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- - - "I need that book. I want that book. I want you to stay but if you make me have to choose I'll kill you and take that book"- - -
FILM ONLY REVIEW
They're a cheerful bunch these film makers. Watch any number of movies set in the relatively near future and you'd be under the impression that some time soon, the earth is set to be struck by a cataclysmic earthquake/nuclear war/virus leaving a small number of survivors destined to wander the wasted land entertaining themselves with murder/cannibalism/rape/blowing things up/listening to Tina Turner.
Released in 2010, Book of Eli is yet another of these post-apocalyptic tales. What the actual event was is open to interpretation; war is mentioned, as is religion and "the sky opening up and the sun coming towards the Earth". Whatever it was, it has had a suitably devastating effect on a civilisation which now has to fight for its very survival.
One of the survivors of the event, Eli (Denzel Washington) has spent the last 30 years travelling west (not quite sure exactly what's happened to the geography of this world, but that seems a long time to me) with a very important book. I don't think it's too much of a spoiler to reveal that what he has is the last Bible in existence; after all, the promo poster pretty much gives it away.
- - - "And then one day I heard this voice. I don't know how to explain it, it's like it was coming from inside me...It told me to carry the book west, it told me that a path would be laid out before me, that I'd be led to a place where the book would be safe it told me I'd be protected, against anyone or anything that tried to stand in my way. If only I would have faith" - - -
Eli's wanderings take him to an old-west style village ruled by Mayor Carnegie (Gary Oldman). Carnegie, a ruthless and corrupt dictator, finds that Eli has brought the object of his desires to his very doorstep - the book that he believes will hand him ultimate power.
With only Solara (Mila Kunis), Carnegie's runaway daughter, his faith, and an array of combat skills which would embarrass a superhero to protect him, Eli's sole purpose in life is to get the Bible to its rightful destination. Carnegie, all too aware of the power of the words contained within the book, will stop at nothing to own it.
All of this offers the opportunity for Washington to mooch moodily through the desert wilderness; as an isolated gun-toting hero-figure, his performance is nothing original. He is adequate in the role but not spectacular. Most of his dialogue, which is sparse, particularly in the early stages, is delivered in "enigmatic" whispers. His character suffers from inconsistencies; a man of God, he will kill anyone who gets in his way, but will not stop to help anyone, believing his mission is too important to be risked.
Kunis puts in a surprisingly competent performance, however unfortunately she looks a bit out of place, and too glamorous for the type of character she is supposed to be portraying.
It is no surprise that Oldman creates the best character in the film. Whilst it is true that he could probably play this kind of megalomaniac, bordering-on-sane villain in his sleep, that does nothing to detract from an absorbing performance.
Almost devoid of any colour, the film is an effective enough representation of a world gone bad; toppled buildings, ramshackle huts, wasted cars and human skeletons line the road.
All of this seems depressingly familiar. The post apocalyptic hero thing has been done to death and much of a film seems to be a mish-mash of genre clichés; Mad Max, I am Legend, Stephen King's Gunslinger or The Stand, David Gemmell's Jerusalem Man, Waterworld, 2012 all spring immediately to mind.
Where it differs from the majority, however, is in the inclusion of the religious ideology. Using the bible is an interesting concept that provokes a whole load of moral questions about the nature of man and religion. Some will find the film a bit preachy, but that's probably due to a hyper-sensitivity over any Christian message. The clash between Eli and Carnegie appears to be a microcosm of the clash that caused the disaster in the first place. The film is about power, whether physical or mental, and how that power can be used for good or evil.
- - - "IT'S NOT A F****** BOOK! IT'S A WEAPON. A weapon aimed right at the hearts and minds of the weak and the desperate. It will give us control of them... they'll do exactly what I tell 'em if the words are from the book. It's happened before and it'll happen again. All we need is that book." - - -
What really sets this movie apart, however, is the twist that comes near the end of the film and changes everything you've seen before. I'm a sucker for a good twist and this was one of the best I've seen. I had to watch the movie again soon after, and couldn't believe I hadn't seen it coming the first time. That's a good sign.
It would be fair to say that "The Book of Eli" stretches the credibility of the viewer somewhat. How a society so fragmented can track down every copy (except one) of the most widely published book in existence is beyond me. You'd think they'd have more important things to worry about like access to fresh water or getting Sky Sports News back on air.
Equally, some would (and do) argue that this ending is unrealistic and ridiculous; I would say that the idea of turning water into wine or raising the dead is equally unlikely. And I think that's kinda the point. Though you'll have to watch the film to see if you agree.
Release date: 15 Jan 2010
Length: 118 mins
Directors: The Hughes Brothers
Ratings: Not particularly favourable generally; 6.8/10 on IMDB, 48% Rotten Tomatoes
Family Suitability: Rated 15, there are some fairly brutal scenes, rape implications, blood and gore, and some strong swearing. Although much of the violence is a bit comic-booky and stylised, this isn't at all suitable for young children.
Price: Currently from £3.99 new on Amazon.
Summary: "The Book of Eli" isn't a particularly original film, but it certainly has its merits. Although it will be too unrealistic for some, I found that its style and message is very fabulistic and therefore found its improbabilities easier to overlook.
As could be expected, it's an aesthetically pleasing film, with decent acting performances and is full of hidden meaning. It asks some thought-provoking questions, treading a difficult line between action and sermon. Maybe it is a little preachy, but crucially it never becomes bogged down in its own message; the superb set-pieces ensure it is never uninteresting.
Although not universally popular, I certainly enjoyed it and would recommend it, if not to buy then maybe to rent. Just be warned, you may want to watch it twice because of the twist ending which, however implausible, is worth an extra star on its own.
- Story -
Set in a post-apocalyptic society, Eli is a loner who's spent the last 30 years or so travelling west, shooting birds and other animals and searching for valuables in abandoned buildings to exchange for water (which has become one of the most precious commodities) he has a very important book in his possession and is waiting to find the right place to settle down and share it with the locals. However, he's dismayed by the behaviour of many of the people that he comes across... he has superior fighting skills and this comes to the attention of a local ganglord/gangster called Carnegie in the town Eli is in one day, who offers him a job working for him which he respectfully declines but he agrees to stay overnight. Carnegie insists his lovers daughter, Solara, offer to sleep with him that night to try to persuade him to stay, although again he politely declines and she becomes quite interested in him and his book, which he's careful not to let her get too near to. When Carnegie discovers that Eli is in possession of this book, the one item he had spent so long desperately trying to get, he won't stop until he gets it but Eli manages to escape the town and its not long before Solara joins him, much to Eli's annoyance - this, of course, doesn't go down well and Carnegie and his many thugs chase after them.
Whats so important about this book Eli has? Solara is very naive about the dangers that exist for those who travel, will she be safe? will Carnegie manage to track them down? you'll have to watch the movie to find out.
