Thursday, January 21, 2010

Review: The Book of Eli

Grade: B+

The Book Of Eli is takes place thirty years after a war has destroyed the world. The movie centers around a man, Eli, who has been on a journey for the last thirty years walking through the ash that was the United States. The world has broken into chaos and any survivors live by no law and do anything to survive. Eli is a peaceful man who only fights off the roaming gangs, who will kill for water, clothes or simply for fun, only as a means of self defense and preservations. His is being guided by a higher power to make his way to the west coast with a book that he has in his possession. After entering a small town along the road to resupply, he encounters the "leader" of the town who discovers the book and is willing to do anything to get it from Eli.

This movie was shot beautifully. The camera work and cinematography do a great job showing the barren wasteland that the world has become since the war. It is constantly cloudy yet bright because the ozone and everyone needs to wear glasses outside. Many of the survivors have turned to cannibalism and are not welcome in populated areas. Overall the filmmakers did a great job depicting a post nuclear war world.

I do have a few problems with the movie. Firstly, it is a 118 minute Oakley commercial. As I stated before, everybody is wearing sunglasses in the movie and most of those sunglasses are Oakley sunglasses. Also, Eli has a pack on throughout the movie, it is an Oakley backpack and you see the O many times displayed prominently. This fact isn't really distracting though and a movie needs to get money from somewhere to be made. The second problem I had with it was much larger. The rest of this paragraph will discuss a minor spoiler that is discovered about 20 to 30 minutes into the film. The book that Eli is carrying is a bible. Here comes the problem: the filmmakers spend the first half of the movie bashing the bible and religion by saying that it was those two things that caused the war and Gary Oldman's character wants the book because he says that with it you can control people's minds and make them do whatever you want if you read from it. Then the second half of the movie is spent praising religion and faith. I just feel that the writers were confused and didn't want to risk offending anybody.

Denzel Washington (Déjà vu, Training Day) plays the lead role of Eli. He did a great job with the character and his action scenes were fantastic. Gary Oldman (Dark Knight, The Fifth Element) plays Carnegie, the leader of a small town who is hell bent on getting the book from Eli. Gary Oldman is an amazing actor and really made this character, a fantastic performance. Mila Kunis (Extract, TV's That 70s Show) played the role of Solara, a young girl who decides to travel with and help Eli. She is really becoming a better and better actress in my opinion and she did a great job with this role. The movie also features performances by Ray Stevenson, Jennifer Beals, Michael Gambon, Tom Waits and Malcolm McDowell.

Over all the movie was fun and exciting to watch and I did really enjoy it. If you enjoy post apocalyptic movies, than this movie is definitely for you. Despite the writer's confusion I still feel that overall the movie is extremely enjoyable with an amazing twist ending that is making want to watch it again.

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