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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Movie Review - The Book of Eli (2010)

Alright, I got a good one for you. I just finished watching “The Book of Eli” (2010). It is of course a post apocalyptic film. I wasn’t really sure what to expect on this one, but I was pleasantly surprised.

The story takes place about 30 years or so after what is presumed to be a nuclear war (flash). Meet nomadic drifter Eli. Eli travels alone and has well developed skills in surviving. He meets up with biker thugs and is able to quickly subdue them without breaking a sweat. Things get interesting for him when he stops in at a small village ruled by a shady character named Carnegie. Eli is involved in a bar fight while defending himself and is observed by Carnegie who finds his fighting impressive. Carnegie attempts to offer him a job but Eli is not interested but is locked up anyway for the night. Eli later meets Solara who had been sent into change his made. Solara and Eli become friendly and she spots that he is reading a mysterious book which he won’t tell her about. The news gets back to Carnegie about their evening that Eli is a reading / praying man and suspects he has the book which he had been searching for. The mysterious book in question is the bible, a book which apparently can help save human kind. It is explained that Eli will be taking the book west and leave it where he deems is worthy and this village is not it. Eli and Solara are tracked down by Carnegie and the climax ends in a standoff gunfight at an old farmhouse. Eli is shot in the stomach, the book and Solara are then taken. Solara escapes and drives back only to find him hobbling down the road. Together they make their journey westward and stop in San Francisco. There they make their way by boat to Alcatraz which has now turned into a small town. He advises that he has a King James Version of the bible. They are invited to meet Lombardi who is a curator of a literature museum and printing press. It is there that you learn that Eli is actually blind but was able to dictate the bible books. The scene then switches to Carnegie. The locked bible is finally being opened to display blank pages which have been punched in brail. The movie ends with Eli dying after the bible was re written and Carnegie slowly going into shock from his festering wound as he overlooks the chaos of the townspeople.

Okay, I probably shouldn’t have given that much on the story but I was just was excited about it. I think this movie can be best described as Daredevil meets Mad Max but only better. Sure maybe at times the fight scenes were a little unbelievable; Eli as a wasteland superhero but if you look passed that you will find it is much more. This film has so many different layers to it and could be viewed a few different ways. There is definitely a religious theme running within and contains metaphors for the journey that Eli is on and also what the book really means. The storyline was good, well thought and paced accordingly.

The movie was shot dark. Good camera work. Good intense look of the film with the right location; sandy dunes and dead vegetation. I knew at first glance it was a post apocalyptic back drop -no question. Even some of the props were believable including the vehicles. The acting overall was decent; with stars like Denzel Washington as ‘Eli’,Gary Oldman as ‘Carnegie’ and Mila Kunis as ‘Solara’ you can’t go wrong.

I really liked this movie. It is an all around decent film and would recommend viewing it. I rate it 8/10. Anyone seen this?

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