- Thoughts & Opinions -
This movie starts out with the viewer being left, as it were, in the dark - indeed the movie is very much a dark, gloomy movie and you wonder what the back story is - I was expecting there to be an introductory paragraph, a preface if you will, sort of like the famous one that started Star Wars but there's none, which leaves you to watch the main character, Eli, as he walks about this strange, alien like terrain - everything is in brown, different shades of dark brown. The characters and the terrain somehow reminded me of a comic book in a sense in that it didn't appear very human in a way but then thats obviously part of the aim or even appeal of the movie, its a post-apocolyptic movie, like the Mad Max movies I think (I haven't seen those but I've heard about them).
In some ways this is a very typical action, gun toting movie, there are the quite violent gunfight scenes, infact you could say it resembles a Western in a way, with Eli being the stranger that suddenly appears in a new town, raising eyebrows in the local bar (or should I say saloon) and so on. There's also the token attractive young woman who, when Eli has proven he can defend himself and sets off on his own, insists on comin with him (much to his disdain) and the old tough-as-leather and determined to stop at nothing power-hungry villain, who, it has to be said, looks the part, so yes this is a rather typical example of such a movie in such ways. The difference, to me, in this movie was the story behind the story so to speak, which, of course, slowly unravels as the movie progresses - one or two aspects I had figured out before they were confirmed on screen but not the final twist which left me with quite a wry smile on my face.
I did feel that this movie was redeemed by the overall message, which is quite powerful, although again some might feel that im being naive in saying that - no doubt there are plenty of such apocolyptic movies with probably similar stories but somehow after the first hour or so of this really quite depressing and gloomy movie, realising the message behind the movie about hope and faith, I felt was quite moving somehow (call me a sap). I wouldn't say that this movie works entirely, indeed I've no doubt some people would groan at the thought of Denzel Washington playing some holy figure, he must have some ego trip to believe he'd be who his character is depicted as presumably...this makes me think back to other movies he's done, such as Fallen, which also had quite a strong religious story - I also enjoyed that movie, infact I suppose I should 'confess' (as it were) that I seem to have some sort of fascination with movies that deal with faith, hope, sometimes the supernatural, things like that. I'd be wrong to say that this movie isn't mainly superficial though I suppose, given that yes there's a 'deeper' story behind it but alot of what we actually witness in the movie is violence, dark, depressing desert wilderness/landscape shots and gunfights - hardly uplifting material but the way the movie concludes in the second to last scene I think it is, eh I think it made it worthwhile.
I should say, going back to the negatives, that I couldn't help but feel like there were one or two plot holes (is that a phrase? I think so...) during the movie, yes the viewer isn't told much and its up to us to discover with other characters the motives and background to the story but I did feel doubtful about one or two things which I felt weren't entirely explained. I suppose its easy to say that this movie is over the top in a sense and certainly if you don't like violence then this won't be for you, although I would stress that at least some of the violence is more indicated than graphic, if you know what I mean, again with it having this dark and almost comic book type look/feel to it, you can sometimes only make out the outline of the characters so you don't see a great deal of detail but certainly its still pretty obvious whats going on all the same. Oh and while I remember to mention it, I did have a wry smile on my face when I came across one of the later characters, a good guy who is *get this* English! he's not the bad guy - Brits rejoice lol!. Plus another thing worth mentioning is that there was this comedy element present - its certainly not a comedy movie but one long scene involving an elderly couple in the country living alone in their rather battered old decrepit house is quite comedic - they have a sign out in the garden that says strictly no trespassing however Eli and Solara don't notice it and when they ring the doorbell they fall into a trap and the couple meet them, with the husband again stating they don't want any trespassers, pointing a gun at them, followed by the wife dismissing him and inviting them inside for a nice cup of tea(!) because they don't get many visitors. Inside the house, they have an old gramophone which they use to play an old record called 'Ring My Bell', which is bit poignant and eery to an extent given the series of events which follow. I did find it a little confusing that a gramophone is featured in that scene, yet Eli (who, its indicated in the movie is one of the oldest known 'survivors') has an iPod...I suppose its a stereotype that older people who seemingly live alone in the country prefer an older way of life...hmmm.
I do feel there's a sort of an uncomfortable poignancy in a movie such as this when characters talk about the way things used to be on earth before whatever happened (from the landscapeshots I'd imagine either some sort of nuclear attack or a meteor landed - there's a very large crater shown in one such panoramic shot), talk of how the commodities that are truly precious were never really appreciated 'back then', that people only really cared about chasing after things that weren't really important, that people obsess over material items etc. all of that and seeing how important, how scarce and sought after water appears to be for one, it reminds me of a documentary I once glimpsed at on holiday the other year about how water is in very short supply in some developing countries yet we waste however many thousand litres of it in countries such as our own, which is rather uncomfortable to know - I suppose there is a moral there somewhere. I was just listening to the radio this morning with my family and they were reading out a short fictional story about when oil runs out and the massive impact this has on society - such things do make you think, perhaps some large changes will be heading their way to society - hopefully nothing too apocalyptic though! (mind you with whats going on at Fukushima, it just goes to show, nuclear meltdowns are a possibility).
This isn't the type of movie that would necessarily appeal to me normally as, as much as I do like a decent action movie, all-out action movies or 'mens flicks' or whatever you want to call them, I don't tend to watch after seeing one or two movies like SWAT that bored me silly and made me eye roll quite alot lol but I was interested in seeing this after, I seem to remember, catching the trailer at the cinema last year - the atmosphere and concept was one I haven't seen too often and I was curious about it, so after also seeing a pretty positive review about it on here, I decided to give it a go (pardon the long sentence here *stops for air*). Having finished watching it, I don't regret it, I quite liked the ending and felt it had been a fairly engrossing watch overall, although I don't feel its one I'd want to watch again, knowing the story.
- Would I Recommend it? -
Ehhh im in the middle as far as thats concerned. It just depends, if your sceptical about such movies and/or don't like what could be seen as perhaps a bit of a cheesy sub plot then give this a slightly wide berth (aka I wouldn't bother paying to see it), otherwise I think its worth a watch, though I haven't seen too many similar movies to compare it to, to be fair. I feel that this movie was ultimately redeemed by the message it puts across which is somewhat comforting but others could disagree, it all just depends - im not sure what else I can say, to be honest.
Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful. Thanks for any and all rates and comments - this review was originally posted on Ciao UK.
This was a film recommended to me by a friend; I'd seen it advertised before but hadn't paid much attention to it, thinking it wasn't my kind of thing. I also didn't know who was in the cast at that point. Having watched it I can say that it was better than expected, even though it wasn't always the most interesting of films at times, I'm glad I watched it.
The Book Of Eli was directed by Albert & Allen Hughes, and written by Gary Whitta. It's based on a post-apocalyptic world, and we're introduced early on to a normal looking guy; at first appearing like a loner and drifter, it didn't take too long to realise that the dishevelled man was played by Denzel Washington. Eli, this drifter who seems to be walking across the country with a purpose unbeknown to us, carries with him a book which he guards with his life.
