeback.
But this is a lawless and dangerous world. Eli comes across other lonely souls who are scrambling to survive, and they want what he has.
Eli believes he's been chosen to deliver the book and he's pretty protective of it. Some, like Gary Oldman's petty dictator, try to take it away. But they soon learn Eli can handle himself and deal out deadly force when necessary.
As far as "end of the world" movies go this one has some pretty familiar scenes. The fall of civilization almost always results in gangs imposing their will and ramshackle towns full of the helpless.
But this time around under the direction of the Hughes brothers, Albert and Allen, we see some unique touches.
There is a certain level of grimness with this type of movie but "The Book Of Eli" finds hope in a familiar, yet unexpected place.
The directors manage to marry the conventions of a post-apocalyptic world with just a touch of the supernatural. And they suggest that faith, not water, may be the most valuable commodity of all.
Washington is super cool as Eli, and he is a very dangerous man. But, he's only a threat when provoked, so Eli's wrath is usually directed at the villains trying to steal his book.
Oldman's bad guy is someone whose motivations are fairly understandable. If it wasn't for the horrible things he does to achieve his goals you can almost see where he's coming from.
Mila Kunis plays a young girl given to Eli as a gift, but who eventually becomes a fellow traveler and Eli's apprentice.
Toward the end the film the story comes off of the rails just a bit. You may be scratching your head at some of the events onscreen, but overall this is an above average look at a familiar Hollywood scenario.
On my rating scale, "The Book Of Eli" earns a TRIPLE.
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