When I walked into the theater to see The Book of Eli I had really high expectations. I mean let’s face it, when has Denzel Washington ever done a bad movie, with the exception of Inside Man? And not to mention that he’s quite the sexy one when he’s slinging guns and swords and beating up bad guys and what not.
The action packed trailer previews had me feeling like I just had to see this movie in the theater, or I would really be missing out something. But I have to be honest, now that I’ve seen it I’m not really sure how I felt about it.
The storyline focuses on Eli (played by Washington), the lone wanderer who walks the Earth on a holy mission headed west with only his sword, a couple of guns and his backpack; and in this backpack, among his bare essentials, he carries the very last copy of the King James Bible.
Apparently, Eli’s present day world was part of some post-apocalyptic war that wiped out a vast majority of the human race, and those who survived somehow managed to burn all the Bibles in the world. So in the absence of the Word of God, the human race has given into their primal nature which basically boils down to “survival of the fittest” and from there the film takes on an I Am Legend meets Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome type of feel.
Carnegie, the antagonist played by Gary Oldman who is hell-bent on getting his hands on the book by any means necessary, was tolerable. After having bad guys like Heath Ledger and Gerard Butler to compare him to, he kind of left a lot to be desired.
Then there was Solara, played by Mila Kunis (Jackie from That 70’s Show), in whom our friend Eli found an unlikely ally to make his already obscure journey a little more difficult. We know that there always has to be a whiney chick that asks way too many questions and then gets kidnapped at some point causing the hero to have to make a “choice”, but Kunis did ok in her role even though it was hard for me to stop thinking of her as Jackie. By the end of the movie, I honestly say that I could see her getting into more action films.
Even though there was plenty of action, the storyline was a little choppy for me in the way that it didn’t give enough background into the main characters as to who they were or how they ended where there where in the movie. But again, Denzel played the tough guy role very well.
Overall, the movie was entertaining and I did enjoy the fact that Hollywood showed that they do acknowledge that the Bible is still a very important book in this day and age, and that without it humanity is destined for chaos. But other than that, I’m still a little torn about this one.
If you like to go to the show for the thrill of seeing lots of action, shoot outs, fights…and Denzel, then the theater is the place for you to see this film. If you are the type of person who is more appreciative of a good solid storyline, then this is not the film for you; catch it on DVD.