The film takes us through Eli's journey with the unknown destination as he barters supplies to survive, witnesses violence and decay all around, until he must finally defend himself and his book in a village ruled by the evil Carnegie (played by Gary Oldman). Carnegie is suspicious of Eli and sends Solara, a young and beautiful woman, to investigate what he's up to. Unfortunately, Solara takes a shine to Eli and attempts to go with him when he breaks free.
As the film progresses, we learn what the book is and why it's so important. We also learn of its powers and how Carnegie will stop at nothing to get it. It wasn't a twist that came out of the blue, rather I had guessed what the book was. It was interesting, however, to see how faith and beliefs can become so precious and powerful in an otherwise God-forsaken world. The storyline, whilst not complex, was therefore still quite interesting.
Bringing this to life was thanks to the cast and scenery. Little in the way of special effects were employed, or at least it seemed very real. We get a sense of the devastation, desoltation and desperation and this was played on well by Washington and Oldman. Playing Solara was Mila Kunus, and other cast members included Joe Pingue, Jennifer Beals and Ray Stevenson, all of whom did their characters justice.
Overall, there were times when this film seems a little lack-lustre, but you need to bear in mind it's set in a post-apocalyptic society and so expect its dark and dank appeal. Whilst I didn't think it was anything too spectacular, it was nonetheless easy to watch and worth spending the time on to appreciate the atmosphere created.
2010, Selling on Amazon for £4.99.
golferinfr's Full Review: The Book of Eli
Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.
The Book of Eli in my opinion one of the most fascinating movies of the year. Eli is on a quest from God after Armageddon when every was told to burn their bibles and those who didn't were killed for it. How after the burning this voice came to Eli and put him in contact with the last known issue of the Holy Bible, the Book of Eli.
With America in much despair in a either kill or be killed world. Just the first scene starts you into the scavenger world that he has to live in a hundred yards from a corpse just to kill a cat for a meal. At night before he goes to sleep he reads from this Holy book. With the next day ahead of him he travels West as his path leads him in front of other scavengers on motorcycles as they kill and rape the innocent over a bag of books Eli gets down and prays not to be taken off his path and watches these gang members do their dirty deed.
Eli comes to the next town full of box houses and next for dead people with no hopes at all, after going into a pawn shop he makes his way to the bar across the street. He meets the head of the motorcycle gang and quickly disposes of him, just to turn around and find 20 others waiting to kill him. With his streamline machete he slices and dices as only Martha Stewart or Rachel Ray would love it. This is where he meets the town's ring leader Carnegie, the man with one vision in mind to find that one book in which Eli doesn't know he has.
This is where the movie plot starts taking place when in the middle of the night he is introduced to Solara. The last hour of this movie Solara and Eli face off a couple times because Eli doesn't want to involve her and it finally has to take a bullet in his hip to let her guide him to old Alcatraz prison. Carnegie thinks he has won, by getting what he needed "The Holy Bible" to his dismay he bcame the biggest loser.
When you hear that voice, follow thy path for the riches of enlightenment will be yours forever. That is what you will see in Eli at the end, a choice by God a transporting angel that with recite word to word to Malcolm McDowell as the transcriber. With a good bye prayer at the end, for his new found friend and for the same guidance in which he received and the honor for letting him do what needed to be done.
True this movie had violence but it also sent messages out. I was moved so much I felt a void being filled in my chest. A movie like this shouldn't have been passed at any of the awards ceremonies without some acknowledgements. The direction of the Hughes Brothers was masterful in the concept that you know that if you so do believe in God you also have to believe in the Devil as well. Gary Whitta did such a great job presenting all the pieces in this chest set and letting you watch all the pawns being taken out so just the King, Queen, and Bishops were left. The articulation of the end is where you justify your faith and over that next hill lays open the Heavens you deserve for that task that was at hand..
Just shows even more what this world will accept and what it won't. The musical score for this movie is very good. Eli is a character you help and support in this movie, even though it is written Thou Shall Not Kill, this movie justifies the means.
Eli- Denzel Washington
Carnegie- Gary Oldman
Solara- Mila Kunis
Claudia- Jennifer Beals
Rated R Time One hour 58 minutes
Thanks for reading !!!!
Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Better than Watching TV
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age
This review originated by me on Epinions. Ebay UK price 4.49
In a post apocalyptic America a lone man named Eli travels on a quest to deliver a book. He holds the book sacred and believes he has been chosen for this quest for a reason. He has to overcome a lot on his journey and fight to protect the book.
In a small town where s few survivors live a man names Carnegie is searching for a special book which he believes hold the secret to mankind and he has gangs of men searching for the book. He comes across Eli when he walks into town and soon discovers that he hold the book he needs. The book is the bible and Eli will let no man take it from him.
Can Eli get safely to complete his mission with the book or will Carnegie get his hands on it and if so what will the damage be?
I was looking forward to watching this film as I had heard a lot of good things about it and I have to say I was not disappointed. I loved the story and found it came across is such a good way. The way religion was bought into it was good but it was not overly shown so don't let this put you off.
Denzel Washington played the role of Eli and he did a great job. I instantly warmed to him and found he had just the right mix of bravery, emotion and fighting skills to make him a good person and one who can be easily liked. He showed great skill when defending himself and the book and I loved watching him in the action scenes. I did always feel thought that he was holding something back and it was only at the end of the film that I realised what it was and I have to say I was quite shocked by it. He delivered all of his lines with ease and made me believe what he was saying and talking about. I think if there was one thing which could have improved the character then it would be to have let us know slightly more about his previous life before the apocalypse happened.
We had a lot of good support characters and the one which really stood out was Carnegie, he was played by Gary Oldman and I loved the menacing way he came across. At some points he seemed a nice man who just wanted to the book and he looked after the people living in his town but then he would turn bad and the evil side came out. He was great playing both side to this character and made for some entertaining viewing. There was also Solara who played one of the girls living in the town working for Carnegie and she too was a nice likable person, she was played by Mila Kunis.
The film did have some very good action and fight scenes and I enjoyed them all, some of them were slightly far fetched with Eli taking one up to 10 men at one time but Denzel Washington made them look good and easy and the effects were well made and produced so they all looked very brutal and real. There were some disturbing parts, one which turned my stomach was when Eli chopped off a mans hand, I had to look away at this point as it looked very real. The music was also very good and in keeping with the film and made the story and emotions easier to follow.
I did find that some of the scenes were quite dark but we did have a lot of scenes of the landscape and countryside when Eli was walking and these were easy to watch and it was nice to see that the grass was growing and we did have some greenery. The apocalypse was 30 years previous to the setting of the film so we got to see the aftermath and how the world coped and tried to re grow and I enjoyed this. There were some parts of the film which I did not like and these included the cannibals but there were no scenes which we got to see them being brutal, it was all left to the imagination and I am thankful for this.
