Monday, July 12, 2010

The Book of Eli

Directed by the Hughes Brothers.
2010. Rated R, 118 minutes.
Denzel Washington
Gary Oldman
Mila Kunis
Jennifer Beals
Ray Stevenson
Michael Gambon
Evan Jones
Joe Pingue

After “The Flash” much of the world’s population has been killed. The lucky survivors have restarted life anew amidst desolate conditions. It’s a world where alcohol wipes are an extremely valuable commodity since soap is apparently non-existent. He who possesses water also possesses immense power. Of course, many of those in power are evil. Carnegie (Oldman) is one of these men. Yes, he is evil.

Carnegie is also a collector of another rare commodity, books. He seeks one particular book which he feels will give him unlimited power over what he calls “the weak and desperate”. That book is none other than The Holy Bible. You see, shortly after “The Flash” they were all sought out and destroyed. However, we learn that one copy of the good book survives. It is in the hands, rather backpack of Eli (Washington). He’s on a mission to deliver it somewhere out “west” and he’s not letting anyone else get their grubby paws on it. Remember, there’s no soap so we’re talking literally grubby paws, I digress. I wouldn’t suggest getting in Eli’s path or threatening him in any way. People tend to end up dead that way.

From this, we get a parable that’s divisive, much like religion itself. The naysayers will quickly point out the ridiculousness of all Eli accomplishes given a certain fact about him which I won’t spoil. Supporters will note that it’s a metaphor, not meant to be taken literally. Count me among the supporters. I find it a brilliant portrayal of a biblical saying I’ve heard numerous times, even during this movie. Honestly speaking, if taken at face value it’s an easy-to-dismiss movie. Think a little deeper and it makes perfect sense. It has the conviction to follow through to a difficult conclusion. For directors, Albert and Allen Hughes this is their best film since the similarly perplexing Dead Presidents.

If the religious angle doesn’t move you in the slightest way, but you’re an action fan then still give it a look for the sizable amount of swift and brutal violence. Gary Oldman is also great, as usual. He gives us a villain that knows he’s the bad guy. However, he desperately wants to appear good so that he can be worse. You might have to see it for that to make sense. That stuff is fun to watch as the movie unfolds. Still, it’s all that deep stuff that sticks with me.

The Opposite View: Kim Newman, Empire

What the Internet Says: 6.9/10 on (7/11/10), 47% on, 53/100 on

MY SCORE: 8/10

No comments:

Post a Comment