The Book of Eli finally came up on my NetFlix que, yay! Denzel Washington is one of those actors that never seems to make a bad movie. They’re not always great, but they’re never bad. THis is one of those movies, firmly in the ‘good’ category.
A religious war has left the world a nuclear wasteland straight out of Fallout 3. Eli is a wanderer is a post-apocalyptic Earth set 30 years after ‘The Flash’. He’s got this very special book (The Bible, it’s not mentioned by name until 10 minutes before the movie’s over, but only an idiot doesn’t know what it is) and he’s heading West to deliver it... somewhere.
Eli’s journey bring him to a town ruled by Gary Oldman, think of any town tyrant in a western and you know the character. Oldman happens to be searching for a book, a very special book. He have teams roaming the landscape searching. None of them can read, but they have standing orders to bring back any book they find. You’d think a Bible wouldn’t be to hard to find considering it’s the most published book of all time, but it’s explained the war was religious and afterwards, every copy found was burned to prevent anything like that from happening again. Oldman’s character however is an older gent and remember back when, when people could be controlled with inspirational words. Oldman would like to do the controlling, he just doesn’t know what words to use. Hence his quest.
Anyway, Eli being the badass that he is, attracts Oldman’s attention. Oldman realizes Eli has a copy of the book and wants it. Eli being a man on a mission decides much ass needs to be kicked and does. Mila Kunis enters the show as the daughter of Oldman’s mistress, sent to entice Eli with the promise of… well, Mila Kunis. Eli being a monk (literally?) he declines and instead protects the naive girl.
Eventually Eli completes his journey and we get a bit of a twist at the end. The twist makes sense in retrospect and isn’t a cop out in my opinion. Despite the film’s 2 hour length, I’m considering watching again to pick up more hints now that I know what I’m looking for. *********Highlight for spoilers Eli is blind.*********
One final note, I was a bit surprised to find Mila Kunis not all that annoying. The actress herself has been on That 70’s Show forever and there she’s… well, a bicthy, shallow, whiny, screeching snob. In spite of her agent’s recent attempted to make her the next big thing, I never went for her due to the annoyance factor. In the movie however, she’s not… that bad. She still seems a bit miscast though, Kunis a bit to attractive and naive for the setting. She’s a waitress at the town’s saloon and really, she has no clue about what goes on out of town.
All in all, a good movie. It’s got a few pacing issues, a bit to slow at times to move into greatness. Also, not sure if this is the movie’s problem or a equipment issue on my end (using TV’s speakers, no special theater setup) several times I could not hear what was being said and had to turn on subtitles.
4 out of 5 Stars