The DVD which I have does have some bonus features and these include:-
- A Lost Tale: Billy - Carnegie's back story
- Behind the story; Starting over - How civilizations live, die and are reborn and Eli's journey - the moral complexities of the story
- Deleted scenes / Alternate scenes
- The book of Eli soundtrack
I have not watched any of these so I am not able to make comment on them.
The running time of the film is 113 minutes and this was just a good length with the story moving at a good pace from start to finish. The rate is a 15 as it does contain strong violence and language and I do agree with this. I paid just £7 for the DVD and think it was a great price and well worth the money.
I have to give this film the full 5 stars as it was very entertaining and the ending for me was a surprise and one part was very unexpected. I think it does take a bit of concentration to watch and understand this film so don't chose this when you want an easy light hearted film. Definitely worth the price tag and I do highly recommend this film.
I'd be wanting to watch The Book of Eli since I saw the trailer for it when it was released at the cinema. I was intrigued by the apparently religious plot, the desolate back-drop and the action. Clearly any film with Denzel Washington in it would be worth a watch. He's a fine and talented actor who commands respect on the big screen.
The Big Book of Eli
The Book of Eli was not a disappointment, though it wasn't a big surprise either. As you might have guessed "The Book" is in fact the Christian bible and Eli is the main character - doesn't take a genius to work out. The title of the film itself is a dead giveaway, especially with such use of a biblical name for the leading character.
The quickest way to sum up The Book of Eli is:
Mad Max with a Bible
Some might say that is rather a sweeping statement, but I did say it was a quick summary.
Like Mad Max, The Book of Eli is set at some point in the future where the world has descended into chaos and most of it is in utter ruins. There is suggestion of a war and an incident that caused the sky to open and the sun to burn the earth (perhaps a warning about global warming?) But what happened is never explicitly explained or shown.
All we know for certain is Mad Max, sorry Eli, is on a quest to take his Bible "on the path" West. Just like Max, he has to face gangs of outlaws, cannibals and bikers along the way. Although apparently touched by God, he needs to sin to get where he is going.
Along the way his path is intercepted by another man (the villain of the story) who is also seeking the bible in the belief that it will give him the power to control his people.
I should mention at this point that all other copies of the Bible were burnt after "the event" in the belief that religion was the cause.
The storyline is certainly interesting. Although the armageddon/wasteland style backdrop has hardly not been done before. Yet the plot itself certainly allows you to get past the bleary scenes and become immersed in the story, willing Eli along - despite the fact we don't really know why he's heading West or what he's going to do when he gets there. Apparently the fact that God told him to go there is reason enough to believe it's a good plan. I'd like to note at this point that according to the Bible, man is far too feeble to hear the spoken word of God - it would destroy him. So there must have been a third party involved.
The characters are thoroughly believable and fun to watch. Though it might be said that they are a little predictable and cliché - the hero, the villain, the henchmen, the damsel in distress, the various bands of cannibals trying to survive.
Having said that, each actor pulls of his or her role very well. Denzel is, as always, magnificent. His performance is moving and professional. Though I must say the twist that comes about at the end with regards to his character is a little weak. I felt it could easily be explained away by other means and wasn't sufficiently pointed to by the characters actions throughout the rest of the film. Mind you, it might be one of those films you have to go back and watch again to get the true feel for.
That point aside, I certainly felt for his character and willed him on.
Although by no means "film of the decade" - The Book of Eli is certainly very watchable and thoroughly enjoyable. If you enjoy Mad Max style films, it's well worth a look. The same goes for any film-lovers who enjoy a hint of religious undertone.
This is a film I picked up recently not really knowing what it was about or what it was like. I saw that it starred Denzel Washington in the lead role and thought that was good enough for me.
The story centres around a man called Eli (Denzel Washington), and the book he has in his possession, in some kind of post-apocalyptic time in the not-too-distant future. He is walking across America trying to protect a sacred book and take it to a safe location. He is doing this because a voice from within told him to. With blind faith he just walks alone westwards, guarding the book, without knowing where he is going or who he will meet.
Society in this post-apocalyptic time is very violent and unforgiving. Basic amenities such as water and soap are in short supply and are highly sought after. People will do anything to get their hands on such things.
Eli survives by hunting small animals and taking belongings that he finds in burnt out vehicles and deserted buildings, so that he can trade with them in towns and villages that he passes through.
Fortunately for him, when gangs try to jump him and seize his belongings, he is more than capable of looking after himself. He is highly trained in the arts of combat, weaponry and self-defence. He doesn't think twice about killing anyone who stands in his way.
Unfortunately for Eli, someone else wants ownership of the book that he is carrying. When he arrives at a small town he meets his rival for the sacred artefact. His competitor is in the form of Carnegie (Gary Oldman) and he turns out to be your typical bad guy. He is a powerful man who rules over the town. Carnegie thinks that the book will give him the power to control, not only his town, but towns and cities all over the country. Eli and Carnegie duly battle for possession of the book.
From the outset the story appears quite dull and lame. However, I actually found the film quite engaging. The main characters are convincing and you really take an interest in them. Many of the other characters look like they have just been lifted straight off the set of Mad Max. In fact the whole feel and look of the film does have more than a hint of Mad Max about it.
The film has been given a typical 'end-of-the-world' makeover. The land is arid and desolate, and there is little in the way of life at all. The colours have been faded and washed out resulting in a very grey and sorry looking landscape. I'm not sure quite how realistic this is, but it certainly adds to the feel.
Denzel Washington is excellent as Eli. He puts in another good shift and the result is yet another great performance that he can add to his CV. His cool and calm demeanour is perfect for this role, and he pulls it off wonderfully. Likewise, Gary Oldman fulfils the role of bad-guy admirably and is convincing as a disturbing but intelligent man who understands the power of the book. He is ruled by his greed for power and control, Oldman captures this beautifully. Mila Kunis gives a commendable performance as Solara, Carnegie's daughter. It isn't the most demanding of roles but she plays it well.
If its adrenaline-fuelled action and exciting stand-offs you're after then this film isn't for you. There are a couple of very well-choreographed fight scenes, but apart from that the excitement meter does really flinch. Having said that, the story keeps moving on at a good pace and you certainly don't get bored. Overall I found it very watchable and was quite fulfilled by the conclusion.
I'm torn whether to give this film a rating of 3 stars or 4. For its duration of almost 2 hours, nothing much happens at all, and at the end many viewers will probably question the point of it. However, personally, I found it to be quite appealing, and constantly intrigued by the contents of the book and what was going to happen next.
A review of the film and region 2 DVD content.
In the aftermath of a global apocalypse, mankind is reduced to its most primeval instincts of survival. Those who survived the fire and the light must now try to survive the searing sun and bleak conditions. Scavengers and marauders plague the roads and towns but one man, Eli, travels alone, confident in his belief that he will be protected. Witnessing terrible things, Eli must stay focused on his mission and the very precious cargo that he carries in his backpack.
