REVIEW: THE BOOK OF ELI
SYNOPSIS: In the not-too-distant future, across the wasteland of what was once America, a lone warrior must fight to bring civilization the knowledge that could be the key to its redemption.
REVIEW: Picture this . . . you are one of a very small amount of survivors of a global nuclear war. The world as you know it is 95% destroyed, completely and utterly destroyed. What is left of mankind has regressed to the pure animal instinct of survival. What would be important to you? Water, food, shelter, and clothing are the basics and those will be very, very difficult to come by. How about books? How else can mankind re-educate themselves without having to start from scratch? How about holding on to your beliefs, your faith? That might be the most difficult thing to do in a post-apocalyptic world full of despair. This movie is a moving tale of a man on a mission to save a book that can easily be considered the most important book in the history of mankind. But he is in the midst of a dark, desperate world that is bleak, dreary, and primitive. No one can be trusted and you must be constantly looking over both shoulders. If confronted, it is kill or be killed. It is all about survival and in the case of Eli, it is also about perseverance because the book cannot die.
This is a powerful movie boasting a good storyline, a strong positive message, an excellent cast and acting, eye-locking cinematography, and edge-of-your-seat action sequences. Call me biased if you like, I openly admit it, because I really enjoyed this film. Almost any movie that has a good story, or really good action combined with faith based topics will get me hooked. This one has all of that. It also has a sci-fi feel to it without actually being sci-fi. The two strongest aspects of this movie are the incredible cinematography and of course the acting, headlined by one of the finest actors of our time, Denzel Washington (Eli). The overall look of the movie really sets the tone. The color is so pale and weak that you might think the movie is in black and white. In certain scenes there are some camera shots and angles that are just amazing. I also noticed an amusing moment in which you see a roach crawling up a wall. You know that they say that roaches are one of the very few creatures on this planet that would survive a nuclear disaster, so I chuckled. But even though the roach gave a good supporting actor performance, the best performance was given by Mr. Washington. You’ve got to hand it to him, he is an awesome actor. He could probably be cast to play Barney the purple dinosaur and still give a caliber performance. He can do no wrong and in this case as Eli, he really kicks butt, both with his acting as well as physically. What better counterpart, or nemesis, to Denzel than Gary Oldman (Carnegie) who also falls in the “can-do-no-wrong” category. Even Mila Kunis must have been star struck to be working with these masters of the big screen. Speaking of Mila, even in a post-apocalyptic world she still looks incredible with those big beautiful eyes that can surely melt me. She also does a good job with her role of Solara, daughter of Claudia who is Carnegie’s woman. Now Claudia is played by a person who you might not have heard from in a long time. It was really nice to see Jennifer Beals in action again and she also gives a good performance.
There is a chance that this movie will leave you affected with a hint of depression . . . it is that strong. I was in a bit of a daze for a couple of days after seeing it. But this is a good thing because it shows how well made the movie is. Although the climax is slightly anti-climactic, overall the movie is a work of art. The Hughes Brothers, Albert and Allen (Menace II Society, Dead Presidents, From Hell), have really outdone themselves with the direction of this project. All the mini-quotes you see in the commercials about this movie are true, like the one that says that this is a must see.
By Cine Marcos
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