Denzel Washington is probably one of my favorite actors these days. He’s always in such good roles, no matter the character he plays, and that’s the kicker – his characters vary all over the damn place. I heard he once said that he doesn’t pick the script, the script picks him. I know how that goes. I experience something similar with certain aspects of my life.
Gary Oldman also plays a large role in this film as Carnegie, a small town mayor with big ideas on how to control people. He’s also one of my favorite actors these days and it’s just stellar to watch him work any role on stage or screen.
The Book of Eli is …
Not at all what I expected it to be, and that’s a good thing. It released somewhere around the same time as Legion (which I’ll be reviewing next, since I just watched it), and I thought The Book of Eli was a similar story because Hollywood nearly always has two films releasing around the same time that are essentially the same story, just two different studios producing them. For example: giant meteor going to hit Earth and destroy everything – Armageddon and Deep Impact. And that’s just one example.
So let’s take a look at The Book of Eli.
Movie tagline: Some will kill to have it. He will kill to protect it.
This Hughes Brothers film is a post-apocalyptic tale about a lone man – Eli – as he makes his trek across a deserted America to take the book he’s carrying west. His job is simply to protect it and take it where it needs to be. We don’t know exactly what the book is right away and contrary to what others believe, I didn’t think it was blatantly obvious, but then I’m not an overly religious person either.
The cinematography is incredible in this movie, the clear, sharp images that flash across the screen with vivid cuts and displays during fight scenes. Breathtaking and reminiscent of the movie 300. There are several points in the movie that are quite funny, whether intentional or not and does it really matter if it makes you laugh? No, it doesn’t. The desolate view from the camera’s angle is perfect and precise and says so much with just a few shots or scans of the set.
Now, I’m not going to give you a full synopsis of this movie and ruin it for you, but I will tell you a few things.
Regardless of what others believe this movie’s meaning was, I don’t believe this film actually “promotes” Christianity. I don’t believe this film was written and created solely as a propaganda that tells the world how Christianity will save everyone in the end, will save civilization. On the contrary, it shows through Carnegie (Oldman) how religion is used as a powerful tool/weapon to control people. Carnegie knows the power of the words within the book Eli has. He knows, has seen, what those words can do. In the wrong hands, those words can be used as a weapon, as a way to enslave or control the population by way of giving false hope for the future, giving the population something to believe in, by putting the fear of God into the population (does any of this sound familiar yet?). The two fight over the book because Eli is supposed to protect it in its written form and Carnegie is just simply evil incarnate and will do anything to get the book, including shooting Eli.
It’s only clear that the book must survive alongside Shakespeare and other great works. It’s about the writing (to me anyway), not the content therein. I mean, think about it, the bible is the biggest bestseller known to man. Right? Why wouldn’t you save a piece of work that has defined the history of the human race?
Mila Kunis plays a good role in this movie as Solara, Claudia’s (Jennifer Beals) daughter, even though it took me forEVER to figure out who she was. Ray Stevenson as Redridge is wonderful (yes, that’s the guy from the series Rome – Titus Pullo – NOM). I think I have a mini-crush on him.
I giggled at the end destination of Eli with his book. I couldn’t help myself, but I won’t spoil it for you. Watch the movie. If you like crisp images, clear imagery, and a decent storyline that’s not preachy, you’ll enjoy this movie.
I give The Book of Eli 0 Jinxes because it’s that damn good and one I’d like to own.
UPDATE: I’ve recently seen on the interwebz that some believe the character Eli is blind in this movie. Um, no, he wasn’t. Was the book he carried in Braille? Yes. That doesn’t make him blind. Pay attention, people!