But even Eli must stop for refreshment and supplies. In a small town, he visits a local store and barters for some of the essential things that he needs. Whilst waiting for repairs to a precious battery, he seeks refreshment in the saloon bar across the road, but is unable to avoid coming into conflict with Carnegie, the bully and self-appointed mayor of the town. When Carnegie offers Eli the hospitality of a night's stay, Eli is obliged to accept the offer. But there is something that Carnegie wants and when he realises that Eli may have it, he will stop at nothing to get it...
Cinema audiences have a strange fascination with post-apocalyptic action movies. Despite the fact that society seems to hurtle closer and closer to Armageddon every day in the real world, we all seem to take some comfort in watching what would happen if the world turned to shit, somehow convincing ourselves that it never would. There have been countless films in this genre over the years, notably the Mad Max series that pitched a younger Mel Gibson against hordes of baddies in a bid to survive the nuclear-tainted deserts. More recently, British director Neil Marshall had a go in Doomsday, depicting a cannibalistic state in Scotland (not such a stretch of the imagination, admittedly) and a reversion to the ways of the Middle Ages in stiff upper lip England. But it has to be said that all things considered, the genre has become rather tired and predictable, which makes it all the more surprising that there have been two big-budget post-Apocalypse movies produced and released in short succession of one another. The Road showed us the story of a man and his son desperately trying to travel down the US in search of warmer climes. In The Book of Eli, it's a lone man that we see travelling, and his direction is very different as he travels east to west in search of a quest that only viewers of the film will grow to understand.
Despite the fact that they've been directing film since they were 12, we haven't heard from the Hughes Brothers since 2001, when they converted Alan Moore's Jack The Ripper graphic novel into the film From Hell. Whilst many argued that it wasn't the best adaptation around, the directors' visual style was sumptuous and authentic and it seems that in the last nine years they haven't lost their touch. Eli is, without a doubt, visually effective, filmed in a sort of grimy colourless hue that depicts the way in which the life has been drained from the world, the directors and cinematographer Don Burgess show us a bleak vision of the future. Effectively eviscerating the landscape of any flora and fauna, this essentially becomes a desert story, as we meet Eli and watch him trudge his way through one sand-baked landscape after another. Such a setting provides seemingly endless opportunities for stark, cataclysmic visuals and the Hughes don't disappoint. They can do detail (a skeleton slumped inside a burnt out vehicle) or a scale (a collapsed freeway) but throughout they maintain a piercing, ozone-less sunshine that seems to burn through every frame.
It has to be said, of course, that there's nothing groundbreaking here. Films like Mad Max (and even Waterworld) have kind of done this whole thing before, but there's a strange restraint to The Book of Eli that gives this a subtlety missing elsewhere. Even the recent adaptation of The Road (an equally bleak story) seemed to want to concentrate on gloomy, looming landscapes, but in Eli, the directors focus the audience's attention almost entirely on the hero, a lone warrior who gradually shows just how capable he is of defending himself. Indeed, it's when Eli cuts loose that the directors really come into their own. There's a fantastic sequence in a darkened tunnel, for example, where we simply see Eli dispatch countless marauders with his blade, darkened silhouettes exposing dismembered limbs and spilt blood. It's a tremendously stylish way to do things (although the cynics would argue it's simply a cunning way to cover up the use of a body double to replace the slightly older lead actor when the script required it). Another scene involving a shoot-out takes the camera from the outside, inside and around in one fluid sequence, almost as though the audience is having an out of body experience.
In essence, The Book of Eli has more in common with a classic Western than it does the typical post-apocalyptic action thriller. The Western influences are everywhere. The town itself, for example, looks like the set of a John Wayne film rather than this sort of thing and it's a look and feel that sets this film aside from side of its peers. In The Road, for example, the director was intent on showing traces of the capitalist past, a can of Coke here, a tube of Pringles there, but in the Book of Eli, all traces of the commercial past seem to have effectively been wiped from history. It's a curious, but not entirely, effective approach. The conversion of the town's cinema into a saloon bar looks too much like a film set. There's no real feeling of what this building ever actually was, and it's actually a little contrived. Whilst the inhabitants of the town are dressed in the ubiquitous leathers and cottons and although they aren't riding horses into two, to all other intents and purposes, this might as well be a tale of the Wild West.
The story makes some interesting societal observations. Never a genre to pitch the very best of human nature, once again, this is a tale of power struggles and how the worst in society struggle to take the lead. The book that Eli is carrying is the last of its kind, a powerful religious text (can you guess what it is yet?) that seems to have become the symbol of power for the post-apocalyptic world. Gary Whitta's script makes no attempt to disguise the key religious themes here, although opinion remains divided over what it is that he's trying to say. Carnegie, on the one hand, believes that possession of the text will give him mastery over this new society, the script taking a number of swipes at the power of religion over the masses, in an unhealthily unquestioning manner. But Eli exists clearly as an agent of good, his faith inspiring those around him, his mission somehow taking on an increasingly spiritual nature. Indeed, the storyline cleverly leads the audience to believe that Eli is testament to some kind of divine intervention, before the writer finally reveals his hand in a final twist that's up there with the likes of The Sixth Sense.
Indeed, apocalypse stories normally lead the audience in one of two directions. It might be the writer's intent to portray the resilience of human spirit and how one way or another, the goodness of mankind would survive. Alternatively, other writers clearly believe that when the bomb drops, we might as well give up - if you think the world's bad now, you want to see what it's like when people start eating each other. Here, Whitta probably goes for a mix of the two, although he leans more closely to the latter. It is not human nature or the human spirit that is the guiding force here; it's something rather more spiritual. There's enough room for interpretation for the audience to take from this what they will and despite it's certain conclusion, there's enough thought material here for the film to leave a suitably lasting impression.
It has to be said that, as is often the case with his films, Denzel Washington dominates the entire proceedings. Whilst this is partly due to the fact that he is on screen for the larger part of the running time, he just has a charisma that is both completely engaging and consistently authentic. His calm, softly spoken nature betrays a shocking brutality when provoked but he manages to convince us that he is both practical and spiritual. He is the very definition of a leading hero. We want him to succeed and to survive. We know that when the bad guys take him on they are deemed. Ironically, he's the very force of good that the world into which he is pitched is so desperately in need of. Casting a more mature actor like Washington also frees the narrative from the shackles of a love interest; his partnership with a young woman named Solara is more like a father and daughter relationship than anything else.
Speaking of which, Mila Kunis's feisty, spirited performance complements Washington's particularly well here. Born after the events that destroyed the world, Kunis's character has no concept of many of the things that we take for granted (drinking a cup of tea, for example) and the young actress combines determination and vulnerability perfectly. There's a naturally inquisitive nature about the actress that complements her role perfectly.
Gary Oldman is effective enough as the bad guy, Carnegie, although it has to be said that years of being cast as the villain of the piece seem to be taking their toll on the actor. It's not that he isn't believable (he absolutely is) but having played so many bad guys, he's just a bit obvious, and borderline pantomime. It doesn't help that his sidekick, Redridge, is a little out of place here too. British actor Ray Stevenson seems to struggle a little with both the American accent and some strange character decisions. Initially cast as a bit of a loathsome fellow, it's not entirely clear whether he has had a change of heart or whether we just got him wrong to start with; in either case, it doesn't work particularly well.
There are some real curiosities here too. The casting of Michael Gambon and Frances De La Tour as pair of gun-toting rednecks is by far the strangest thing I've ever seen in a film. It's not the fact that they're both British actors putting on a deep US accent, nor is it the fact that they're both as nutty as a box of frogs and nor is it the fact that they have some of the film's few comical lines. It's more the combination of all three, however short-lived their screen time turns out to be.
The move from the big screen to the small screen impacts on some of the bigger visuals here as they seem slightly constrained by the smaller format. Conversely, the intimacy of more character-driven scenes seems to have more effect here, drawing the viewer in a little closer.
The special features here are a mixed bag:
* A Lost Tale: Billy - Carnegie's History - is a self-contained story that cleverly transposes a comic book into a moving animation. It tells the story of Carnegie's childhood, again curious in its choice of focusing on the bad guy as opposed to the hero. It's painfully short though (around 4 minutes) and actually rather short on content. It's a terribly wasted opportunity.
* There are two 'featurettes'. "Starting Over" combines interviews and chat about the concept of the film (with the producer et al) and then interviews with academics about what would 'actually' happen after an apocalypse. It's a rather vain exercise, on the part of the makers, who seem to think that the academic link gives the film more plausibility. (In reality, of course, because the world hasn't ended, nobody really knows what would happen - it's all conjecture.) It's actually a rather pointless and irritating little feature.
"Eli's Journey" is a little better. There's at least some insight into the inspiration for the movie (and some of the comic book artists who helped realise the look and feel) and some of the creative process. It's as sycophantic as any other, but perfectly watchable.
* There is a selection of deleted/alternate scenes - none of which is terribly worthwhile, and one of which makes absolutely no sense to me at all.
* There is also a feature on the movie's score, composed by Atticus Ross, who previously worked with the directors on the US TV version of Touching Evil. Ross's haunting score is extremely accomplished. The feature is a worthwhile idea, but rather less insightful than those interested in this side of the film making process might prefer. It doesn't really, for instance, relate closely enough to some of the film's best musical moments.
Overall, the extras here are average and largely reflect what you would expect with a major film release.
Faced with a comparison between The Road and The Book of Eli, the latter is easily the more enjoyable movie. The action/fight sequences are more frequent and more imaginative and the screenplay is rather more satisfying, with a conclusion that's open ended but still takes the viewer to a certain point. The Road is technically a more accomplished movie, relying rather less on special effects and gimmicks but there's a sense of adventure in Eli that makes it rather less depressing than its peer.
The DVD package isn't the most inspiring, however, and I probably wouldn't recommend this as a 'full price' purchase. Remember also that this kind of film is ripe for a 'director's cut' in future years, almost certainly with a more impressive range of special features.
I rarely say this about a film, but the Book of Eli is one film where I severely resent the few hours I spent watching it.
My main problem with the film starts right from the beginning and the setting of the scene. It is set in our world in the future.....which is actually a big assumption on my part as we are never actually told this. I have watched enough science fiction and futuristic films to know that often you just have to use your imagination and explanations aren't always plentiful, however this film didn't even attempt to broach the subject.
The World that Denzel Washington inhabits is a harsh, very bright and baren one and it is hinted at many times that this is due to a devastating war that took place in the past. This is as much explanation as we ever get about this, something that really annoyed me. We are told there was a war and a giant flash of light that left many ppl blinded. However we never find out who was in the war, which side won, where this giant flash of light came from or which side set it off!
Denzel Washington is a lone traveller making his way westwards carrying the last copy of the Bible to be found on the earth. Apparently after the 'War' , of which we still know nothing, religion was blamed and all other copies of the bible were burnt. Again we never find out which side burnt the bibles, or why religion was blamed.
Anyway Denzel unintentionally picks up a young girl traveller Solara on the way, and after her step father discovers Denzel is in possession of the bible, they are soon on the run together.
There are a few action fight sequences that are fairly interesting to watch but most of the film is of them making their way across the land to the West. Incidentally we never find out where exactly he started his journey, or where west he is heading to although in typical Hollywood style it was just somewhere in the USA apparently.
There is a twist at the end, which I won't reveal, and this did make me think oooh, but that lasted momentarily as the conclusion of the film left me thinking they hadn't really planned out what they would have happen when he reached his destination. The bible which he spent such a long time protecting, was left to sit on a shelf in a hidden, underground library. HArdly worth it from my point of view.
I would definitely not recommend this film to anyone, unless you are trying to cure your insomnia, and despite Denzel Washington being a fantastic actor he has gone down quite far in my estimations thanks to this film.
Directed - Albert and Allen Hughes
Run Time - 118 minutes
Rated - R
Suited - to teenagers and upwards
Woman: What was it like before?
Eli: People had more than they needed, people didn't know what was precious and what wasn't; people threw away things they kill each other for now.
It's the worst rescission since the war and that's a great time for studios to release their big budget disaster movies, the silly but fun '2012' doing great business and many others making bigger grosses than they would in better times. With 'The Road', a similar end of the world scenario to The Book of Eli' out on DVD this week, renters have little choice but to be gloomy. But people went for this one and from its $80 million budget its done $152 million world-wide, having sexy Denzel Washington in the lead certainly helping, a charismatic actor that can carry pretty much any movie. Even going up against Avatar on a holiday weekend for its opening four nights it was a close second in the US Box-office for takings on $38 million bucks.
The Book of Eli has the distinct feel that it's one of those scripts that's been gathering dust on some movie lot back-office and got made purely because of the current mood of doom on the planet. That's doesn't mean it shouldn't have got commissioned but you will pick up on that is you rent it. What's most striking about it is the rather eclectic cast alongside Denzel. We go from the old hams of Michael Gambon and Malcolm McDowell, hop sideways to Jennifer 'Flashdance' Beal's, then to the bizarre sight of Mrs Jones from Rising Damp (Francis De Lator) serving afternoon tea in a post apocalyptic dystopia under heavy machine gun fire! Its that kind of movie folks.
Denzel Washington ... Eli
Gary Oldman ... Carnegie
Mila Kunis ... Solara
Ray Stevenson ... Redridge
Jennifer Beals ... Claudia
Evan Jones ... Martz
Joe Pingue ... Hoyt
Frances de la Tour ... Martha
Malcolm McDowell ... Lombardi
Michael Gambon ... George
Tom Waits ... Engineer
Its thirty years since an apocalypse, a blinding light leaving planet Earth desolate and the survivors lawless. But one man is on a mission of hope, a mysterious stranger called Eli (Washington), heading across the desertlands of Arizona and New Mexico with a book. But it's not just any book but a book that will save the world, claims the stranger.
On is journey he beats up the bad guys and picks up some token totty (Mila Kunis), but no time for nookie. There's a religious zeal about his crusade and pray no man get sin his way. But in a beat up town full of survivors we meet warlord Carnegie (Gary Oldman), he too on the lookout for a book, but not willing to pay a fair price to get it. But he hasn't counted on Eli's apparent indestructibility in dodging bullets and anything else Carnegie's goons throw at him.
When Eli is discovered to have the book a pursuit ensues as the body count rises, his Blade style martial arts skills and persistent cool under pressure more than a match for Carnegie. But is he a man who can be killed and how powerful is that book?
This is basically Mad Max meets Blade and that's about as smart as it gets, an action film with a message, but the message being Denzel always looking fabulous in any movie. Perhaps over stylised it does feel and look apocalyptic in this new style of cinematic camera work, having the slight suggestion of being in a videogame cut from a comic book, a role Samuel L Jackson would have really enjoyed. The dialogue tries to be clever but falls well short although, as ever, Washington carries the movie with ease, securing its third dooyoo star but it's never chasing a fourth.
One or two gaping plot holes can't be ignored, like the shortage of water but gas (petrol) a plenty, the Mad Max angle here that the Gary Oldman megalomaniac character doesn't want to get control of the gas but the remaining water wells to rule the desertlands. In effect it's Water World in reverse. Saying that it's all very fine and once the mystery of the book is revealed you buy into it, the viewer left only to decide on its supernatural element, ambiguity the clue here.
With an edgy foreboding soundtrack, enjoyable fight and action sequences (and just about getting away with a corny cliché) it did enough for me to justify the rent and set me up for the football, my last rental for at least 4 weeks. Come on England!
Ok, film writers have been kicked in the never regions this week with the downgrading of our credit rating to junk status. But members who have been here from day one know dooyoo have never realty loved film reviews and only entertain them because of their tie in with Amazon and the fact they bring and retain good writers here. Three years ago things were just as tough, regular members lucky to get 25 rates at 3p (no 50p for writing the review back then). Things will change for the better as dooyoo know they also have to be busy as well as encourage reviews on white goods. Once we have all done our kettle reviews, rates and posted reviews will collapse and dooyoo will upgrade films to level 2 by the autumn in my opinion. But remember, one man or woman's misfortune is another's fortune. Crowns will be easier to get across the site if there are fewer reviews. If you stop writing film reviews though it will give them the excuse to abandon them like the chances of a Greek water getting a credit card.
It's unusual to see this score well on Imdb.com but poor with the critics. Maybe Imdb fans are rating Denzel.
Imdb.com scores it 7 out of 10 (30, 786 votes)
Metacritic.com scores it 53%
Rottontomatos.com scores it 46%
The book of Eli is a thoroughly enjoyable action adventure. Imagine Fallout 3 meets Mad Max and you have the basic idea of Eli, however it neither manages to capture the horrors of a post apocalyptic world as much as its predecessors. The story centres on Eli, a wanderer of the United States, which has been decimated through a nuclear war. He is seeking to find a place where he can spread the ideas of a book, which is the last of its kind. However, a villainous and ruthless Gary Oldman pursues him, wanting the book for his own power hungry gains. The main criticism that can be aimed at the film is that the characters could have been better developed. Washington's character comes across as cold, and his back story could have been explained more in order to understand his quest to search for a safe place for the book. Oldman's character in particular comes across as vindictive and evil, without showing enough reason as to why he would behave in such a fashion. The action sequences and setting of the film in a monochrome grey add to the setting that this really is the end of the world, and the director has to be commended for what is a thoughtful and philosophical depiction of what a post apocalyptic feudal society would be like. Overall I would recommend watching the Book of Eli. It is an entertaining escape from the real world although not a true classic. 7/10
I personally really enjoyed The Book of Eli, I had seen the trailers for it at the end of last summer and had mumbled to Mr H about going to see it but I never actually got around to it. I then promptly forgot all about it until Mr H came pottering back from Blockbuster with his new purchase yesterday. We then popped the film on and curled up on the settee together. To be honest I did not really know what to expect, as far as I was concerned having Denzil Washington in it was a good enough reason to watch it as I have enjoyed all have his other films.
~The Plot~(may contain spoilers, skip to the my opinion bit if you don't want to know)
It is the year 2043 and the end of life as we know it. Man is left to scavenge what he can find from the ruins. Some people have banded together into groups and ambush people, kill them and eat them. This is pretty disgusting. You can tell who is a cannibal by the fact that there hands shake from eating human meat. Some people like Eli (Denzil Washington) choose to live alone and eat what animals they can find, and take what they need from the dead.
Eli is travelling west when he comes across a woman on her own with an over turned shopping trolley, she asks him for help. Eli can see the trap for what it is and he can smell the bandits who are waiting to ambush him. He calls there bluff and then a fight scene ensues, Eli kills all the men with a knife, the fight scene is quite graphic and this is the point where you start to think Eli is not what he appears to be.
Eli continues on his journey, he comes across another group of bandits who ambush a young couple, they kill the man and attack the woman and take what appears to be a sack with some stuff in. Eli does not intervene, He continues on his journey till he comes to the next village.
This is the village where the bandits who attacked the young couple have also gone. They take the sack that they acquired to a man called Carnegie (Gary Oldman) he is obviously the man who is in charge of everything in the village. Carnegie is very interested in acquiring a certain book; unfortunately the bandits have not retrieved the book on this journey. Carnegie believes that this mysterious book will be the key to controlling the masses, this book with the right words.
Eli goes in to a bar and trades a pair of gloves and a scarf so he can have his water canteen filled. Everything is going well until Eli goes to knock a cat of the bar; this is a mistake, a man approaches Eli and starts to threaten him. Eli wants no trouble and tells this to the man, but the man is determined to start. So Eli is forced to fight and once again we are treated to a fight scene where even though Eli is grossly out-numbered he wins.
Unfortunately the fight attracts the attention of Carnegie (Gary Oldman) who runs the small town. He wants to see Eli and is intrigued by him because he is well spoken and obviously educated. Carnegie invites him to stay for the night, Eli is not comfortable in staying but Carnegie insists. He sends Solara (Mila Kunis) in to his room to entertain him in the hope that women, food and water will be enough to get Eli on side. Eli is not interested in Solara, but Solara begs him to allow her to stay in his room for the night as Carnegie will hurt her mother if he thinks that Solaris has not done as she is told.
Solara catches a glimpse of the mysterious book that Eli carries with him at all times and is intrigued by it, she starts asking Eli questions. Eli is uncomfortable with the situation and invites Solara to eat his food with him, but before eating he holds her hands and prays with her. Solara finds this very strange, and when she goes back to her mother she shows her how to pray Carnegie observes this and starts to question Solara as he instantly suspects that Eli has got the book that he wants....
I really enjoyed this film and even though I have written a lot about the plot I have not given the story away, honestly. Denzil Washington plays Eli brilliantly; he captures the air of a man who is trying to go about his business but is constantly distracted from his path by other people, Eli is seems troubled by the life he leads and this comes across brilliantly. I can't think of a better actor to play this part.
Gary Oldman is also another one of my favourite actors, he plays Carnegie brilliantly. Carnegie is a man desperate for power. He controls the little village he lives in but he knows that if he had the right words he would be able to control so much more. The way Gary Oldman plays Carnegie is perfection, a power mad man who barley conceals the fact that he is as mad as a hatter.
Another one of my favourite actors who is in this film is Michael Gambon, he plays a man called George. George and his wife still live in there farm house as they have always done. They have survived for many years by themselves. In some of Michael Gambons rolls I feel that he barley has to act, he is who he is. This roll fits him perfectly and some of the scenes with him and his wife in are quite comic in the middle of quite a dark film.
The film has quite a desolate feel to it. There are lots of panoramic shots that display the wasteland that is America, with ruined buildings and large craters the back drops for a lot of the scenes. The sky is also filmed in a strange washed out way with tinges of green and pink. At first I thought my television was malfunctioning but soon realised this was part of what had happened to the world.
I really enjoyed this film and it is high on my list with many of my other favourite Denzil Washington films. (Man on fire, Bone Collector) If you are expecting fantastic panoramic special effects you will be disappointed, the major event that is referred to as 'the flash' throughout the film has happened many years earlier. There are a lot of dusty scenes in which Eli looks strangely clean compared to everyone else. The fight scenes are well choreographed and even though I am not particularly into fight scenes I really enjoyed them. To be honest I can not remember anything being overly gory.
The story line is good and the actors are fantastic and I thoroughly recommend this film to anyone wanting a different sort of post-apocalyptic film.
Thanks for reading x
Having literally JUST watched this film myself, i can safely say... it wasn't too good.
When i saw the adverts for this, i knew it would have something to do with religion, but what i didn't know, is how boring it would actually get.
It isn't because i'm not religious, its just the fact that, on the adverts, it showed all the best bits of the film, which was a huge let down. trailers for films are meant to show a little bit about the film, whereas this showed all the major points more or less, leaving you expecting more n being let down.
Also, i was expecting a bit more action in the film, due to the fact that there is people wanting water and food all over, however i was disappointed with the fact that there was only about 3-4 fight scenes in the entire film, and they didn't even last that long.
The film was mostly about the bible, and how it can be used as a weapon against evil, but, it ended really odd with so many questions unanswered, so i didn't enjoy it at all, however, i could be wrong. don't let me put you off buying this, by al means, if you liked the look of it, go and watch it. just don't get your hopes up.
In post-apocalyptic America, Eli makes his way slowly across the desolate land heading to the same place he's been trying to get to for the past few years. With him he carries a precious book, one of the only books left after everyone went to war, and with it the only possible chance to save the human race.
But in a world where the only few remaining people have nothing and no one, everyone is out to get everything they possibly can, and Eli finds himself in many dangerous situations on his way. But the most dangerous situation is when he ends up caught up with a group of violent thugs whose leader will do anything to get his own hands on the book.
~ Cast ~
Eli - Denzel Washington
Carnegie - Gary Oldman
Solara - Mila Kunis
Redridge - Ray Stevenson
Claudia - Jennifer Beals
I love action movies like this with a little bit of fantasy thrown in and the trailers made this film look brilliant and really action-packed so I couldn't wait to see it. When I did get around to seeing it though, I was quite disappointed as it wasn't as good as I thought it was going to be.
Because of the time it's set in - a desolate wasteland world where only a few people are still alive and most of the land is desert - the majority of the film was simply following Eli as he travelled over land to his destination. These bits were pretty boring as most of the time he had no company and there was nothing of much interest that he came across. This made these parts pretty boring, dull and uneventful.
However, when he did come across some other people, they were usually violent scavengers, and this is where all the action came in. The action really was brilliant here and Denzel Washington was amazing in the way he fought and killed all the other people, even when it was only him against a bar full of others. These moments were really great and intense and, if only there had been more of these violent action scenes in the film, I probably would have enjoyed it quite a bit more.
Denzel Washington was great, as he always is, and even though his character is fairly quiet and secretive, it's plain to see that he's a good guy from the very start. He basically carried the entire movie by himself and I thought he did really well.
All of the supporting cast, especially Gary Oldman, who plays the leader of the villains trying to get the book from Eli, were all excellent as well.
There are a couple of twists that you really don't see coming at all at the end of the film. One of them is a great twist and is the sort of thing that really keeps you thinking over it even well after the film has finished. I wasn't so keen on the other twist though, which is to do with the book, and, to me, it made it all seem a little bit pointless and had me rolling my eyes at the outcome.
That's not to say that's it's not a good film though. The storyline was good it just didn't turn out the way I would have liked it to and there were a few too many dull parts for me to properly enjoy it. But the acting and action scenes were really excellently done.
Certificate rating: 15
Running time: 118 minutes
Directors: Albert Hughes and Allen Hughes
In a post-apocalyptic America where the once-picturesque countryside has become a desolate and violent wasteland, one man (Denzel Washington) fights to protect that sacred tome that could hold the key to the survival of the human race in this futuristic thriller from filmmaking duo Albert and Allen Hughes (FROM HELL and MENACE II SOCIETY). Gary Oldman (LEON), Mila Kunis (FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL), and Ray Stevenson (TV's ROME) co-star.
The film is about Eli (Denzel) who has been walking for 30 years in possession of the only remaining St James bible in existence after a war which practically destroyed everything (post-apocalyptic) The film started of like I am legend with Denzel alone on his travels, then it moves along swiftly when he comes to a city, and you then start to find out what the film is all about and the action starts.
There are a good few action scenes scattered throughout the film, some scenes a little disturbing, this is definitely a gruel some film, rough and boisterous, yet the storyline was very simple and the film did not go of track from the plot. Although the film had a serious storyline there were hint's of humour here and there to lighten the mood a bit.
I have always rated Denzel's acting he is brilliant in all of his films and this one is no exception, this is definitely not Denzel's usual type of acting role but never the less he did a good job. I am not that familiar with Ray Stevenson, but I enjoyed his acting in this film, any fans of his will not be disappointed.
Overall I enjoyed the film there was enough to keep me interested from the start I watch it with my partner and he enjoyed it just as much. This is definitely a mature film it contains violence, swearing and action, definitely recommended for anyone that likes Denzel and rough action films.